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How long will Derek Chauvin be in prison? What to know about the guilty verdict in George Floyd's murder
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began his first full day in state prison Wednesday after he was found guilty of murdering George Floyd in a landmark trial. THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU." He also pushed for the Senate's passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The House passed the the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act – named in Floyd's honor – in March. What happened to the other officers involved in George Floyd's death?
Senate Republicans propose $568 billion infrastructure plan to counter Biden
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans unveiled a $568 billion infrastructure plan Thursday limited to roads, bridges, broadband and other physical infrastructure, countering President Biden's American Jobs Plan with a framework around one-quarter the size of his sweeping $2.25 trillion package. Republicans proposed $299 billion for upgrades to roads and bridges, vastly more than the $115 billion proposed in Biden's plan, and $44 billion on airport renovations, more than the $25 billion outlined in Biden's plan. Republicans proposed $61 billion for public transit systems and $20 billion for rail, compared to Biden's proposal for $85 billion for transit and $80 billion for Amtrak improvements and expansion. Republicans want $65 billion for broadband infrastructure, significantly less than the $100 billion proposed by Biden. Ten Republicans met with Biden in the White House during talks on the rescue plan after they proposed a trimmed down $618 billion package.
'God knows what happened': North Carolina deputy fatally shoots Black man, but police release few details
Leaders and protesters in a grieving North Carolina community want to know what happened Wednesday morning when a deputy executing a search warrant shot and killed a Black man. An eyewitness said Brown was shot at multiple times as he drove away. "The people of Elizabeth City ... they desire a right to know what took place this morning," Councilman Darius J. Horton said at an emergency meeting of the Elizabeth City council on Wednesday evening. Outside the meeting, a crowd gathered, some holding signs proclaiming “Black Lives Matter.”"There is a moment of hurt in Elizabeth City," Horton said. I’m going to be transparent: I’m afraid as a Black man, walking around in this city, driving my car down the road," he said.
13 investigations, no court-martials: Here's how the US Navy and Marine Corps quietly discharged white supremacists
13 investigations into white supremacy, no court-martialsThe Navy records describe investigations into allegations of white supremacist assault, theft, verbal abuse, threats and gang crimes from 1997 to 2020. In another case, a female sailor started one of the earliest online white supremacist message boards. The 36% of respondents who reported seeing white supremacist or racist ideologies on display was up from 22% in 2018. Most white supremacist incidents are never formally investigatedThe investigations shared with USA TODAY represent just a sliver of the white supremacist activity in the Navy and Marine Corps, according to experts and current and former Navy personnel. Sailor who ran white supremacist forum didn't face court-martialUSA TODAY identified Gallagher because the Navy documents refer to One People's Project.
Spying, poisoning, attempted election meddling: Russia tensions escalate with the US
Spying, poisoning, attempted election meddling: Russia tensions escalate with the USNavalny's poisoning, attempted election interference and cyber espionage are just a few of the reasons tensions between the U.S. and Russia have heightened.
A California city took a beach property from a Black family 100 years ago. Now, it may be returned to their descendants.
The property that became known as Bruce's Beach is along the shoreline in Manhattan Beach, now an upscale city along the southern end of Santa Monica Bay. One of the descendants, Anthony Bruce, called in to the virtual meeting to urge the supervisors to "make it a reality." They suffered racist harassment from white neighbors and in the 1920s the Manhattan Beach City Council took the land away through eminent domain under the ruse of needing it for a park. The city did nothing with the property, however, and it eventually was transferred to the state in 1948. The current Manhattan Beach City Council recently formally acknowledged and condemned their predecessors' efforts to displace the Bruces and several other Black families in the area, but stopped short of formally apologizing.
'A harder case to prove': What Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict means for three other officers charged in George Floyd's death
Prosecutors may have secured a conviction against Derek Chauvin, but legal experts say the case against the three other former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death is the harder one to prove. In Chauvin's trial, prosecutors implicated the officersProsecutors in Chauvin's trial were not shy about implicating the three officers in Floyd's death. "The difference here again is because he is a senior officer, and he is the one who is most closely" restraining Floyd, Lee said. Experts also expect that, unlike in Chauvin's trial, character witnesses will be called. In this case, Lee said, you have both.
DC statehood bill passes House for second time, legislation moves to split Senate
But the Washington, D.C. The 2020 passage in the House marked the first time a D.C. statehood bill passed in either chamber of Congress. More:What would statehood for Washington, DC mean — and could it finally happen? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaking from the Senate floor Thursday, said arguments against Washington statehood are rooted in bigotry. “The debate over D.C. statehood has taken a rather dark turn," he said.
COVID-19 hate crimes bill to fight Asian American discrimination passes Senate
WASHINGTON – The Senate passed with overwhelming bipartisan support a hate crimes bill to address a drastic increase in violence and discrimination directed at Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act cleared the chamber in a 94-1 vote Thursday. It would expedite the Justice Department's review of hate crimes andwould designate an official at the department to oversee the effort. Republicans had raised concerns that the first text was too narrow in defining the types of hate crimes. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., would establish grants to aid local and state governments to encourage more training on hate crimes for law enforcement, establish hate crime hotlines and allow for a "rehabilitation" effort for perpetrators of hate crimes.
USA TODAY Launches “Nationscape Insights” with Democracy Fund and UCLA
StaffUSA TODAY NETWORK PRESSROOMTo capture a comprehensive picture of the American electorate, USA TODAY is launching a new project with Democracy Fund's Voter Study Group and UCLA based on data from Nationscape, one of the largest election focused public opinion surveys ever conducted. The Nationscape survey will interview people in nearly every county, congressional district, and mid-sized U.S. city in the leadup to the 2020 election. The weekly survey was designed and is managed by UCLA political scientists Lynn Vavreck and Chris Tausanovitch. Among likely Democratic primary voters, the two issues where there is most disagreement are abolishing private health insurance and Medicare for All. “Nationscape’s unique ability to help us understand the perspectives of Americans at the local, regional, and national level is unprecedented.”
USA TODAY’s Brett Murphy Named 2020 Livingston Award Winner for International Reporting
StaffUSA TODAY NETWORK PRESSROOMUSA TODAY’s Brett Murphy yesterday was announced the 2020 Livingston Award Winner for international reporting for his work on the USA TODAY NETWORK “Show of Force” investigation published in 2019. The Livingston Awards for Young Journalists were established in 1981 to honor professional journalists under the age of 35 and are presented annually in recognition of outstanding local, national and international reporting. In addition, Brett traveled to western Afghanistan to interview government officials, investigators, first responders, witnesses and the villagers who survived. Of course, they wanted it to be kept secret, but Brett uncovered it and did an extraordinary job. “We're really proud of Brett Murphy's work, and we're thrilled that it has been recognized with a Livingston Award.
How to talk to your family, friends about racism and white privilege
But how does someone, especially someone who's white, start (or continue) a conversation with family and friends about racism and privilege? Do your research:Before jumping into discussions about racism and privilege, it's important to educate yourself on these topics. Arnold clarifies that this approach doesn't pardon anyone who's been out of line, citing Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper, a recent example of a white person unnecessarily calling the police on a Black person. ), and ask, "How hard would it be for a white person to try and get ahead?" Going beyond the conversation:100 ways you can take action against racism right nowLooking for books about racism?
The one word women need to be saying more often
Raised to say 'yes'Experts in gender say women are socialized to serve and acquiesce. Collins said women need to think about saying "no" as a right, rather than as a privilege. "We think that 'no' is a dirty word, and 'yes' is clean ... even though when we are saying 'yes,' much of the time we are saying it fearfully, we're saying it resentfully, we're saying it disingenuously," Lue said. Your feelings when you're saying yes, she said, can offer major clues about where to set limits. "If you're saying yes because you're afraid ... that's the wrong reason to say yes.
US takes new aim at ransomware after costly year for attacks
The Associated PressWASHINGTON – The Justice Department is taking new aim at ransomware after a year that officials say was the costliest on record for the crippling cyberattacks. Ransomware attacks have impeded hospital operations, led to the temporary closure of school classes and caused other chaos. The Justice Department has brought indictments related to ransomware attacks, including a 2018 case against two Iranian nationals whose many victims included the cities of Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey, and resulted in losses of $30 million. The task force will include representatives from the Justice Department's criminal and national security divisions, among others. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the creation of the task force.
Chauvin guilty verdict: 'If Facebook can be safer for Black people, why isn’t that the default setting?'
“If Facebook can be safer for Black people, why isn’t that the default setting?” said Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change. On Tuesday, a Minneapolis jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the killing of GeorgeFloyd. Facebook took similar steps to curb flow of misinformation and calls to violence in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. Emerson Brooking, resident fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, says Facebook's handling of the Chauvin verdict is a case study "in just how far we’ve come in the past year." But Robinson and other activists say Facebook has not done enough to protect Black users from hate and abuse.
Trump video: Facebook scrubs Donald Trump interview with Lara Trump, cites indefinite ban
Facebook took down a video interview with Donald Trump conducted by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump for her show "The Right View." !”Lara Trump, who is married to Eric Trump, received an email from Facebook that content with the voice of former President Trump “is not currently allowed on our platforms (including new posts with President Trump speaking)." Facebook suspended Trump following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, citing the potential that he would incite violence. On Wednesday, Fox News reported that plans for a Trump social network are moving forward. "President Trump will have his voice back one way or another," a source told the network.
New Oklahoma law protects drivers 'fleeing from a riot' who hit protesters
Kevin Stitt has signed a controversial bill that would grant civil and criminal immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while driving away from a riot. The bill is just one of a handful of Republican-backed proposals introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature this year aimed at cracking down on protests. HB 1674 protects drivers who fear for their safety while "fleeing from a riot" and also updates state law to classify as a misdemeanor the unlawful obstruction of a road or highway. Adriana Laws, founder of the Collegiate Freedom and Justice Coalition, said the Oklahoma Legislature has launched an assault on taxpaying Oklahomans. At least two protesters were escorted out of the building by members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, who guard the Capitol.
Donovan awarded $1.5M in taxpayer funds for mayoral bid despite dad’s $2M to PAC
“After reviewing additional information, including statements from Shaun and Michael Donovan, the Board voted to approve a public funds payment to the New Yorkers for Donovan campaign today. The Donovan campaign applauded the release of the funds. This decision upholds New York City’s unique, progressive campaign finance system as a model for the nation,” said Donovan campaign manager Brendan McPhillips. The matching funds for those donations is 8 to 1. The CFB has already released a record-shattering $74 million in matching funds, more than double the amount spent in any prior election.
Team Cuomo is now just piling lies atop lies
Andrew Cuomo made himself king of the news briefing, answering reporters’ questions face-to-socially-distanced-face all the day long about COVID-19 and his “leadership” during a pandemic. Now he insists on virtual-only press conferences, and his staff cuts the feed mid-question of any reporter who dares challenge him — then lies about it. On Wednesday, Ryan Tarinelli of the New York Law Journal asked: “If the attorney general’s report concludes that under state law you did sexually harass employees in violation of state law, will you resign? But the head of the LGA at that time, New York Now reporter Dan Clark, says there was no such deal. With Cuomo & Co. these days, it’s just lies upon lies.
Biden spells out U.S. climate goal, urges other world leaders to go big
A moment of peril, but also a moment of extraordinary possibilities,” President Biden said at the start. AdvertisementStory continues below advertisementThroughout the morning, other world leaders announced their own new promises. Like Biden and other leaders, he spoke of tackling climate change not just as an environmental necessity but as an unprecedented economic opportunity. This week, though, part of the answer seemed to rely on big corporations, which world political leaders tried to rally to the climate cause. “President Biden is unilaterally committing America to a drastic and damaging emissions pledge,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.
Pence hits Dems over border crisis, touts Trump's success stemming illegal immigration
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday hit President Biden and Democrats for the escalating crisis at the southern border, while touting the Trump administration’s reduction of illegal immigration -- saying Biden inherited "the most secure southern border in American history." "And yet, in just three short months, the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress have unleashed the worst border crisis in the history of our country." The Biden administration has called the situation a "challenge" and has focused on "root causes" in Central America, while blaming the Trump administration for ending asylum pathways. The op-ed marks a relatively rare intervention by the former vice president. Former President Donald Trump has been vocal in his criticism of Biden’s border policies and has regularly released statements criticized the 46th president.
Viewers flee CNN during Jim Acosta’s new weekend show as network’s ratings suffer
CNN's viewership is suffering three weeks into the experiment of giving former White House correspondent Jim Acosta weekend anchor duties. The Acosta-anchored Saturday programs have averaged 796,000 viewers since the former White House correspondent took over on April 3. CNN averaged 1.247 million viewers on Saturdays between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. That's a staggering 41% drop from the network’s average of 1.196 million viewers in the timeslot over the first three months of 2021. CNN averaged 1.149 million viewers on Sundays between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Free college for families earning under $125,000: Experts give the new Bernie Sanders bill 'a pretty good chance'
Mark Kantrowitz higher education expertDemocrats are pushing a number of legislative priorities this year, from infrastructure to climate change to voting rights. "They've got the infrastructure bill, they have student loan forgiveness bill, they have this bill," he says. Many Democratic lawmakers are continuing to push Biden for more aggressive action on student loan debt. Betsy Mayotte president, The Institute of Student Loan AdvisorsIt's likely that Biden will "stick to his proposal" of eliminating $10,000 of student debt, Kantrowitz says. Scaling back on student loan forgiveness, he says, might allow lawmakers more room to reduce the cost of higher education.
You may want to opt out of advance payments of the $3,600 Child Tax Credit – here are 3 reasons why
The IRS is expected to start sending out advance payments of the enhanced Child Tax Credit to parents in July. To calculate your advance payments for the Child Tax Credit, the IRS will look at your 2020 income tax returns. The maximum Child Tax Credit amounts to $3,600 per child under the age of 6, and $3,000 per child ages 6 to 17. Waiting to receive the Child Tax Credit could help you avoid a surprise tax billOne of the reasons you might want to wait to claim your Child Tax Credit until next spring is because your tax situation has changed or could change this year. How to opt out of Child Tax Credit advance payments
Larry Kudlow: Biden climate change, tax plans mean less investment, productivity, family income, and growth
‘Kudlow’ host Larry Kudlow slammed Biden's climate change and tax policies Thursday, saying if the administration raises the capital gains tax, there will be less investment, productivity, wages, family income, and growth. LARRY KUDLOW: I’m all for the earth, but I am not for these climate change policies that are coming out. We also learned that President Biden intends to double the capital gains tax, essentially taking it up from 20% to 40%. So, that taxes investment income as ordinary income. It means lower productivity, lower real wages, lower family income, lower GDP.
Greta Thunberg tells House panel fossil fuel subsidies are a 'disgrace'
Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old Swedish climate activist, called fossil fuel subsidies a "disgrace" before a House committee hearing on Thursday. "The year is 2021, the fact that we are even having this discussion and even more that we are still subsidizing fossil fuels directly or indirectly using taxpayer money is a disgrace. It is clear proof we have not understood the climate emergency at all," Thunberg said before the House Oversight Environment Subcommittee’s Earth day hearing on fossil fuel subsidies. "We need to completely divest from fossil fuels, keep carbon in the ground … The U.S. is the biggest emitter in history, that is not my opinion, it is what the science clearly shows," Thunberg said. That plan promises to eliminate "special preferences" such as "subsidies, loopholes, and special foreign tax credits for the fossil fuel industry," but some Democrats do not think it goes far enough.
Rep. Biggs requests answers about migrants housed in Arizona hotels
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., is calling for answers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after reports that hundreds of migrants are being housed in hotels in states like Arizona. "I am appalled that illegal aliens are being housed in American hotels. Illegal aliens should be held in [ICE] detention facilities, not hotels," Biggs said in a letter to ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson. Biggs blamed Democrats in Congress for the situation at the border, which has seen migrant families released into the interior and packed migrant facilities amid a dramatic spike in numbers. He also asks if they are being COVID-tested, if they are being released, and how long they are staying in the hotels.
AOC's plan to save US Postal Service never got off the ground
Postal Service — but eight months later, there's no sign of the program. POSTAL SERVICE 'ELITE POLICE FORCE' MONITORS SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS FOR POTENTIAL THREATSShe said she would "do all the work of connecting you to somebody else," come up with "conversation prompts," and possibly a postcard format. Postal Inspection Service monitors Americans’ social media accounts to identify potential threats. Postal Inspection Service occasionally reviews publicly available information in order to assess potential safety or security threats to Postal Service employees, facilities, operations and infrastructure," a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement to FOX Business. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPIt added that the service includes both federal law enforcement officers and Postal Inspectors to help identify potential threats to the Postal Service, its employees, its customers and its delivery network.
Bret Baier: Democrats' attempt to make Washington DC 51st state “not realistic” right now
Admitting Washington D.C. to the Union as the 51st state is "not realistic" unless Senate Democrats are able to make "the filibuster go by the wayside," Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier told "The Story" Thursday. "The argument for D.C. to be a state has been around for a long time. It was voted through in the House last June ... but fell short in the Senate," Baier explained. HOUSE PASSES BILL TO MAKE WASHINGTON DC THE 51ST STATEHost Martha MacCallum noted the push was a consequence of Donald Trump losing the 2020 presidential election: "At that point [prior to November] all of those things seemed far away and radical, frankly. "I don't think it's going to happen, but I think that's the strategy."
Psaki has nothing to say on whether Biden will extend 100-day mask challenge
As 200 million Americans have received at least one coronavirus vaccine, press secretary Jen Psaki punted a question on whether the White House would extend its call for Americans to mask up beyond 100 days. "Is President Biden going to extend his call for Americans to wear masks beyond 100 days?" BIDEN'S GOAL OF 200M COVID-19 VACCINES ADMINISTERED TO BE REACHED THURSDAYPresident Biden when he first assumed office instituted a 100-day mask challenge to contain the spread of coronavirus. Biden should "light a torch to it and burn his mask and say, ‘I’ve had the vaccine. It also said that vaccinated people can travel safely within the country but should still wear a mask and social distance.
New York police, protesters clash over tent encampment eviction in front of police station
Authorities in Albany, N.Y., and protesters set up in a tent encampment outside a police station for nearly a week violently clashed Thursday when police tried clearing the area. In a series of tweets, Police Chief Eric Hawkins said protesters had occupied a roadway in front of the Albany Police Department's South Station in what he described as an "unlawful occupation." "We have also heard the concerns from members of that neighborhood as well as officers & non-sworn staff who serve from the South Station. Protesters began occupying the area last week after violent confrontations with police during an April 14 protest in front of the South Station. As a precaution, barriers were placed between a curb and the police station entrance this week.
Biden pressured to disclose political appointees' ethics agreements as advisor's brother lobbies White House
Several watchdog and activist groups are pressuring President Joe Biden to publicly release ethics agreements signed by political appointees in his administration who are not subject to Senate confirmation. In a letter sent to Biden on Thursday that was shared exclusively with CNBC, over a dozen organizations demanded that the administration publicize the agreements made by his political advisors and others. The groups sent the letter a day after CNBC reported that Jeff Ricchetti, the brother of Biden White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, has lobbied the White House on behalf of health-care companies this year. These political appointees are not required to publicly disclose their ethics agreements, which could include notices of recusal from certain policy matters that may involve prior clients or business dealings. "You have the means to address this lack of transparency right away by requiring that every employee of the White House, in addition to other senior-level political appointees throughout the executive branch, agree to have their ethics documents made publicly available.
U.S. Senate Republicans tap Tim Scott to respond to Biden speech
Scott, a rising star within his party, will give his response on Wednesday after Biden makes his first speech to Congress since becoming president on Jan. 20. The White House has said the Democratic president will talk about the importance of putting policing reform measures in place. The South Carolina lawmaker introduced a policing bill last summer during worldwide protests sparked by Floyd's death. His bill failed in the Senate after Democrats said it relied too much on incentives rather than mandating changes. Scott is one of three Black U.S. senators, along with Cory Booker of New Jersey and Raphael Warnock of Georgia.
Nearly 500 Asylum-Seekers Have Been Attacked As Biden Keeps Turning Them Away
Asylum-seekers turned away at the United States’ southern border over the last four months have reported nearly 500 cases of attacks or kidnappings in Mexico, according to a new joint report from three human rights and immigration organizations. Human Rights First, Al Otro Lado and Haitian Bridge Alliance documented 492 reports of violent attacks since Biden took office, including rape, kidnapping and assault. The Biden administration has been criticized for continuing the use of Title 42. Since March 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has expelled more than 642,700 people under the order, including over 100,000 people in March 2021 alone. Earlier this month, a 10-year-old Nicaraguan boy and his mother were kidnapped just hours after they were refused entry and sent to Mexico under Title 42.
Rep. Ted Lieu: ‘We’re seeing the political awakening of the Asian-American community’
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) reacts to the Senate passing the anti-Asian hate crimes bill and discusses why he has hope for more progress under the Biden administration
Chauvin ‘would have incriminated himself’ testifying, says alternate juror
An alternate juror in the Derek Chauvin trial, Lisa Christensen, told NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez she thought the former Minneapolis police officer would have incriminated himself if he testified. Christensen spoke about her disappointment being dismissed from the jury and how she would have voted.
New York passes bill to automatically restore voting rights to people on parole
A measure that would restore the voting rights of people on parole was delivered Thursday to the desk of New York Gov. The legislation essentially codifies an executive order signed by Cuomo in 2018 that grants conditional pardons to every parolee in the state — an estimated 35,000 — and restores their voting rights. In most states, felons lose their voting rights during their incarceration and for some time afterward. Last year, Californians voted to restore voting rights to more than 50,000 people on parole with the passage of Proposition 17. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed a bill that automatically restores voting rights to people who have been released from prison after committing felonies.
Sen. Tim Scott to deliver GOP’s rebuttal to Biden address
FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2021, file photo, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., departs Capitol Hill in Washington. Scott will deliver Republicans’ rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP, File)FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2021, file photo, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., departs Capitol Hill in Washington. Scott will deliver Republicans’ rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina will deliver Republicans’ rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress next week.
Judge sets deadline for rare Nevada plant-listing decision
Conservationists say the rare order issued Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Las Vegas underscores the critical condition of the Tiehm's buckwheat they say is on the brink of extinction. The agency was supposed to decide last October whether or not to propose protection under the Endangered Species Act. “We are confident that the science strongly supports the co-existence of our vital lithium operation and Tiehm’s buckwheat,” he said. ADVERTISEMENTThe Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. “Usually when we bring these `deadline’ suits, the Fish and Wildlife Service offers us a date and we agree and there’s a settlement.
Arizona Legislature OKs abortion ban for genetic issues
FILE - In this May 22, 2019, file photo, Republican Rep. Regina Cobb, chair of the Arizona House Appropriations Committee, listens during a committee hearing in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)FILE - In this May 22, 2019, file photo, Republican Rep. Regina Cobb, chair of the Arizona House Appropriations Committee, listens during a committee hearing in Phoenix. “Aborting a child because there’s a genetic abnormality is not health care. You are euthanizing a child that has a genetic abnormality. Monday’s amendment to the Arizona bill also added a legislative intent clause that included much of the reasoning the appeals court used in the Ohio decision.
Arkansas governor plans special session on income tax cuts
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas on Thursday, April 22, 2021 with House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, left, and Senate President Jimmy Hickey, right. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced plans Thursday to call a special session this fall for lawmakers to consider new income tax cut proposals. The Republican governor said he planned to call the special session when lawmakers return to the Capitol this fall anyway to take up congressional redistricting.
House seat numbers can’t be released before next week
A delay in census data is scrambling plans in some states to redraw districts for the U.S. House and state legislatures. A delay in census data is scrambling plans in some states to redraw districts for the U.S. House and state legislatures. In response to Biden’s order in January, the Census Bureau discontinued efforts to create citizenship tabulations at the city-block level using 2020 census data in combination with administrative records. The Census Bureau missed a Dec. 31 deadline for turning in the apportionment numbers, and it kept pushing back the dates for releasing the numbers after not-unexpected irregularities were found in the data. As government attorneys negotiated toward a settlement with the coalition, the Census Bureau agreed to release the apportionment numbers sometime between mid-April and the end of the month.
Montana Senate advances bill banning vaccine requirements
(AP) — The Montana Senate voted Thursday to advance a measure banning the use of vaccine passports and prohibiting workplaces from requiring vaccinations as a condition for employment. Greg Gianforte banned the use of vaccine passports in the state to prove COVID-19 vaccination status by executive order. Vaccine passports are documents that can be used to verify coronavirus immunization status and allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop and dine. The Senate amended the bill Thursday to clarify that the change does not apply to vaccine requirement for public school students. The Senate must vote on the bill for a final time before it returns to the House for approval.
Arkansas marks 1 million virus vaccine shots administered
(AP) — Arkansas on Thursday marked 1 million coronavirus vaccine shots administered in the state so far, though the governor acknowledged more needs to be done to increase demand. “I want vaccines in arms so we can turn the chapter in Arkansas history to move on from this pandemic,” Hutchinson told reporters. Hutchinson told reporters he’s still reviewing the bill, but the delayed effective date makes it more favorable to him. Hutchinson last month lifted the state’s mask mandate, but allowed cities to impose their own requirements. The cities of Fayetteville and Little Rock have local mask mandates in place.
Proposed property tax cap hits fierce resistance in Nebraska
(AP) — A proposal to cap Nebraska property tax increases at 3% appeared to stumble Thursday amid fierce opposition from allies of local governments, who cast it as an attack on local control. The measure would apply to school districts, counties, community colleges and other local governments that collect property taxes. Property taxes are a perennial issue in the Legislature even though they’re levied by local governments and not the state. Sen. Tom Briese, the new bill’s sponsor, said Nebraska faces a “property tax crisis” that will come to a boil if lawmakers don’t act. One lawmaker, Sen. Steve Erdman, of Bayard, is pushing to replace all property taxes with a “consumption tax,” similar to a sales-and-use tax.
Man killed by deputy recalled as storyteller, jokester
Glenda Brown Thomas displays a photo of her nephew, Andrew Brown Jr., on her cell phone at her home in Elizabeth City, N.C., on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Brown was shot and killed Wednesday by a sheriff's deputy, who was attempting to execute a warrant. Brown was shot and killed Wednesday by a sheriff's deputy, who was attempting to execute a warrant. The 42-year-old Elizabeth City, North Carolina, man was shot to death Wednesday by a deputy sheriff trying to serve a search warrant. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II has said a deputy from his department shot Brown, but that a Dare County law enforcement officer was also present.
George W. Bush Says He Wrote-In Condoleezza Rice in 2020 Election and Clarifies 'Nativist' Comment
Wesley Hitt/Getty; Noam Galai/Getty George W. Bush (left), Condoleezza RiceDays after George W. Bush called Trump-era Republicans "isolationist" and "protectionist" and not "my vision" of the party, the former president walked back some of that criticism in an interview with PEOPLE for next week's issue. • For more on George W. Bush's new project and his life now, subscribe now to PEOPLE or pick up next week's issue. The portraits are also on view in an exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. And he's a contributing member of our society, he's engineer and he's smart and he's capable." RELATED: George W. Bush Admits He's Thought About Commenting on His Successors as He Presides Over Citizenship CeremonyDuring his presidency, Bush unsuccessfully pushed Congress to pass major immigration reforms.
John Kerry criticises Donald Trump for pulling out of Paris accord ‘without any facts, without any science’
(AFP via Getty Images)John Kerry denounced former President Donald Trump for withdrawing the US from the landmark Paris treaty, which the former Secretary of State signed in 2015. “The younger generation is today appropriately pretty upset at the adults, the alleged adults, who are not getting their act together” to address the climate crisis, he said. Mr Biden announced the US’s non-binding emissions target as part of a two-day White House climate summit with world leaders. “No politician in the future is going to undo this, because all over the world, trillions of dollars, trillions of yen, trillions of euros are going to be heading into this new marketplace,” he said. Story continues“The world as a whole is moving in this direction, because these companies have made this critical long term strategic marketing judgment,” he said.
Mondaire Jones accuses GOP lawmakers of bringing ‘racist trash’ to House debate as DC statehood bill passes
(Getty Images)As lawmakers in the House of Representatives prepared to vote for a second time to make Washington DC the nation’s 51st state, Democratic congressman Mondaire Jones fired back at Republicans who have criticised the effort. “I have had enough of my colleagues racist insinuations that somehow the people of Washington DC are incapable or unworthy of our Democracy,” the New York lawmaker told the House of Representatives on Thursday. Mr Jones objected to remarks from Republican Senator Tom Cotton who said statehood would prevent the nation’s capital from being a “well-rounded working class state”. “I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word ‘white’,” said Mr Jones, who is Black. “Democrats’ partisan push for DC statehood is irresponsible and represents exactly what the Founding Fathers sought to guard against when establishing the seat of the federal government,” he wrote.
Kerry on Biden climate pledge: 'We had to prove that we were serious'
The former secretary of state then lamented Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris accord, which Kerry himself had signed. President Biden signed an executive action to rejoin the agreement on his first day in office. It was, as Kerry noted, the first in a series of steps the administration is taking to try to repair global alliances and slow climate change. On Thursday, Biden hosted an international climate summit with world leaders at which he pledged to cut U.S. carbon emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030 over 2005 levels. President Biden and climate envoy John Kerry taking part Thursday in the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate.
What is the Paris climate agreement and why did the US rejoin?
The announcement comes after President Joe Biden reversed predecessor Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement. What is the Paris Agreement? The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. And scientists say the rollout of the agreement must be stepped up to have any chance of curbing dangerous climate change. Under President Biden, the US has rejoined the Paris AgreementBut President Biden pledged to return the US to the Paris Agreement and make the fight against climate change a top priority of his administration.
State lawmakers continue crusade against Roe vs. Wade with flood of new abortion bills
Andrea Albury, left, and daughter Ella Albury, 15, take a selfie outside the Supreme Court on Jan. 29 during the antiabortion March for Life. "What's happening this year is a continuation" of the flurry of strict abortion bills in 2019, said Kristin Ford, national communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice America. "I don't read minds and I don't place bets on Supreme Court cases," said Katie Glenn, government affairs counsel at Americans United for Life. Arizona's Barto is among the state lawmakers who have introduced legislation to chip away at abortion access. The decision conflicts with decisions in other federal districts, teeing up an opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in.
Biden Weighs Raising Capital Gains Rate to Over 40 Percent
President Biden is expected to announce a proposal to nearly double the capital gains tax rate in order to help fund a forthcoming spending package, according to multiple reports. The proposal would set the capital gains tax rate for individuals earning over $1 million at 39.6 percent, two people familiar with the plan told Bloomberg. When combined with an existing federal surtax on investment income, investors could pay federal taxes at a rate of as high as 43.4 percent. New Yorkers making over $1 million would see combined federal and state capital gains tax rates of as high as 52.22 percent, while California residents in the same income bracket could see a 56.7 percent combined federal and state capital gains rate. Stocks fell sharply following news of the potential tax increase on Thursday, with the Dow Jones dropping 400 points.
Housing agency ends Trump-era anti-transgender shelter rule
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is withdrawing a Trump-era policy that would have allowed taxpayer-funded homeless shelters to deny access to transgender people. “Access to safe, stable housing — and shelter — is a basic necessity,” said new HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “Unfortunately, transgender and gender-nonconforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cisgender people. But under Trump and his housing secretary, Ben Carson, HUD proposed a modification to the rule that would have allowed single-sex homeless shelters to deny transgender people access. “Housing saves lives, especially for the trans community who face disproportionate rates of violence and homelessness.
Supreme Court rules against juvenile sentenced to life without parole
The “argument that the sentencer must make a finding of permanent incorrigibility is inconsistent with the court’s precedents,” Kavanaugh wrote. The court upheld the life without parole sentence a Mississippi court imposed on a 15-year-old who stabbed his grandfather to death in a dispute over the boy’s girlfriend. Former president Donald Trump’s three Supreme Court nominees were key to the 6-3 ruling, which was written by one of them, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “Such an abrupt break from precedent demands ‘special justification,’ ” wrote Sotomayor, quoting a Kavanaugh opinion from last term. a good-faith disagreement” over “how to interpret relevant precedents.”“The dissent thinks that we are unduly narrowing Miller and Montgomery,” Kavanaugh wrote.
Bill to combat hate crimes against Asian Americans passes Senate with bipartisan support
The crime heightened the pressure on Congress to respond to the rise in attacks against the Asian American community. “This Congress, with Democrats controlling the House, the Senate, and the White House, D.C. statehood is within reach for the first time in history,” she said. But the political odds remain formidable, with the Senate filibuster requiring the support of 60 senators to advance legislation. Not even all Senate Democrats have backed the bill as the clock ticks toward the 2022 midterm election. That plan focused largely on physical infrastructure spending, like repairing bridges and water pipes and building electric vehicle charging stations, and was funded by tax increases on corporations.
Russian minister orders partial pullback from Ukraine border region
The huge buildup on the Ukrainian border was in place while he spoke. AdvertisementA Russian ban on civilian air traffic near the Ukrainian border until Saturday also remained in effect Thursday. The tensions have been elevated since 2014, when Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula and backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. In Ukraine, many had feared that the buildup — which officials in Kyiv said included some 110,000 Russian troops — could be the prelude to a Russian annexation of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine or an outright invasion. But Ukrainian officials said they continued to be prepared for an escalation of the conflict.
Obama: All the facts not yet known in Syria
President Barack Obama says the United States doesn't know how or when chemical weapons were used in Syria or who used them. President Barack Obama says the United States doesn't know how or when chemical weapons were used in Syria or who used them.
Map: The night Kristin Smart disappeared
At the time of her disappearance, both Smart and Paul Flores were 19-year-old students living in residence halls at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. San Luis Obispo1 / On the night of May 24, 1996 — the Friday of Memorial Day weekend — Kristin Smart attended a party off campus, at 135 Crandall Way. 2 / One of the students with Smart left the group when they reached Perimeter Road, on the campus. 3 / Smart shared a room in Muir Hall with a roommate, who had gone out of town for the holiday weekend. That roommate later said she found no sign that Smart had been in the room after the party.
Oakland: Kaiser Permanente to pay Black employees in $11.5 million settlement
Health care giant Kaiser Permanente has agreed to pay $11.5 million to settle claims going back 15 years that it illegally discriminated against thousands of Black employees — half of them in the Bay Area — by denying them equal pay and promotions. The 111-page settlement, which requires court approval, would resolve a class-action lawsuit claiming Kaiser’s alleged bias affected 2,225 Black workers in administrative support and consulting services in California. The deal announced Thursday by the plaintiffs’ law firm noted that Oakland-based Kaiser, a non-profit consortium with about 217,000 employees, denies wrongdoing. A White, female executive demoted Stewart while promoting an executive assistant to senior manager, the suit alleged. If the expert finds Black workers are underpaid, Kaiser would adjust compensation and pay back employees accordingly.
COVID-19 hate crimes bill to fight Asian American discrimination passes Senate
The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act cleared the chamber in a 94-1 vote Thursday. It would expedite the Justice Department's review of hate crimes and would designate an official at DOJ to oversee the effort. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., would establish grants to aid local and state governments to encourage more training on hate crimes for law enforcement, establish hate crime hotlines and allow for a "rehabilitation" effort for perpetrators of hate crimes. For more than a year, reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans have climbed. Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group tracking hate incidents, said it had received nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents across the country since March 2020, compared with roughly 100 incidents annually in previous years.
In District 10, Dallas City Council member Adam McGough faces challenge from small newspaper publisher
The Dallas City Council elections are May 1; early voting has begun. For the second straight election cycle, the publisher of a small newspaper is challenging incumbent Adam McGough in the Dallas City Council District 10 race. Sirrano Keith Baldeo, publisher of Dallas Pulse News, says McGough doesn’t represent the majority of the district. Spring 2021 Election Candidates for Dallas City Council - District 10 Compare the candidates’ answers to our questions in our Voter Guide. McGough voted against a $7 million reduction in the police overtime budget, a controversial decision that has split the City Council.
Colorado judicial department to pay $350,000 for inquiry into misconduct allegations and contract to quiet them
The Colorado Judicial Department will pay $350,000 for a comprehensive investigation into sweeping allegations of a hostile work environment and misconduct at the highest levels levied by its former chief of staff. The Post has also reported on allegations the department fosters a hostile workplace toward women. The contract pays $250,000 for the workplace environment inquiry and $100,000 for the investigation into the Masias contract. The inquiry stems from 2019 Denver Post articles that revealed Masias was given the contract though she faced termination over financial irregularities. A separate fraud investigation by Auditor Dianne Ray began in February when Boatright made the memo public following The Post’s stories.
After warning from cardinal, St. Sabina pastor says he’s encouraging ‘respectful’ support for Pfleger
A formal letter of support is available for downloading. Pfleger, the longtime pastor at St. Sabina known for his activism against gun violence, was accused in January of sexually abusing two brothers over 40 years ago. “But there are ways to support someone like Father Pfleger that don’t intimidate witnesses and victims into silence. “They’re trying to show vocal support for a man.,” he added. “We’ve always showed vocal support for their communities.
UK lawmakers pass motion saying China committing genocide
LONDON — British lawmakers on Thursday approved a parliamentary motion declaring that China’s policies against its Uyghur minority population in the far western Xinjiang region amounted to genocide and crimes against humanity. But it is another move signaling the growing outcry among U.K. politicians over alleged human rights abuses in China. The motion was moved by Conservative lawmaker Nus Ghani, one of five British lawmakers recently sanctioned by China for criticizing its treatment of the Uyghurs. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced increasing pressure from within his own Conservative government to take a tougher stance against Beijing over human rights abuses. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the measures were part of “intensive diplomacy” to force action amid mounting evidence about serious rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim people.
The war in Afghanistan: How it started and how it is ending
Because of their strong battlefield position and the imminent U.S. troop withdrawal, the Taliban have maintained the upper hand in talks with the Afghan government, which began in September in Doha, Qatar, but have since stalled. The Pentagon has said the militants have not honored pledges to reduce violence or cut ties with terrorist groups.
Hartford appoints interim inspector general to investigate police use of force while the search for permanent role continues
In February, the civilian review board was searching to fill various vacant positions, including a new chair and additional members and alternates. Hartford planned to have a permanent inspector by the time new reforms to the board took effect at the end of March, after the position was initially proposed over the summer in light of the Black Lives Matter protests over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police.
Stabenow honored by Bryce Harlow Foundation
Washington — The Bryce Harlow Foundation honored Michigan U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow at its annual awards ceremony, which was virtual due to the pandemic. Stabenow, who has served in the Senate since 2000 and chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, received the Bryce Harlow Award, which the foundation said honors an elected official "whose career is built on championing principles of integrity, dedication and professionalism." In a tribute video, General Motors Chairwoman Mary Barra said Stabenow embodies what it means to be a public servant. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, who has partnered with Stabenow on healthcare legislation, called her "relentless." The Bryce Harlow Foundation promotes the lobbying and government advocacy industry.
Census data expected to show Michigan losing another U.S. House seat
Washington — The Census Bureau is expected to soon confirm what has been forecast for years — that Michigan is poised to lose another seat in Congress due to population decline, going from 14 to 13 seats in the U.S. House. The loss of a House seat for Michigan would also mean one less Electoral College vote for the state in presidential elections, going from 16 to 15 votes. That projection is based on the July 2020 population estimate from the Census Bureau for Michigan at 9.9 million, which was released in December. "It doesn’t look like Michigan is close to potentially keeping the seat," said Kimball Brace, president of the Election Data Services firm in Virginia, which analyzes the Census data. It's unclear which Michigan district will be dissolved but after each of the 2000 and 2010 censuses, the House seats lost were in Southeast Michigan, forcing political battles each time in a new consolidated district.
Royal Oak memorial move foes await review of petitions
Opponents of a plan to move the Royal Oak Veterans Memorial inside a burgeoning downtown park believe they have gathered enough signatures to stop the relocation, but a city attorney said Thursday their petitions are under review. Citizens, including veterans who circulated petitions, calculated they needed 665 verified signatures to put the proposal before the city commission for a vote. Through an assistant, city clerk Melanie Halas referred questions from The Detroit News to the city attorney. “The city clerk has 45 days to review the petition signatures and also any question of whether there is sufficiency under state election laws.”McLaughlin declined to elaborate on what problems might exist with the petitions, submitted to the city clerk on April 6. Critics also want the city to refund $180,000 raised by citizens to move the memorial to its current site in 2007.
Ohio GOP lawmakers propose election changes, limiting drop boxes and allowing online ballot requests
COLUMBUS – Proposed changes to Ohio election law would eliminate voting on the day before Election Day, limit drop boxes and allow voters to request absentee ballots online. "It's something that Ohio voters want.”The proposal includes two priorities from LaRose, including creating a way to request absentee ballots online. Allowing the Ohio secretary of state to pay for postage to mail absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters. Requiring absentee ballot voters to use drivers' licenses and state identification cards as forms of identification first. That version would have required more forms of identification for in-person early voting and limited drop boxes to statewide emergencies.
Arkansas governor plans special session on income tax cuts
Asa Hutchinson announced plans Thursday to call a special session this fall for lawmakers to consider new income tax cut proposals. The Republican governor said he planned to call the special session when lawmakers return to the Capitol this fall anyway to take up congressional redistricting. Hutchinson made the announcement as lawmakers near the end of this year's session, with final votes in the coming days on the state's proposed $5.8 billion budget. Legislative leaders plan to recess the session on Tuesday but return in the fall once the U.S. Census Bureau releases redistricting data. Hutchinson did not propose a specific reduction and said he would work with lawmakers in the coming months on a proposal.
Arizona Legislature OKs abortion ban for genetic issues
"Aborting a child because there’s a genetic abnormality is not health care. You are euthanizing a child that has a genetic abnormality. It’s euthanasia, it’s not health care.”Republican Sen. Paul Boyer of Glendale made a blunt but similar argument. Democrats call that “personhood” provision a backdoor way to allow criminal charges against a woman who has an abortion. That GOP-backed amendment also clarified that the “personhood" provision does not ban in-vitro fertilization.
Edwards opposes bill to do away with concealed carry permit
John Bel Edwards indicated Thursday that he will use his veto pen to strike down a bill that would remove the requirement that gun owners have a permit to carry concealed firearms, if the proposal reaches his desk. The Democratic governor defended the current permitting process as appropriate to require several hours of training on safety and marksmanship and to provide gun owners with information about how they should interact with police if they carry a concealed weapon. And I feel very strongly about that. I also feel very strongly that a considerable majority of the people in Louisiana support the system we currently have,” Edwards said when asked about the proposal. Sen. Jay Morris, a Monroe Republican, wants to allow anyone 21 years or older in Louisiana — if the person isn’t barred from having a firearm because of a violent crime conviction or some other legal prohibition — to carry a concealed handgun.
Arizona Legislature OKs abortion ban for genetic issues
“I think we need to be honest with ourselves,” said Sen. Kelly Townsend, a Mesa Republican. "Aborting a child because there’s a genetic abnormality is not health care. You are euthanizing a child that has a genetic abnormality. It’s euthanasia, it’s not health care.”Republican Sen. Paul Boyer of Glendale made a blunt but similar argument. Democrats call that “personhood” provision a backdoor way to allow criminal charges against a woman who has an abortion.
Arizona Legislature OKs bill criminalizing abortions due to fetal genetic issues
Two doctors in the Legislature, however, said the measure would create problems. Rep. Randy Friese, D-Tucson, said there needs to be trust and communication between a doctor and a patient. "This bill will diminish both things,'' Friese said. Shah asked colleagues about having to make such a judgment call with the risk of a prison term. Sen. Kirsten Engel, D-Tucson, openly worried about the language declaring that a fetus has the same rights as "other persons, citizens and residents of this state.''
Bodies found in desert in 1980 ID’d as woman seeks parents
The attorney handling Neal’s trial and appeals refused to let the California investigators interview him but informed them they did not have to look any further for a suspect in the Ludlow killings, the department said. The department said he told them he picked up the couple while they were hitchhiking, took them to his home and shot the male victim during an argument over Neal’s physical advances toward the woman. “Investigators believe Neal sexually assaulted her then killed her,” the department statement said. In the interview, Neal said he believed the woman may have been from Arkansas and left a daughter behind to hitchhike across the country. He did not remember anything about the man other than that he looked like a “hippie.”In 2018, a Virginia resident and adoptee, Christine Marie Salley, hired a private investigator to find her biological parents.
How Kentucky's senators voted on hate crimes bill to fight Asian American discrimination
WASHINGTON – The Senate passed with overwhelming bipartisan support a hate crimes bill to address a drastic increase in violence and discrimination directed at Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act cleared the chamber in a 94-1 vote Thursday. It would expedite the Justice Department's review of hate crimes and would designate an official at the Justice Department to oversee the effort. Republicans had raised concerns that the first text was too narrow in defining the types of hate crimes. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., would establish grants to aid local and state governments to encourage more training on hate crimes for law enforcement, establish hate crime hotlines and allow for a "rehabilitation" effort for perpetrators of hate crimes.
Kentucky to reinstate work search requirement for unemployment benefits
People requesting Kentucky unemployment insurance benefits will soon be required to actively search for a job and report their efforts to the state. Starting May 9, people seeking benefits will need to make at least one job contact each week and report those details when requesting their bi-weekly benefits. Kentucky's Office of Unemployment Insurance suspended work search requirements last year when COVID-19 drove jobless claims to historic levels. But as the nation's economy rebounds and an increasing number of Americans get vaccinated against coronavirus, states are beginning to reinstate job search requirements, which are typically a normal part of unemployment insurance programs. South Carolina, Nevada and Idaho all recently announced they're resuming the work search requirements, joining other states that have already made the move.
A legal appeal may complicate Omni's ability to demolish Louisville's Odd Fellows Building
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In the latest chapter of the Odd Fellows Building demolition saga, a local historical society announced Thursday that it is filing a legal appeal of the Louisville Metro Council's decision to remove the building's landmark designation. Omni representatives said in 2019 that they hoped to build an entertainment center on the land where the Odd Fellows Building stands. Steve Wiser, the president of the Louisville Historical League, did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment. Arthur, who represents downtown, previously argued that the Odd Fellows Building doesn't meet all the standards required for local landmark status. "And if no one can answer that question, I really have no energy for anything that (the Louisville Historical League) is doing right now."
Dominic Cummings accused of being Downing Street ‘Chatty Rat’ leaker
Dominic Cummings was on Thursday night named by Downing Street sources as the person suspected of leaking text messages sent by the Prime Minister. The former chief adviser to Boris Johnson is the prime suspect in the leaking of messages which implicated the Prime Minister in two separate lobbying scandals. Number 10 sources believe Mr Cummings, 49, is “bitter” that the Government has been “making great progress” since he departed in acrimonious circumstances last November. The Prime Minister and his fiancée Carrie Symonds have faced a wave of hostile leaks and briefings in the past six months. The former adviser is understood to have had access to the text messages during his time working in government.
100 more people to be charged over Capitol riots, federal prosecutors warn
Federal prosecutors expect “at least” 100 more people will face charges for the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January, after more than 400 people have been charged in connection with the attack. Prosecutors are seeking a delay in his case, arguing the complexities of navigating a sprawling number of connected cases and evidence. More than 400 people face charges, and “the government expects that at least [100] additional individuals will be charged”, they said. “As the Capitol attack investigation is still on-going, the number of defendants charged and the volume of potentially discoverable materials will only continue to grow,” they argued in filings. Federal law enforcement has charged roughly 40 alleged members of far-right groups including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers militia with conspiracy.
New book gives a thrillingly dramatic account of the Cuban missile crisis
Experts may disagree, but distinguished Harvard professor of history, Serhii Plokhy, is pretty certain: too damn close. The crisis came during a tense 13-day stand-off after the U.S. discovered the Soviet Union had installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, uncomfortably close to America. Serhii Plokhy who is a Harvard professor of history, has penned an account of how America and the Soviet Union came close to nuclear war in October 1962. Had the hatch been bigger, there would have been nuclear war. After the crisis, Kennedy and Khrushchev signed a partial test-ban treaty.
Oklahoma Governor Signs Bill To Protect Drivers Fleeing A Riot
Republican Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma signed a bill on Wednesday that attempts to crack down on riots while providing protections to people who are trying to get away from a dangerous demonstration. The bill, HB 1674, protects people who flee from a riot. A group of protesters were removed from the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Wednesday after they disrupted the activities of the chamber. As reported by KFOR, Governor Stitt said in statement, “We are sending a message today in Oklahoma that rioters who threaten law abiding citizens’ safety will not be tolerated. Supporters of the bill say it protects the privacy of law enforcement and county officials, while critics see it as a hindrance to accountability in controversial police interactions.
GOP lawmakers in Oklahoma want to name a panhandle highway after former President Trump
Oklahoma's GOP-led Legislature is pushing to name a stretch of highway in the Panhandle after former President Donald Trump. The Oklahoma House on Thursday approved legislation to name a roughly 20-mile stretch of U.S. 287 the "President Donald J. Trump Highway." Republican lawmakers slipped two paragraphs about the highway into the Oklahoma Senate's omnibus bridge and highway naming bill, in which lawmakers typically seek to memorialize notable Oklahomans. Where would Oklahoma's Trump highway be located? The proposed Trump highway would stretch from Boise City to the Oklahoma-Texas border in Cimarron County.
HUD withdraws Trump-era proposal that would limit trans access to shelters
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has withdrawn a Trump-era proposed rule that would have allowed federally funded emergency shelters and other facilities to exclude transgender people and others based on gender identity. The Trump-era proposal would have allowed single-sex shelters to house only people whose assigned sex at birth — not gender identity — matches the sex of the shelter. The rule would've also given shelters leave to "subject transgender individuals to inappropriate and intrusive inquiries, deny them accommodations, and subject them to greater harassment," according to HUD. HUD is open for business for all," HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said. "Ensuring shelters are open to all will save lives."
Democratic push to make it easier to prosecute officers emerges as sticking point in policing bill talks
(CNN) A sweeping bill to overhaul policing practices in the United States still faces an uncertain future -- in large part because the two sides remain at sharp odds over whether to make it easier to criminally prosecute officers. "(Section 242) is off the table for me," Scott said, referring to the part of the law that Democrats are trying to amend. "It is," Bass told CNN when asked whether lowering the standard is essential to cutting a final deal. To resolve the sticking point, Scott has proposed an alternative: llowing police departments to be brought to civil court, not officers themselves. But Scott later wouldn't detail why he was opposed to Democrats' push to make it easier to criminally prosecute officers.
Black church leaders call for Home Depot boycott
A coalition of Black faith leaders in Georgia is calling for a nationwide boycott of Home Depot, arguing that the home-improvement retail giant has not strongly opposed the state’s new voting law. Timothy McDonald III, senior pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church and founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, warned that the group’s pressure campaign against Home Depot could escalate. Home Depot is Georgia's largest company by revenue, profit and employees. “This boycott of Home Depot — one of Georgia’s largest employers — puts partisan politics ahead of people’s paychecks.”"This insanity needs to stop,” he added. Boycotts in the past have aimed to pressure business leaders to push elected officials to change, but it's not clear Republicans will respond this time.
Desperate Netanyahu, Running Out of Time to Form Government, Lashes Out
Moments earlier, Bennett, who has in recent days has negotiated with Netanyahu, rejected the prime minister’s claims. Netanyahu, go for it, we’re behind you!” Bennett said in a statement to the press ahead of Netanyahu. Yet these long-shot attempts have so far come up short, with the right-wing Religious Zionism party refusing to join Arab lawmakers, forcing the prime minister to propose desperate measures. “It comes down to Bennett, he has to decide whether he is made of butter or steel,” Yossi Levy, another past consultant to Netanyahu, told The Media Line. The precarious position of Israel’s longest-tenured prime minister was demonstrated on Monday, when he suffered a stinging defeat in parliament’s first vote since the March elections.
Patriotic Millionaires Applaud House Vote to Approve D.C Statehood
WASHINGTON - Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 51, a bill to formally establish the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state in our union. H.R.51, which the House passed today, would finally end this inexcusable hypocrisy that has left more than half a million U.S citizens without an equal say in our government. Today's vote by the House of Representatives and the White House’s statement of support underscore just how vital D.C. statehood is to ensuring that our democracy is fair and representative of everyone who calls this country home. I hope the United States Senate will follow the leadership of the People's House and establish Washington D.C as our 51st state."
Sunrise Movement Responds to DC Statehood Vote: Democracy is Broken, Abolish the Filibuster
WASHINGTON - In response to the House of Representatives vote to grant D.C. statehood, Ellen Sciales, Press Secretary of Sunrise Movement, released the following statement:“Every good bill that passes in the House and dies in the Senate is a reminder that our democracy is broken. Today, Sunrise celebrates the hard work activists took to ensure the passage of D.C. statehood in the House. But the truth is, we cannot come close to fixing our democracy and granting D.C. residents the representation they deserve until Democrats get serious about abolishing the filibuster. “Today we remember that the filibuster, a significant obstacle to D.C. statehood, was popularized by white supremacists to prevent the passing of civil rights legislation. “Democrats have a majority in the House, Senate, and a President who claims he is ready to take action.
We Must Call Out Our Naked Emperors on the Climate Emergency
Here, Thunberg explains why she wants our leaders to move beyond "big words and little action" when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. On Earth Day 2021, April 22nd, at the Leaders' Climate Summit led by United States president Joe Biden, countries will present their new climate commitments, including net-zero by 2050. However, when you compare the overall current best-available science to these insufficient, so-called "climate targets," you can clearly see that there's a gap—there are decades missing where drastic action must be taken. But we must not forget that while we can fool others and even ourselves, we cannot fool nature and physics. If you call these pledges and commitments "bold" or "ambitious," then you clearly haven't fully understood the emergency we are in.
To Push for 'Big and Bold' Agenda, Bowman to Deliver Progressive Response to Biden's Congressional Address
Bowman's response will be aimed at praising Biden for strides he's made in representing progressives' policy priorities, while also pushing him to go further. "He laid out this agenda to be big and bold, and we're saying, 'Game on.'" @JamaalBowmanNY will offer a bold, progressive vision for how we will deliver jobs and care to the American people and make sure everyone who calls this country home can thrive. It's important for us as progressives to continue to push and continue to organize." Honored to deliver the response to President Biden's address next week with @WorkingFamilies.
Voting Rights Advocates Demand Senate Pass DC Statehood Bill After Historic House Vote
Voting rights advocates urged the U.S. Senate on Thursday to pass legislation establishing statehood for Washington, D.C., after the House's historic vote in favor of the move. The House voted for the second time in history to grant full representation to Washington's 700,000 full-time residents, passing the Washington, D.C. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who has represented D.C. in the House since 1991 but whose position doesn't allow her to vote on final legislation. Republicans forced him to withdraw his words, but the truth remains: Race is a critical factor in the long-term denial of rights for DC residents. #DCfor51” — Jane Seymour Fonda (@Janefonda) April 14, 2021"It's now up to the Senate to do what's right and finally give [D.C. residents] the justice they deserve!"
'Existential Moment for Our Country': Cori Bush Leads 90+ Dems in Calling for Abolition of Senate Filibuster
"It's D.C. statehood, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal legal and immigration reform, gun violence prevention, workers' rights—or it's the filibuster." "We urge Senate Democrats to do what it takes to pass an agenda that meets the needs of everyday people, including eliminating the filibuster," the letter continues. "It's D.C. statehood, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal legal and immigration reform, gun violence prevention, workers' rights—or it's the filibuster," Bush wrote. It's DC statehood, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal legal & immigration reform, gun violence prevention, workers rights—or it's the filibuster. "Filibuster reform is critical for advancing racial justice," Roberts added.
JOHN KIRIAKOU: Memo to Biden — What About the Other Whistleblowers?
And thanks to Darnella Frazier, we know the truth. Biden can set himself apart from his recent predecessors by supporting the work of whistleblowers, especially national security whistleblowers. The Trump administration went after Hale hard, and many of us thought that the Biden Justice Department would back off his prosecution. Darin Jones & FBI ContractsFBI whistleblower and former supervisory contract specialist Darin Jones is yet another example. Just don’t hold your breath that he will, nice comments to the Floyd family and about Darnella Frazier notwithstanding.
To Serve and Protect Whom?
He was born and brought up in Boston; I was raised in South Florida, and moved to Boston for college. But in his first few months of driving in Chicago, he discovered this was not necessarily so. (This astonished my husband, who, from prior experience in Boston, expected a pair of officers to keep each other honest—not in Chicago, apparently.) Once, I was driving home (on the South Side) with our foster daughter and got pulled over (defective brake lights? Rodney King’s case, remember, got into court only because some local guy wanted to try out his new video camera.
Biden Day Ninety-Four: The First 100 Days
Biden organizes forty leaders to meet over zoom for WH Climate Summit for Earth Day. LA using wastewater for drinking water due to water shortage from climate change. Vanita Gupta newly appointed first woman of color to be appointed associate attorney general. House voting on DC statehood then on to Senate which could be a problem due to fillibuster. Yeah for Biden
Lincoln City Elections: GOP Is Dangerous
When the Democrats swept the Lincoln city elections in 2019, the local economy was booming and there appeared to be blue skies ahead. Fortunately for the people of Lincoln, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and the five Democrats on the City Council rose to the occasion. All of this was done over the bitter opposition of right wing city council member Roy Christensen, Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Republican Party. Those decisions turned out to be correct ones and Lincoln has made tremendous headway in mitigating the pandemic. The GOP incumbent city council member has a budget that proposes lower taxes and more services at the same time.
Uncomfortable Talk Number Five: Our Lives Matter Too.
As a Black woman and a US Navy veteran who served during Desert Shield, it's even traumatizing to watch what happened to Lieutenant Caron Nazario in Windsor, Virginia. People are asking for accountability from the law enforcement officers. We are asking for accountability when a law enforcement officer does the unthinkable. We also need legislation for no knock warrants, no chokeholds, no traffic stops that lead into these deadly encounters with law enforcement officers. We need legislation that addresses mental health issues and wellness checks.
Iowa: Projecting a 9-fold increase in solar energy capacity this year, DM to go carbon-free.
I wrote a diary earlier this month detailing the fact that Iowa last year had substantially increased it’s wind power generation capacity and had nearly achieved 60% of the energy generated in the state being generated by wind power. I also talked a bit about solar energy development in the state and that our solar power generation is projected to increase as new projects come online. The Des Moines Register today has more details on these solar projects, which will result in a 9-fold increase in the state’s solar capacity. In all, the projects represent a combined 1,739 megawatts of solar power generation, some of which is already online. One of the 100 megawatt solar projects under development in the state is a MidAmerican project.
TX-06 Special Election: 3 Dems, a Wood and a Widow
Hope Springs from Field PAC has been organizing GOTV canvasses paired with the Issues Canvass concept to mobilize voters who have previously voted in Democratic primaries in the TX-06 special election for Congress. As a candidate for this seat in 2018, this is hardly a surprise, as it does appear that she has the highest name recognition among the Democrats running. Hope Springs from Field PAC is knocking on doors in the TX-06 special election. Almost all the local media has been directed at these elections, which is why name recognition is so vital in this special election. If you would like to support our efforts to increase Democratic turnout in the May 1st special election and force a runoff, please do:https://secure.actblue.com/donate/tx-06field
Today’s anti-trans legislation is only the beginning
For young children, this transition is purely social—using a different name and pronouns, and dressing in a gender-affirming way. Almost as soon as Arkansas’ bill banning transition care for minors passed, state Republicans introduced new legislation to deny trans people of all ages access to public restrooms. First they say trans children should wait until 18, then 21, and then even adults in their 30s are deemed incompetent to direct their own care. Using misinformation to poison the well of public opinion is a mainstay of both the anti-trans and anti-choices movements. Both the “partial birth” abortion bans and bills to deny transition care effectively leave the courts to determine which procedures are legal, based on confusing and inaccurate descriptions crafted by legislators, not doctors.
Morning Digest: Why Biden's New Hampshire success wasn't downballot destiny for fellow Democrats
Thanks to that 8-point margin, Biden won districts representing 232 seats in the House, while Donald Trump carried just 168. En route to that victory, Sununu won an extraordinary 366 seats in the House to just 34 for his opponent. As a consequence, fully 153 Democrats sit in seats Sununu carried, more than 80% of the caucus; unsurprisingly, no Republicans occupy any Feltes turf. There, Republicans reversed the 14-10 majority Democrats won in 2018 and took a 14-10 majority of their own. Larry Hogan, fellow Old Line State Democrats have known about his interest for some time.
Arizona GOP commissions bogus audit of election ballots to further 'election fraud' claims
Arizona’s Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, expressed her disgust at the attempt by her Republican colleagues to manufacture doubts about the state’s election results for political benefit. “They’re trying to find something that we know doesn’t exist,” said Arizona secretary of state Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, who serves as the state’s top election official. Wood himself claims to have donated $50,000 to the audit effort through his group, Fight Back. The GOP-led state senate has allotted $150,000 in Arizona taxpayer funds to the effort, but that will not cover the entire cost. The spokesman for the audit is a former Republican secretary of state named Ken Bennett.
Just Sayn', I've been in prisons and jails and can say that Derek Chauvin is having a rude awakening
A cell in the Administrative Control Unit at MCF-Oak Park Heights, operated at the highest level of security where Derek Chauvin is being held. (MN.gov)Derek Chauvin is being held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights to await sentencing. The correctional facility is in Stillwater, about 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis. Oak Park Heights operates at the highest custody level of any facility in the Minnesota DOC system. I’ve helped arrest drunk drivers and taken them to be processed at the county jail.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signs bill allowing drivers to hit protesters with their cars
I knew Oklahoma was a very racist state, but this new law is just a malicious invitation to vehicular mayhem against protesters and specifically People of Color. "We are sending a message today in Oklahoma that rioters who threaten law abiding citizens' safety will not be tolerated. I remain unequivocally committed to protecting every Oklahoman's First Amendment right to peacefully protest as well as their right to feel safe in their community," Stitt said, according to local ABC News station KAKE. House Bill 1674 makes obstructing a public road during a protest a misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The Oklahoma state Senate passed the bill last week in a 38-10 vote.
Watch the moment John Kennedy learns Stacey Abrams brings nothing but facts when she speaks
It eliminates ..." Apparently seeing that she wasn’t the stumbling, ill-equipt naysayer he might’ve assumed she was, Kennedy cut Abrams off to ask her other questions. x Republican Senator John Kennedy asks @StaceyAbrams to give him a list of provisions in Georgia’s new voter suppression law that she objects to. No, sir,” Abrams responded with a chuckle. It limits the voting hours ...”Kennedy interrupted yet again. x ‘You believe that the Georgia legislature made deliberate attempts to suppress the minority vote?’ asked Republican Senator John Cornyn.
HOLD ON TIGHT, FORMER GUY!
CIVIL CASESE. Jean Carroll Defamation SuitCarroll v. Trump, No.20-cd-07311, 2020WL 6277814 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 25, 2020)Plaintiff: E. Jean Carroll, Journalist and Advice ColumnistSDNY Proceedings: Opposing memoranda on Trump’s motion to stay filed in December, 2020. Mary Trump Fraud LitigationTrump v. Trump, No. Doe v. The Trump Corporation Class ActionDoe v. Trump Corp., No. filed Mar 30, 2021)Plaintiff: James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, two Capitol police officersOfficers filed suit in DC federal court Mar.
Postmaster General DeJoy is running a 'covert operation' to monitor social media
The bulletin is marked as "law enforcement sensitive" and was distributed through the Department of Homeland Security's fusion centers. It "includes screenshots of posts about the protests from Facebook, Parler, Telegram and other social media sites. Postal Inspection Service has federal law enforcement officers, Postal Inspectors, who enforce approximately 200 federal laws to achieve the agency's mission: protect the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which assesses threats to Postal Service employees and its infrastructure by monitoring publicly available open source information," the statement read. The "FBI declined to comment for this article and postal inspection service wouldn't tell me when they started their covert program that monitors social media," Winter said.
Justice Sotomayor shreds Kavanaugh opinion expanding life without parole for juveniles
Brett Jones, the man seeking to be released from a sentence of life without parole, was a victim of abuse by multiple people in his life, including the grandfather he stabbed to death—then tried to save with CPR. To Sotomayor, “the court is fooling no one” in the pretense that this was not a major rollback of earlier decisions—the kind of rollback that should require an admission that a precedent is being overturned. ”The Court simply rewrites Miller and Montgomery to say what the Court now wishes they had said, and then denies that it has done any such thing,” Sotomayor wrote. “The Court knows what it is doing.”Of course it does. It’s chapter infinity in “Republicans lie,” but it’s especially relevant as Kavanaugh lies in his official Supreme Court opinions, while writing for the Trump majority.
House Democrats to Senate Democrats: Honor John Lewis and voting rights, or preserve the filibuster
"I certainly think our focus ought to be on [the Lewis bill] and voting rights," said Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland, a member of the CBC. It could be gone very easily in January 2023 if states have free rein on keeping Democratic voters out of voting booths. x In states across the country lawmakers are working to chip away at the voting rights of Americans. It’s critical that we pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to safeguard the franchise of millions of voters. And it’s what the late Representative John Lewis—for whom the new Voting Rights Act is named—described in his final letter as 'the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society.'"
If Fox News seems a little desperate to reengage viewers, maybe that's because it is
At that point, Fox viewership appeared to splinter, with some loyal Fox viewers making the switch to even fringier conservative competitors Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN). Civiqs, on the other hand, is a measure of self-reporting—how frequently respondents say they are watching Fox News. In 2019, for instance, anywhere from roughly one-fifth to one-quarter of Civiqs respondents said they "frequently" watched Fox News. DO YOU WATCH FOX NEWS? In October 2020, prior to the election, 15% of respondents still said they watched Fox frequently, 31% said occasionally, and 54% said never.
Just one House Republican joins Democrats to pass legislation preventing a future Muslim ban
House Democrats also passed a second major piece of legislation stemming from the previous president’s discriminatory bans, approving Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s Access to Counsel Act by a 217-207 vote, with no Republicans joining. That bill ensures that citizens, legal residents, and travelers with legal status can speak to an attorney if they’re detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. “In many cases, these individuals had no opportunity to see an attorney or even call anyone for legal guidance. “The Muslim Ban was always wrong, needless, and cruel and failed to live up to the requirements laid out by the Supreme Court,” Chu tweeted. “Religious bans have no place in our country or our laws and today, we are voting to make sure this never happens again.”
Two inspector general reports show how Trump officials punished Puerto Rico and undercut the EPA
When it comes to getting funds to Puerto Rico, the inspector general’s report identifies a series of key changes that got in the way of taking effective action. Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017. HUD and OMB were still unable to even get much of the relief funding posted by a self-imposed deadline of May 2019. As the Post pointed out, OMB had never previously required any agency grants to go through a review process like the one targeted at funds for Puerto Rico. In the EPA inspector general’s report, the problem isn’t decisions that were made too slowly or given too much review.
Republicans demonstrate again how incapable they are at governing with infrastructure offer
Biden's proposal includes $115 billion to modernize the bridges, highways, and roads of the fossil fuel age. His proposal includes another $85 billion for public transit, $80 billion for Amtrak, and $174 billion to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, electrify 20% of school buses, and electrify the federal fleet. He'd spend $100 billion on broadband, $25 billion for airports, and $111 billion for water projects. This idea from Republicans is still basically just a sketch, but its lead author, West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, touts it as "the largest infrastructure investment Republicans have come forward with." But what they were talking about was an $800 billion offer from Republicans, one that showed they were serious.
Australian institute slammed for hyping up anti-China issues
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying speaks at a daily breifing. File photo: VCGThe Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed an Australian institute for spearheading anti-China forces and fabricating various anti-China issues, after it released a paper claiming that China is strengthening influence over the international community.The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) accused China of influencing foreign politicians, universities, multinational companies and overseas Chinese communities to advance China's interests through collecting intelligence information via different organizations.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that she did not know the basis of the paper, but she knew that some people from Australia have written articles, revealing that the institute has long received financial support from the US government and arms dealers, and is keen to fabricate and hype up various anti-China issues.US-based news outlet, the Grayzone, revealed that ASPI is a "right-wing, militaristic" think tank funded by US and Western governments, mega-corporations and an eye-popping array of weapons manufacturers, including Raytheon Australia, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, MBDA Missile Systems, Saab AB and Thales.Ironically, Australia's Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme - enacted by the center-right Liberal Party to monitor the alleged threat of "Chinese political interference" in the country - has revealed ASPI's extensive sources of foreign funding, including the US State Department, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the government of Japan and NATO, according to The Grayzone.Hua said that with such strong ideological bias, the institute was actually spearheading the anti-China forces and its academic credibility has been seriously questioned.The institute has fabricated reports on policies in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and its so-called report which was ridiculous and turned black into white, has become the laughin
Biden and Japan’s Suga present united front against China's assertiveness
President Joe Biden on Friday sought to present a united front with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to counter an increasingly assertive China as the U.S. leader held his first face-to-face White House summit since taking office. Suga said he and Biden agreed on the necessity of frank discussions with China in the context of Beijing's activities in the Indo-Pacific region. In a strongly worded statement on Saturday, China's embassy in Washington said Beijing was "resolutely opposed" to the joint statement, and that Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang were China's internal affairs. US President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga take part in a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on April 16, 2021. In another swipe at China, Biden told the news conference the United States and Japan will invest together in areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, genomics and semiconductor supply chains.
The coming war on China
I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency. Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a ‘winnable’ nuclear war against the Soviet Union. Charles Gatward: The Coming War on China, Darmouth Films Advert'Punish' ChinaIn Washington, I met Amitai Etzioni, distinguished professor of international affairs at George Washington University. He wants to ‘punish’ China for extending its defences to the South China Sea. In Sydney, Australia, Harris called on China to ‘tear down its Great Wall in the South China Sea’.
How People in Taiwan View Mainland China and the U.S.
Still, even as people are skeptical about closer political relations, half would embrace closer economic ties with mainland China. Younger people are particularly likely to support closer relations with the U.S., and they are less likely to embrace closer relations with China. Supporters of the Kuomintang (KMT), the opposition party that ruled Taiwan for decades prior to 2000 and favors closer relations with the mainland, favor mainland China. Favorable views of the U.S. among this group are three times higher than toward mainland China (75% vs. 23%). While many in Taiwan welcome greater economic relations with Beijing, few support closer political ties with mainland ChinaIn Taiwan, people tend to have negative views when it comes to mainland China.
Taiwan conflict: Australian military prepares for worst-case scenario
Concern is mounting throughout the region, and Taiwan accuses China of sending 25 military aircraft into its air defence identification zone this week – a record incursion. The chief of Australia’s Defence Force, Angus Campbell, cautioned that conflict in the Taiwan Strait would be “disastrous” and urged Beijing to resolve its differences with Taiwan’s leaders through dialogue. Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornets could be dragged into a conflict over Taiwan. Sources and academics said that while a military conflict remained unlikely, Australia wanted to send Beijing a signal that further incursions by Mr Xi’s forces into Taiwan’s territory would not be tolerated. “There has been a lot of thinking done on this and other contingencies – but nothing that you wouldn’t expect the department would be doing as part of prudent military planning,” the source said.
Poll shows highest ever support for Taiwan independence
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Over half of Taiwanese support formal independence for their country, according to a survey released by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) on Monday (June 22). Around 54 percent of respondents support official independence for Taiwan. Meanwhile, 23.4 percent prefer maintaining the status quo, 12.5 percent favor unification with China, and 10 percent do not hold any particular view on the matter, the survey found. The number of Taiwanese in favor of the status quo dropped by 3.4 percent, and those backing unification edged up a slight 0.8 points, reported Newtalk. Separately, around 66 percent of Taiwanese back the government’s stimulus voucher scheme set to kick off in July, according to the poll.
US State Department accusation of China ‘genocide’ relied on data abuse and baseless claims by far-right ideologue
The Trump and Biden administrations have relied on the work of a right-wing religious extremist, Adrian Zenz, for their “genocide” accusation against China. Both President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Anthony Blinken have endorsed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s last-minute accusation of “genocide” against the Muslim Uyghur population in China’s Xinjiang province. Otherwise, any birth control program provided to an ethnic group would be prima facie evidence of a policy of genocide against the group. Both official Chinese figures and Zenz agree that the Uyghur population in Xinjiang increased significantly between 2010 and 2018. That means the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew by a staggering 25.04 percent.
‘Independent’ report claiming Uyghur genocide brought to you by sham university, neocon ideologues lobbying to ‘punish’ China
US media hailed a Newlines Institute report accusing China of Uyghur genocide as a “landmark” independent analysis. A majority of the report’s “expert” signatories are members of the Newlines Institute and the Wallenberg Centre. “New” report regurgitates old, discredited “evidence”The Newlines report presents no new material on the condition of Uyghur Muslims in China. A majority of the signatories are members of the two think tanks behind the report, the Newlines Institute and the Wallenberg Centre. Newlines Institute recently took steps to counter rumors of IIIT’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Online Event: China's Power: Up for Debate 2020 - Debate 4
Online Event: China's Power: Up for Debate 2020 - Debate 4Proposition: Within the next five years, China will use significant military force against a country on its periphery. The China Power Project will host its fifth annual conference as a series of five live online debates. Under President Xi Jinping, China’s military capabilities have continued to grow. China has stepped up military pressure on Taiwan and conducted frequent large-scale military exercises in the South China Sea. China’s last significant uses of force were in the 1980s along the land border with Vietnam, and in the 1988 clash over Johnson South in the South China Sea.
Why Europe's future is on the line in the Taiwan Strait
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) transits the Taiwan Strait. Sean Lynch via ReutersThe risk of conflict between China and the United States in the Taiwan Strait is rising. The consequences for Europe of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait would extend well beyond the economic realm. Of course, in the event of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait, the United States could also choose not to defend Taiwan against China, averting a conflict between great powers. And yet despite all these incentives, Brussels isn’t doing much at the moment to preserve the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.
Now Is the Right Time for a Trade Agreement with Taiwan
Now Is the Right Time for a Trade Agreement with TaiwanMay 27, 2020This piece is part of the Strategic Trade series supported by the Atlas Network. A bilateral trade agreement will help secure vital supply chains and draw Taiwan’s crucial technology capacities closer to the United States. For example, a U.S.-Taiwan agreement could enshrine important principles on data privacy and cross-border data flows, right on China’s frontier. For similar commercial reasons, other nations have preceded the United States in going forward with bilateral trade agreements with Taiwan. Taiwan now has eight bilateral trade agreement partners, including fellow Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) economies Singapore and New Zealand.
Protecting Democracy in an Age of Disinformation: Lessons from Taiwan
Protecting Democracy in an Age of Disinformation: Lessons from TaiwanJanuary 27, 2021Taiwan has long defended itself from political meddling, including disinformation, by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). While CCP disinformation campaigns pose a clearly identifiable threat to the United States and Taiwan, they are only one part of a larger disinformation problem facing democracies in this era of instant and omnipresent communication technologies. Indeed, the experience of both Taiwan and the United States suggest that rival political parties are incentivized to exaggerate and weaponize charges of “foreign interference” against each other—charges which often are more damaging to underlying trust levels in a democracy than the original foreign disinformation attacks themselves. This report was made possible by the generous support of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO). All opinions expressed herein should be understood to be solely those of the authors and are not influenced in any way by any donation.
Taiwan’s democracy and the China challenge
So, the stakes for Taiwan’s democracy are high. 68% thought that Taiwan was a democracy, though some thought it had “minor problems.”63% were satisfied with the way democracy worked in Taiwan. PerformanceThat two out of three respondents were generally satisfied with their political system is not a bad approval rate. Yet meeting the China challenge is made all the more difficult because decisions must be processed through Taiwan’s democratic system. ConclusionAs noted, intra- and inter-party splits, protests, referendums, and populism reflect dissatisfaction with the performance of Taiwan’s system of representative democracy.
Hedges: The Unraveling of the American Empire
(Image by Mr. Fish/Scheer Post) Details DMCAAmerica's defeat in Afghanistan is one in a string of catastrophic military blunders that herald the death of the American empire. These liberal interventionists, the useful idiots of imperialism, attempt to civilize a process that was created and designed to repress, intimidate, plunder and dominate. The liberal interventionists are also the tip of the spear in the campaign to rachet up tensions with China and Russia. It is the fatal disease of empire, captured in Graham Greene's novel "The Quiet American" and Michael Ondaatje's "The English Patient." For example, the United States routinely kidnapped Islamic jihadists fighting in the Balkans between 1995 and 1998.
Useful Idiots Are Still Useful
The hardest thing for me, as a very smart person, with a smart mouth, and a smart aleck attitude, to learn and fully internalize has been this:Don't judge. Is this politician focused on getting my vote telling the truth or blowing smoke? Don't make final declarations which cut you off from any further understanding or appreciation, whether it's about a person or a circumstance. And the undeniable truth is, sometimes it feels great being part of some "community" of people doing the same thing. Make no mistake about it: USEFUL IDIOTS ARE STILL USEFUL!
Congressional Democrats to Biden: Pour Some SALT on That Infrastructure
The SALT cap, implemented when Donald Trump was president and the GOP still held congressional majorities, is a "man bites dog" issue that places Democrats and Republicans opposite their usual supposed sides. The SALT cap limits those deductions to $10,000 per year. Because an unlimited SALT deduction means that state governments get a sort of free ride on their own tax rates. The SALT cap encourages people and their wealth to move from "blue" states to "red" states. But if we're going to have them, federal tax policy shouldn't be manipulated to artificially benefit tax-happy state governments.
Putin Isn't Bluffing on Ukraine
It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source. From AntiwarRussian President Vladimir Putin's stern warning earlier today not to cross what he called Russia's "red line" needs to be taken seriously. Putin prefaced his his unusually pointed remarks by saying Russia wants "good relations " including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. Russian officials have long believed that the United States is conducting its own 'influence campaigns' to undermine Russia, weaken President Vladimir Putin, and install Western-friendly regimes in the states of the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. It would be interesting to read the Russian counterpart assessment of the threats they face.
Some Comments in the Light of the Afghanistan Withdrawal
The Graveyard of EmpiresBefore going further, we do have to visit the old saying about Afghanistan: "It is the graveyard of Empires." (At the beginning of the Taliban military expansion in the early 2000s Iran provided aid to U.S. forces, on its porous Eastern border with Afghanistan. This came to an end when the Bush Administration went full-bore against Iran with the "Axis of Evil" speech.) As it happens, one of the reasons that it is the Graveyard of Empires is that Afghanistan is a very complex country and always has been. (Afghanistan borders on several of the Central Asian nations --- e.g., Turkmenistan, Tajikstan, that had been part of the Russian Empire and under the Soviet Union were "Constituent Republics.")
How 1.5 Became the Key to Climate Progress
Even though the temperature had risen less than one degree Celsius, we were already seeing extensive Arctic ice melt, for instance. This is affecting the very stability of global climate regulators. Under international law, the central Arctic Ocean is part of the "high seas," because it lies outside the jurisdiction of any nation. The Russians' submission is the most ambitious and contentious, extending all the way to the North Pole and across the central Arctic Ocean. We must pause the mad rush to exploit a very fragile and essential global climate regulator, in order for science to catch up and emission cuts to kick in.
Biden Opens Climate Summit With Pledge to Cut US Emissions in Half by 2030
Part of the Series Covering Climate NowThis story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. President Joe Biden on Thursday has pledged to cut carbon emissions from the U.S. to half of what they were in 2005 by the end of this decade. His announcement came on the first day of a virtual climate summit hosted by Biden. Climate Action Network, calls on Biden to cut domestic emissions by 70 percent of what they were in 2005. Meanwhile, before the pandemic hit, oil and gas production was soaring, which Biden has done little to address, climate advocates say.
House Passes Bill to Grant DC Statehood With Zero Republican Votes
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C., the 51st state. Republicans are staunchly opposed to granting D.C. statehood, fearing that the Democratic-leaning area would give Democrats more votes in Congress. If the filibuster is abolished, as progressive activists, Senate Democrats and House Democrats are pushing for, statehood for D.C. could very well become a reality. “Today, every member of the House of Representatives who voted in favor of DC statehood made the decision to believe in a stronger, more inclusive Democracy.”The last time the House passed a bill granting D.C. statehood was in 2020 when it also passed along party-line votes with no Republicans in favor. “The House just passed D.C. statehood.
Bill passes to fight Asian American hate crimes
Bill passes to fight Asian American hate crimesThe Senate passed a bill that would help combat the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, a bipartisan denunciation of such violence during the coronavirus pandemic.
'Finally taking a stand'
Protesters and grieving loved ones are asking for answers after a Black man was fatally shot by a deputy in North Carolina. Protesters ask for details after a North Carolina deputy fatally shoots a Black manMore than a day after a Black man was fatally shot by a North Carolina deputy, protesters and grieving loved ones are waiting for answers as to what happened. Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed early Wednesday morning in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, when a deputy served a search warrant at Brown's home. The legislation, named the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, passed with a 94-1 vote. Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., a co-author of the legislation, said at a rally Monday that "we are finally taking action in Congress" after a year that saw increased reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans.
Tim Scott picked to deliver Republican response to President Biden's first address to Congress
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott has been chosen to given the Republican rebuttal to President Joe Biden's first joint address to Congress on Wednesday, GOP leaders announced Thursday. Scott, the only African American Republican in the Senate, is seen by many as a rising star in Washington after also having a prominent speaking position during the 2020 GOP convention. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, who announced the choice, praised Scott as "not just one of the strongest leaders in the Senate. Scott, a South Carolina Republican, is well-liked in conservative circles but also known as someone willing to reach across party lines. "He is a conservative optimist with the right vision for a stronger, more united country," House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, of California, said in a statement.
Biden, Calling for Action, Commits U.S. to Halving Its Climate Emissions
The stakes are enormous, for Mr. Biden and for the planet. The latest pledge puts the United States almost on par with Europe, but still behind Britain. On climate finance, the Biden administration promised to double its contribution to help developing countries address climate change, to an estimated $5.7 billion by 2024. That underscores a central fact: Mr. Biden’s promise is little more than that — a promise. But those rules alone are unlikely to add up to the steep emissions reductions necessary to meet Mr. Biden’s ambitious new target.
Tim Scott to offer GOP response to Biden’s joint session address to Congress
Sen. Tim Scott was tapped to offer the Republican response to President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Thursday. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s in full support of Tim Scott speaking after President Biden’s address. Andrew Harnik/APHis rebuttal to Biden’s upcoming speech comes as Republicans look to navigate where the party should head in a post-Trump period. I’m glad he’ll be delivering the Republican Address following the President’s remarks on Wednesday,” McConnell tweeted. I look forward to hearing Senator Scott articulate that vision next week.”Sen. John Barrasso was among the Republican members of Congress to speak highly of Tim Scott.
Sen. Hawley lone ‘no’ vote on anti-Asian hate crimes bill
The US Senate passed a bill aimed at tracking anti-Asian hate crimes Thursday by an overwhelming majority of 94-1 — with Sen. Josh Hawley the lone “no” vote. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act would direct the Justice Department to expedite its review of anti-Asian racist harassment and attacks — which have spiked nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic — and to coordinate with local law enforcement to bolster reporting of those incidents. The House is expected to vote on the bill next month. In a referendum on the bill last week, 92 senators voted for it and six Republicans voted against, Hawley among them. Hours earlier, the Missouri Republican and Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2021 to the Senate.
Berkeley mayor: Defunding the police is 'reimagining public safety'
Berkeley, California, Mayor Jesse Arreguín, D., defended his city's recent decision to strip the police department of 12 percent of its budget during an interview with CNN Thursday by giving defunding the police a new name, calling it the "reimagining" of "public safety." "I think that’s reducing and reinvesting funds from our police department budget to focus on new approaches to public safety," Arreguin told host Poppy Harlow. "I think it’s unfortunate that the word 'defund' has really taken over this whole discussion around reimagining public safety. What we’re focusing on in Berkeley is just that, reimagining public safety, and looking at how we can create a safer community for all people in Berkeley." In July, New York City moved $1 billion away from the municipal police department budget and distributed it to mental health, homelessness and education services.
Sen. Tim Scott to deliver GOP response to Biden's first speech to Congress
Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, will deliver the Republican Party’s response following President Biden’s first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28, GOP leadership said on Thursday. "Senator Tim Scott is not just one of the strongest leaders in our Senate Republican Conference. Senate Republicans are looking forward to this address from our distinguished colleague," he added. The minority party traditionally delivers a rebuttal whenever the president makes a speech to Congress. Biden’s first speech to Congress is not considered a "State of the Union" address.
Texas AG sues Biden administration over COVID-19 risk at southern border amid migrant surge
"President Biden’s outright disregard of the public health crisis in Texas by welcoming and encouraging mass gatherings of illegal aliens is hypocritical and dangerous. TEXAS, MISSOURI SUE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION OVER SCRAPPING OF 'REMAIN-IN-MEXICO' POLICYThe Biden administration has been facing a spike in migrant encounters at the border, particularly in Texas. Shocking images have emerged of overcrowded facilities in places like Donna, Texas, where migrants were pictures packed together side-by-side, often without masks. "The Biden Administration is flagrantly and egregiously violating federal law, its own public health rules, the Administrative Procedure Act, and Title 42. TEXAS, LOUISIANA SUE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FOR 'REFUSING' TO TAKE CRIMINAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTSIt’s one of a number of legal challenges launched by Paxton.
Parent of high school student says students are being turned into 'activist' instead of being taught to think'
A parent of a high school student took issue with "critical race theory" being integrated into classrooms and children being turned into activists instead of being taught to think. "This is a tragedy of ideology called critical race theory. She wrote that the boy sent his "mother distressing videos from a mandatory lesson straight out of controversial critical race theory." Nomani wrote, "The lesson centered a Netflix film, '13th,' with controversial activist and Communist Party member Angela Davis and a biased narrative about policing in the United States. The 'Extra Resources' included a reference to "Black Lives Matter," with a link to the official website for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation."
Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill with bipartisan support
The Senate passed an Asian hate crimes bill Thursday, aimed at addressing the spike in attacks targeting the Asian-American community during the coronavirus pandemic. ASIAN HATE CRIMES IN NYC SKYROCKETED IN MARCH; MURDERS JUMPED 36%, POLICE SAYFox News could not immediately reach Hawley for comment on his decision. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer championed the bipartisan passing of the bill, calling it "proof" the divided Senate can still work together to get legislation passed. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP"The vote today on the anti-Asian hate crimes bill is proof that when the Senate is given the opportunity to work, the Senate can work to solve important issues," Schumer said Thursday. The bill will head to the House next where it is expected to pass with bipartisan support, though it is unclear at this time if the House GOP will favor the bill as strongly.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer lied about travels before Florida trip revealed: 'I was here in town the whole time'
Gretchen Whitmer lied about not traveling out of state in a podcast interview last week, saying she was "here in town the whole time." Whitmer admitted earlier this week that she traveled to Florida in March, despite cautioning Michigan residents against traveling out of state. WHITMER BLAMES MICHIGAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS ON TRAVELERSTed Goodman, the communications director for the Michigan Republican Party, blasted Whitmer for her travels, saying the problem wasn’t that the governor visited her dad but rather "that she lied about it." Whitmer previously responded to criticisms of her travels to the Sunshine State, saying that she was not vacationing in Florida and was checking in on her ill father. MICHIGAN LEADS US IN NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES AS WHITMER TAKES HEAT"It is saddening," Whitmer told The Washington Post Live.
House Republicans demand answers from VP Harris on 'politically motivated' border decision
EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans are demanding answers from Vice President Kamala Harris on whether a facility for migrant children in Florida has not been activated because of the Democrat's personal politics. During her visit on June 29, 2019, Harris criticized the facility and called out "human rights abuse" committed by the federal government. TOP REPUBLICANS REQUEST MEETING WITH KAMALA HARRIS OVER BORDER 'CATASTROPHE'A spokesperson for Harris did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe Homestead facility has long been controversial and viewed by Democrats and activists as a symbol of what was wrong with Trump's immigration policies. "The Homestead facility is empty!
Senators push to secure U.S. drug supply chain after disruptions during Covid-19 pandemic
Sens Elizabeth Warren, Tina Smith and Marco Rubio reintroduced legislation on Thursday to secure the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain by reducing dependence on China and other nations for the supplies needed to make life-saving drugs and vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that 80% of the manufacturers that produce ingredients for drugs are located outside the U.S., many in China and India. While the agency has been closely monitoring the supply chain, it does not have a clear understanding of where drug components are made. Warren and Smith, D-Minn., first introduced the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Defense and Enhancement Act in June 2020. Lawmakers worry that foreign manufacturers could restrict or even completely cut off the supply of critical drug components as geopolitical tensions rise.
New York City sues Big Oil for allegedly misleading consumers about climate change
New York (CNN) The City of New York has filed a lawsuit in state court against Exxon Mobil (XOM), Shell, BP (BP), and the American Petroleum Institute for allegedly misleading New York consumers about the role their products play in climate change and for allegedly "greenwashing" their practices to make them seem more eco-friendly than they are. "Three of the largest oil and gas companies and their top industry trade association—have systematically and intentionally misled consumers in New York City...about the central role their products play in causing the climate crisis," the lawsuit states. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the lawsuit during a press conference on Thursday, claiming that the companies and the API violated NYC's consumer protection law. "The petroleum industry created a multi-pronged, consistent greenwashing campaign in New York City to convince us of something that wasn't true and was dangerous," de Blasio said. A spokesperson for ExxonMobil pointed out that New York City recently had another climate lawsuit dismissed and that such actions "have no merit and do nothing to advance meaningful efforts that address climate change.
Biden capital gains tax plan for rich expected to pass, but with some changes
Democrats are expected to raise the capital gains taxes for the wealthy, but the plan is not likely to pass as proposed, policy strategists said. President Joe Biden has been expected to introduce a higher capital gains tax rate, totaling 43.4% for the wealthiest taxpayers earning $1 million or more, strategists said. However, they do not expect the plan to pass as proposed, and a compromise could reduce the tax rate or increase the income threshold. No matter how the plan is structured, it is expected to result in more stock market selling. "Certainly, there is a sell first, ask questions later mentality to this," said Brian Gardner, Stifel chief Washington policy strategist.
Prosecutors expect at least 100 more arrests for U.S. Capitol riot
"Over 400 individuals have been charged in connection with the Capitol attack," federal prosecutors said in a court filing on Thursday. The Justice Department made the disclosure in a set of similar court filings asking judges to postpone deadlines in pending prosecutions. Supporters of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6 stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from formally certifying President Joe Biden's election victory. The violence started shortly after Trump rallied his supporters and urged them to fight to stop the certification of Biden's win. A founding member of the Oath Keepers last week became the first person to plead guilty to taking part in the riot, and prosecutors have said other defendants are in plea discussions.
U.S. Senate passes bill to fight anti-Asian hate crimes
A woman holds a placard as she participates in a Stop Asian Hate rally at Columbus Park in New York City, U.S., April 3, 2021. REUTERS/Jeenah MoonA hate crimes bill to combat violence against Asian Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic passed the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly on Thursday, a rare bipartisan vote in the evenly divided chamber. The measure, authored by Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono and Representative Grace Meng, designates a Justice Department employee to expedite a review of hate crimes reported to police during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides guidance for local law enforcement agencies to report hate crimes, expand public education campaigns and combat discriminatory language in describing the pandemic. One change, the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, would provide funds to improve reporting of hate crimes and expand resources for victims.
CDC reassigns official who drew spotlight for pandemic warning
Messonnier remains the top respiratory disease official at the CDC and is still employed by the agency, the spokesperson said. A prominent respiratory disease scientist who has been at CDC for more than two decades, Messonnier led the CDC’s early planning for the nationwide distribution of coronavirus vaccines. The agency more recently has played a prominent role in the administration’s handling of safety concerns surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. But Messonnier first rose to prominence during the Trump administration, where she angered top White House officials early in the pandemic by warning that its impacts could be “severe." Messonnier clashed with the Trump administration over those comments, leading the administration to halt her regular press briefings and her appearances with the White House’s coronavirus task force.
Nina Turner’s Dark Money Pledge Sparks Accusation Of Hypocrisy
Although Our Revolution voluntarily discloses large donors, Brown, who also chairs the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, argues that it is a “dark money” group. Getty Images/Facebook Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator, left, leads Shontel Brown, a Cuyahoga County councilwoman, in direct fundraising. “Our campaign issued this pledge because Nina Turner is committed to a new type of politics where the people ? not corporate Big Money interests ? determine the outcome of elections,” Turrentine said. Since progressive groups refuse to unilaterally disarm, and big-dollar left-wing donors sometimes demand anonymity, progressive candidates associated with these groups and donors are sometimes vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy or inconsistency. She has committed to running a campaign without the support of corporate Big Money interests and she stands by that position.
HUD scraps Trump proposal on transgender access to single-sex homeless shelters
Thursday's announcement marked the latest move by HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge to undo policies implemented under her predecessor Ben Carson. Last week, HUD began to reinstate two Obama-era fair housing rules weakened by the Trump administration. According to HUD, transgender women report being excluded from women’s shelters at high rates. Transgender youth represent 1.8 percent of the youth population, but up to 6.8 percent of unsheltered homeless youth identify as transgender or gender nonconforming, the agency said. The agency is sending guidance and implementation materials to shelter providers, the HUD official said.
Judge orders third Proud Boys leader detained pending trial
The ruling is a victory for prosecutors as they continue to build the conspiracy case against the Proud Boys, a violent right-wing nationalist group that has supported Trump. Prosecutors charged Nordean, Biggs, Donohoe and a fourth Proud Boys leader, Zach Rehl of Philadelphia, with the conspiracy, and numerous other members of the group have been charged in separate indictments. Donohoe also excitedly informed members of the group during the Capitol breach that he and another Proud Boys member, Dominic Pezzola, had obtained a police riot shield. Although he doesn’t consider Donohoe to be a top leader of the Proud Boys, he compared Donohoe to a “trusted senior lieutenant” whom leaders relied upon to deliver messages to rank-and-file members. “Is there something else that we should be concerned about with respect to the Proud Boys, this group?”Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.
Yang accused of being 'out of touch' over LGBTQ comments
New York Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang's remarks were seen by some as out of place for a longtime city resident | Spencer Platt/Getty Images Yang accused of being 'out of touch' over LGBTQ commentsNEW YORK — Andrew Yang is facing blowback after comments made during an LGBTQ+ mayoral forum that some are criticizing as out of touch and insensitive. “I genuinely do love you and your community," Yang told the club Wednesday night. You make New York City special. “As if there weren't enough reasons to fear a Yang mayoralty,” said Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former Council speaker and a frequent critic of Yang. “He keeps showing us, through his actions, why his candidacy for mayor is all types of wrong for our city.”Yang’s campaign managers defended his comments.
New probe confirms Trump officials blocked Puerto Rico from receiving hurricane aid
However, investigators were able to interview 20 current and former HUD officials and two Puerto Rico housing officials. Ricardo Rossello, left, and his wife, Beatriz Areizeaga, in areas damaged by Hurricane Maria in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 3, 2017. Some HUD officials worried such requirements were potentially beyond HUD’s authority to impose on grantees. Throughout his term, Trump repeatedly opposed disaster funding for Puerto Rico while disputing and failing to acknowledge Maria's death toll. Under Trump, Congress had approved a total of $20 billion in HUD funds for Puerto Rico's post-hurricane reconstruction, a historic amount.
Housing agency ends Trump-era anti-transgender shelter rule
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP)Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Housing and Urban Development is withdrawing a Trump-era policy that would have allowed taxpayer-funded homeless shelters to deny access to transgender people. “Access to safe, stable housing — and shelter — is a basic necessity,” said new HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. But under Trump and his housing secretary, Ben Carson, HUD proposed a modification to the rule that would have allowed single-sex homeless shelters to deny transgender people access.
A Trump-McConnell power struggle creates landmines in GOP quest to retake Congress
The growing power struggle could have repercussions in the 2022 elections, when the party hopes to seize control of Democrats’ narrow majorities in the House and the Senate. Party officials recognize that Trump retains loyalty among the Republican base and that his endorsements carry weight. Speaking to a room full of Republican donors recently, Trump attacked McConnell for not objecting to the Electoral College count on Jan. 6. Senate Republican campaign officials say Greitens could have a difficult time winning a general election in a state that should easily be won by a Republican. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who is also in charge of the Senate Republican campaign arm and has 2024 presidential ambitions himself, is trying to keep Trump in the fold.
California Senate OKs supervised sites for drug users
The state Senate passed a bill on Thursday by just one vote that would allow the programs in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles County. Supervised injection sites have emerged around the world in recent years, part of a movement to rethink treatment for people addicted to powerful opioids — including heroin, fentanyl and some prescription pain killers. “We hope the administration will allow states to pilot evidence-based strategies like safe consumption sites.”In California, 45% of drug overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018, resulting in more than 2,400 deaths, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Overdose deaths involving fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, increased more than 800% during the same period. The California Legislature passed a bill in 2018 to let San Francisco offer injection sites, but former Democratic Gov.
Men who tried to crash into police building enter plea deal
Men who tried to crash into police building enter plea dealMUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Two Iowa men charged with terrorism after they tried to crash a vehicle into the Muscatine police headquarters have agreed to a plea deal. Gilberto Daniel Castillo also admitted to an additional count of operation while intoxicated and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Twelve years will be the maximum prison term Marc Anthony Castillo could face when he is sentenced May 7. The terrorism charge had carried a prison term of up to 50 years in prison. It ended up pinned between stone planters before reaching the building, and no one was hurt.
Ex-Michigan health chief ordered to testify about departure
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan health director Robert Gordon will testify next week before a legislative committee about his abrupt departure from Gov. Gordon ordered coronavirus restrictions for more than three months after the Democratic governor lost powers in a court ruling. He resigned in January as director of the state Department of Health and Human Services and received $155,000 in a separation agreement signed by the chief lawyer in Whitmer’s office. Amid criticism, the state and Gordon amended the severance deal last month to remove a confidentiality clause. “Robert is proud of his work during this unprecedented time and grateful to have served the governor and the state of Michigan.
Sahara’s Polisario Front chief gets COVID treatment in Spain
In this image made from video, Brahim Ghali, leader of the pro-independence Polisario Front speaks to a crowd in Tindouf, Algeria, Feb. 27, 2021. The leader of the Polisario Front that leads the struggle for the self-declared Western Sahara republic has been brought to Spain to receive medical treatment, it was announced Thursday, April 22. (AP Photo)In this image made from video, Brahim Ghali, leader of the pro-independence Polisario Front speaks to a crowd in Tindouf, Algeria, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo)MADRID (AP) — The man leading the Polisario Front in its fight for independence of Western Sahara is hospitalized in Spain for treatment of COVID-19, officials from Spain and the group said Thursday. Morocco has proposed wide-ranging autonomy for Western Sahara, but the Polisario Front says the local population has the right to a referendum.
Parson hopes to pick new Missouri health director quickly
Mike Parson said Thursday that he hopes to name a new state health director quickly to rebuild the agency after parting ways with the man who had led it throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The governor’s office announced the resignation Tuesday of Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams without providing any specific reason for his departure. Williams had been appointed to lead the health department in 2017 by former Gov. Parson, who had been lieutenant governor, kept many of Greitens’ top officials when Parson ascended to the governor’s office. As health director, Williams frequently accompanied Parson to briefings about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Countering Biden, GOP pitches $568B for infrastructure
The GOP’s slimmer infrastructure plan received a positive reception from the White House, with press secretary Jen Psaki characterizing it as a legitimate starting point for negotiations. Republican lawmakers have been quick to criticize the infrastructure proposal from Biden. The senators delivered their blueprint to the White House about 30 minutes prior to holding a press conference on it. “Any infrastructure proposal has to be green and cannot be paid for on the backs of working people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said. White House officials declined to confirm the precise numbers, but they emphasized that taxes would not increase for anyone making under $400,000.
World leaders pledge climate cooperation despite other rifts
President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. The entire world faces “a moment of peril” but also “a moment of opportunity,” Biden declared, speaking from a TV-style chrome-blue set for the virtual summit of 40 world leaders. The pandemic made gathering world leaders for the climate summit too risky. The format meant a cavalcade of short speeches by world leaders, some scripted, some not.
Anti-hate-crimes bill spurred by attacks on Asian Americans passes Senate overwhelmingly
The Senate on Thursday passed a bill meant to improve the tracking of federal hate crimes in the wake of a series of high-profile attacks against Asian Americans related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate bill, sponsored by Hawaii Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono, would require the Department of Justice to quickly designate a person to track and speed up the review of federal hate-crime reports and their prosecution. The bill as it passed eliminated that language and only referenced a pre-existing definition of hate crimes in federal law. The language for expanding hate crimes reporting and grants to boost reporting came from a separate bill introduced in early April. “We’ve all heard the sickening stories and seen the horrifying videos of Asian Americans being beaten, slashed and spat on.
Senate Republicans’ opening infrastructure bid: $568 billion
The proposal would be a far less expansive version of an infrastructure spending bill that the White House and congressional Democrats have been seeking. She said that Biden would invite members of Congress to the White House for discussions following his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. The proposed breakdown by infrastructure sector in the Republican bill would include:$299 billion for roads and bridges;$65 billion new money for broadband;$61 billion for public transit systems;$44 billion for airports$35 billion for drinking water and waste water projects;$20 billion for rail;$17 billion for ports and inland waterways;$14 billion for water storage; and$13 billion for highway and pipeline safety. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Any infrastructure proposal has to be green and cannot be paid for on the backs of working people. I haven’t studied it yet.”Wicker said the Republican plan should not be dismissed out of hand because of how much smaller it is than the president’s outline.
Biden to propose raising taxes on wealthy and on capital gains to fund childcare
Biden to propose raising taxes on wealthy and on capital gains to fund childcare FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Biden holds first Cabinet meeting at the White House in WashingtonBy Jarrett Renshaw and Trevor HunnicuttWASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden will roll out a plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and their investments to fund about $1 trillion in childcare, universal pre-kindergarten education and paid leave for workers, sources familiar with the proposal said. That would be the highest tax rate on capital gains taxes, which are mostly paid by the top 1% of Americans, since the tax was introduced in 1913. Any such hike would need to go through Congress, where Biden's Democratic Party holds narrow majorities and is unlikely to win support from Republicans. She said the administration had not yet finalized funding plans, but stressed Biden's determination to make the wealthy and companies pay for new programs. Wealthy Americans could face an overall capital gains tax rate of 43.4% including the 3.8% net investment tax on individuals with income of $200,000 or more ($250,000 married filing jointly).
Intel profit forecast, data center sales miss expectations; shares fall
Ten-year Treasury yields fell to 1.54% from an intraday high of 1.59% before Bloomberg’s report.The proposal could reverse a long-standing provision of the tax code that taxes returns on investment lower than on labor. Biden has warned that those earning over $400,000 can expect to pay more in taxes. For New Yorkers, the combined state and federal capital gains rate could be as high as 52.22%. “On the Finance Committee we will be ready to raise whatever sums the Senate Democratic caucus thinks are necessary.”(Updates with market close in fourth paragraph, carried interest background in 12th paragraph. )For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Anti-Asian hate-crime bill passes Senate 94-1, with only Republican Sen. Josh Hawley voting against it
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERSOnly one senator, Josh Hawley, voted against a bill addressing the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes. The bill would improve public reporting of anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic. Only one member, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, opposed the bill. Republicans last week expressed a willingness to work across the aisle when the Senate voted 92-6 to advance the bill.
Bill passes to fight Asian American hate crimes
“For over a year, anyone asking questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been branded as a conspiracy theorist. The world needs to know if this pandemic was the product of negligence at the Wuhan lab but the CCP has done everything it can to block a credible investigation,” Hawley said. “That’s why the Biden administration must declassify what it knows about the Wuhan lab and Beijing’s attempts to cover up the origin of the pandemic,” he continued. The Editorial Board at the Washington Post has called on Biden to declassify any intelligence associated with the lab. In April 2020, Hawley proposed legislation, the Justice for Victims of Coronavirus Act, that would allow American citizens to sue the Chinese government for damages.
Biden poised to recognize Armenian genocide soon, officials say
The Daily BeastRussian Defense MinistryFor weeks, Russia has been inflaming tensions in Eastern Europe by building up a mighty force of some 100,000 troops on the Ukraine border. On Thursday, the Kremlin announced it had achieved what it wanted with the exercise, and ordered its army to pack up and go home.According to BBC News, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made the announcement during a visit to Crimea, which was seized and annexed by Russia in the last major conflict in the region seven years ago. Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told The Wall Street Journal this week: “We don’t know whether Putin will decide to attack, but he will certainly be ready to do so.”Last week, during a call between President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, the White House said Biden had “emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” On Thursday, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged Western allies to punish Moscow’s threatening behavior with new sanctions.Later, after the withdrawal announcement, Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said: “We are monitoring the situation.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Derek Chauvin news: Floyd killer in solitary as police defend Nicholas Reardon shooting Ma’Khia Bryant
Derek Chauvin listens to the guilty verdict being read by judge Peter Cahill ((Associated Press))Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is expected to appeal his conviction after being found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd. The jury found Chauvin was:Guilty of second-degree unintentional murderGuilty of third-degree murderGuilty of second-degree manslaughterJoe Biden said the conviction of Chauvin in the killing of Mr Floyd could be “a giant step forward” for the nation in the fight against systemic racism. On Wednesday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland launched a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis, which “will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests”. Sentencing was scheduled for 16 June, exactly eight weeks from today. Read More:Read The Independent’s updates and analysis below.
Biden preparing to recognise Armenian genocide, risking backlash from Turkey
However, the sources also said Mr Biden could change his mind last moment given the importance of America’s bilateral ties with Turkey. Last year, Mr Biden said he would “support a resolution recognising the Armenian Genocide and will make universal human rights a top priority.”Last year, during his presidential campaign, Mr Biden commemorated the killngs said he would back efforts to recognise the atrocities as an act of genocide. “Today, we remember the atrocities faced by the Armenian people in the Metz Yeghern — the Armenian Genocide. If elected, I pledge to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and will make universal human rights a top priority,” he said on Twitter at the time. “Statements that have no legal binding will have no benefit, but they will harm ties,” Mr Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster Haberturk.
Senate Republicans reignite push for debt ceiling, spending cuts
Senate Republicans are pushing a return to fiscal austerity under President Biden, adopting a new internal party rule that requires dollar-for-dollar spending cuts in order to raise the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling – which is currently around $22 trillion – is the legal limit on the total amount of debt that the federal government can accrue. Biden and Democrats already approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill this year and are pushing for another $2.25 trillion spending plan that would be offset by new taxes on corporations. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESSSen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is one of the GOP lawmakers urging his colleagues to support offsetting any costs in the debt ceiling with spending cuts. I think Republicans agree that we have too much debt and that we have to figure out how to live within our means," Scott told NBC News.
Anti-Trump protester’s suit alleges LAPD projectile broke vertebrae at demonstration
The officer appears to be using a projectile shotgun that fires beanbag rounds. The complaint alleges that both anti-Trump and pro-Trump demonstrators had been “engaging in similar raucous but constitutionally protected behavior,” but that the LAPD had “turned on the anti-Trump demonstrators” to drive them out of the street with projectiles. The suit seeks unspecified damages for Khan, and names as defendants the city of L.A., the LAPD, Police Chief Michel Moore and Officer Aaron Green, whom it accuses of firing the projectile. Police said objects were thrown at officers, which led to them using the projectile rounds to clear the street. The order led the LAPD to announce an immediate moratorium on projectiles that fire 37-millimeter hard-foam rounds, as well as new restrictions on 40-millimeter rounds.
Feds push to extradite Phoenix driving school owner to Iraq
Ahmed, whose extradition hearing in Phoenix has been scheduled for May 25, has denied involvement in the killings and being a member of a terror group. He bought a home in Surprise on the northwestern edge of metro Phoenix and operated the driving school serving largely Middle Eastern immigrants. Four months later, Iraqi authorities say Ahmed and other men fatally shot Officer Khalid Ibrahim Mohammad as the officer was sitting outside a store. A State Department official said in court records that the United States has regularly extradited fugitives wanted in other countries, even though they haven't yet been formally charged. His lawyer also said there has never been a successful extradition of anyone to Iraq in the more than 80 years that the extradition treaty between the United States and Iraq has been in place.
The Spot: 3 major topics that Colorado’s lawmakers and leaders are focused on
Each day brings about 8,000 new things (rough estimate) that demand the attention of The Denver Post’s politics team. All of that would be on top of three other bills related to gun violence this session, two of which were signed into law this week. That lapse in leadership for more than 200,000 students ended this week when Douglas County School District named Corey Wise as the new permanent superintendent of the 63,000-student system. His appointment follows the announcement last month of new superintendents for Jeffco Public Schools (Tracy Dorland) and Cherry Creek School District (Christopher Smith). “We could see a real stress on the system of people ready to walk away.”Denver Public Schools is still looking to replace Susana Cordova, who resigned as superintendent of Colorado’s largest school district in November.
The Waukesha South High School student shot by police in a classroom confrontation has reached a plea agreement
WAUKESHA - Tyrone Smith, the former Waukesha South High School student who was shot by police inside a classroom in 2019, has reached a plea deal on a long list of criminal charges from that case and others that followed. In return, other serious charges — particularly a felony count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and a dozen other felony bail jumping counts — were dismissed. It all started on Dec. 2, 2019, when Smith confronted a friend who he felt had been taunting him in a classroom at Waukesha South. In August 2020, Smith was allegedly involved in an attack of another youth, whose girlfriend was acquainted with Smith. As a result of the August 2020 charges, Smith has served 244 days in jail, which will likely be considered for sentencing.
Stress-induced drug use during pandemic is reason to de-criminalize harder drugs: Foxx
Whether that was cocaine or heroin or Fentanyl or prescription drugs. I’m not making value judgements on which person used what type of drug to say that’s a disorder,” Foxx told the Sun-Times. It’s a public health crisis. There’s not been a leader in the public health space who has said otherwise. And yet, we used the criminal justice system to criminalize people who have addition issues,” Foxx said.
Supporters of union-backed energy bill that benefits ComEd question audit from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office that called for lower nuclear plant subsidies
Rezin, whose district includes three of Exelon’s nuclear power plants, took issue with the fact that Synapse has counted members of the renewable energy industry and environmental groups like the Sierra Club among its clients. She also criticized the Pritzker administration for providing a copy of the report, which cost taxpayers more than $200,000, to reporters before sharing it with lawmakers.
Aftab Pureval dominates fundraising in mayor's race, followed by Begtrup and Mann
Democrat Aftab Pureval raised more than twice as much much money as his nearest competitor this year in the race to become Cincinnati's next mayor. Pureval's campaign reports show he's hired a professional staff to run his campaign, paying his team at least $31,000 since January. Sittenfeld had raised before dropping out of the race in the wake of his arrest on federal bribery charges. Almost 43% of the money he's raised since Jan. 1 came from contributions of $1,000 or more. Donors who gave $1,000 or more accounted for 39% of Thomas's total raised since Jan. 1 and 44% of Mann's.
Three takeaways from the Enquirer's Cincinnati mayoral debate. Candidates grilled about corruption, housing, and police reform.
Here are three highlights from Thursday's debate:Pureval wants to change police responsePolice reform didn't yield many specifics from the candidates. Affordable housing money elusiveAll the candidates support more affordable housing. Pureval said some of the $291 million in federal stimulus money Cincinnati is expected to receive should go toward affordable housing. Disagreement over strong mayorThe recent corruption scandals on city council have loomed over the mayor's race. That involved five Cincinnati City Council members who violated open meetings laws with secret group texts.
Arizona election bill dies amid Republican infighting
“I have given my commitment to my constituents that we will fix all election integrity, not just this issue,” Townsend said in explaining her decision to oppose the bill modifying the permanent early voting list. But Republican Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita of Scottsdale, who sponsored the bill, said Townsend was throwing a “temper tantrum" and killing her bill “in a show of spite and in a rage." She said Townsend was angry that her own election bills died earlier in the session. “It's disappointing that someone who purports to care about election integrity, who purports to care about the voters, is deciding to kill a very important election bill,” Ugenti-Rita said. The same bill was killed earlier in the year by another Republican senator and was later brought back to life.
Oscar slate holds 'firsts' for Asian actors, filmmakers
It was not well-received at the time and provoked a lot of immediate social media backlash from people like actor Constance Wu and basketball player Jeremy Lin. The strides at the Oscars also come after over a year of a pandemic-fueled rise in racially motivated attacks on Asian Americans. It was not lost on anyone that the day after the Oscar nominations, a white gunman was charged with killing eight people, most of whom were Asian women, at Atlanta-area massage businesses. “It was this kind of high of like, oh, my gosh, Asians are finally being recognized for their excellence. And the fact that Asian excellence is being recognized, the more voice and platform Asian Americans have to be able to speak out against the hate.”The actors themselves have complex feelings about the moment and the “firsts.”
Vaccine booster: First lady visits ABQ medical clinic
Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque JournalRay Jaramillo was in the observation area at a South Valley medical center on Wednesday, after getting a COVID-19 vaccine shot, when in walked a bevy of television cameras, Secret Service agents, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and first lady Jill Biden. “It was a great thing, to be around people you believe in and trust.”Biden visited First Choice Community Healthcare, South Valley Medical Center, a nonprofit federally qualified health center, shortly after she arrived in Albuquerque on Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Will Kaufman, the medical director, gave Biden and Lujan Grisham a tour of the facility. It’s mostly in your head.”Biden and Lujan Grisham spent a few minutes passing out stickers and buttons promoting the vaccine.
Housing agency ends Trump-era anti-transgender shelter rule
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Housing and Urban Development is withdrawing a Trump-era policy that would have allowed taxpayer-funded homeless shelters to deny access to transgender people. Biden directed every executive branch agency to examine further steps that could be taken to combat such discrimination. “Access to safe, stable housing — and shelter — is a basic necessity,” said new HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “Unfortunately, transgender and gender non-conforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cisgender people. Today, we are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity.”
Why overdue book fines could soon be history at Louisville public libraries
The days of 20-cent fines for overdue Louisville library books could be numbered. "That transition of part of our circulation to e-books has really complicated the equity equation around overdue fines," he said. Some studies, however, suggest that people are more likely to return overdue materials when they don't face a large overdue fine. There's little to no data suggesting that fines incentivize returns, said Jessica Powell, the director of Oldham County Public Library and the chairwoman of the Kentucky Public Library Association. That's similar elsewhere — in Oldham County's system, the board of which is considering ending overdue fines, the $16,500 in overdue fines made up just 0.66% of its overall budget, Powell said.
Fischer rebuffs calls to defund police, proposes millions more for anti-violence programs
Fischer said Thursday his priorities for city spending were beating the COVID-19 virus, including through vaccination efforts; positioning the city for an economic recovery; focusing on equity; and "reimagining public safety." An amendment to the spending plan could be proposed prior to the council's final vote. The mayor's spending plan would fund three new LMPD recruit classes, as it does in a typical year to supplant departures from the agency. But Fischer also stressed a public safety plan must include investments beyond law enforcement — in "intervention, prevention, community mobilization, organizational change and re-entry." Hollander added not all the money will be appropriated by June 30, and it's possible council could consider additional ordinances separate from the city budget.
Republicans unveil $568 bln infrastructure package to counter Biden
Some Democrats dismissed it as inadequate to the task of repairing America's infrastructure and reliant on user fees that would penalize working people. Republicans sent the proposal to Biden on Thursday, before unveiling the package, which represents less than one-quarter of the Democratic president's plan. "It's a starting point," said Senator Joe Manchin, who has insisted that Democrats work with Republicans on infrastructure. Republican Senator Pat Toomey said state and local governments that are flush with tax revenues and COVID-19 relief funding could also be asked to help pay for infrastructure projects. Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress could need Republican support to get infrastructure through the Senate and House of Representatives.
‘It is done’ — Latter-day Saint sex therapist Natasha Helfer is ousted from the church
A therapist who publicly and repeatedly opposed her faith’s doctrines, policies and leaders on sexuality issues has lost her membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Helfer posted the letter from Stephen Daley, the lay leader in Derby, Kan., on her Facebook page, saying, “I just opened this email. Helfer will likely not make a public statement about the letter or her church removal for at least a few more days, supporter Jody England Hansen said Wednesday night. The “membership council” took place without her. “I would love to see the church show its strength and keep Natasha in, because we’re strong enough to tolerate dissent,” Finlayson-Fife said.
‘Aren’t our lives worth more?’: Daunte Wright mourned at Minneapolis funeral
The shooting of Wright, the father of a one year-old boy, in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center sparked days of protests and led to dozens of arrests. Aubrey and Katie Wright presented a flag by Ilhan Omar during the funeral. A person raises their fist during the funeral for Daunte Wright. Ben Crump, the lawyer for the Wright and the Floyd families, led the mourners in a chant of “Daunte Wright’s life mattered”. Minnesota’s governor, Tim Walz, issued a proclamation calling for a statewide two minutes of silence at noon to remember Wright.
Does Nicola Sturgeon really care what happens to Scotland’s hotels, restaurants and pubs?
He added that hard-line tactics, or what he called a "disproportionate regulatory approach" was in danger of driving people towards insecure and "possibly illegal activity". But it has been on the respective treatment of restaurants and pubs by both administrations which has been the most damaging to Scotland’s economy. Many people are already ignoring what they see as Scotland’s over-rigid approach to the lockdown, especially when they see the more relaxed approach being adopted in England. And any sign of a crackdown for minor breaches of the social distancing rules after Monday’s partial re-opening is bound to be counterproductive. It’s way past time Scotland’s hospitality industry was given a fighting chance of survival.
Social distancing rules for hospitality 'a good way off' being lifted in Scotland, chief medical officer warns
Social distancing rules that threaten to bankrupt thousands of pubs and restaurants across Scotland are a "good way off" from being lifted indoors or outside, the country's chief medical officer warned on Thursday. Dr Gregor Smith said there was still a "theoretical risk" of Covid transmission outdoors with the one-metre distancing rule that will apply in licensed premises when they are allowed to reopen on Monday. He insisted the one-metre rule, which will even apply between people from different households enjoying a meal together, was "proportionate" and it would not change before more information is available about the impact of vaccination on transmission. But Scotland's crisis-hit hospitality industries warned their businesses could not even start to recover while the "toxic" rule remains and "every extra day of social distancing will result in more business failures, more job losses, and more small business owners losing what has often taken a lifetime to build." The Scottish Government’s position stands in stark contrast to England, where Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick wrote to local authorities cautioning them against “overzealous interpretation” of distancing rules at tables outdoors.
Civil servants’ second jobs to be scrutinised after Greensill saga
Last week, Mr Case launched a hunt for new conflicts of interest by asking all government departments to find out whether senior officials have rule-breaking second jobs. Mr Case discussed the second jobs rules in his weekly meeting with permanent secretaries of government departments, widely known as the “Wednesday Morning Colleagues” meetings. One source familiar with the discussions said that Mr Case had urged colleagues to improve scrutiny when approving second jobs. Details of what Mr Case’s quick review of civil servants with second jobs found are likely to be put into the public domain over the coming days. Supporters of allowing civil servants to hold some second jobs argue that holding positions on charities and in the local communities is a positive thing that should not be discouraged.
Arizona lawmaker uses racist language, demands Black colleague be ‘sat down’ in clash over voting rights bill
An Arizona lawmaker used racist language and demanded that a Black colleague be “sat down” in a clash over a voting rights bill. Republican state representative Travis Grantham interrupted Democrat Reginald Bolding as he made a speech against a voter suppression bill. Mr Grantham, who is white, asked the house to stop Mr Bolding from speaking using a House Rule that no member shall “use language that is personally offensive”. “I think he should be sat down and he shouldn’t be allowed to speak,” he added, seemingly treating his colleague as a child. The Independent has reached out to both Mr Grantham and Mr Bolding for comment.
Facing bankruptcy, NRA launches low-energy $2 million ad campaign against Biden
The National Rifle Association is set to lobby Congress against gun-control plans, despite being in the middle of a bankruptcy trial. After another spate of mass shootings in America, Democrats are again attempting to tighten gun-control measures including universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. The organisation is attempting to declare bankruptcy and then re-establish itself in Texas as a non-profit. This week The New York Times reported that in 2016, the NRA spent around $50 million helping to elect Donald Trump and other Republicans, keeping gun rights at the centre of the party’s policies. On Friday, following another mass shooting in Indianapolis, President Biden urged Republicans to support the new measures and said: “Gun violence is an epidemic in America.
Greta Thunberg urges US Congress to ‘use your common sense’ on climate crisis
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg urged the United States Congress to use its common sense on climate change on Thursday. “All I can do is to urge you to listen to and act on the science, and to use your common sense,” Ms Thunberg said in a virtual speech to the House Oversight Committee . The young activist demanded more action on the crisis and blasted the American government for continuing to subsidize fossil fuels. But even as she recommended these actions, she expressed pessimism that the US would actually take meaningful steps to combat the climate crisis. “How long do you honestly believe that people in power like you will get away with it?”Ms Thunberg framed the climate crisis as a historic choice between right and wrong.
US stages climate comeback after Trump but fails to elicit specific targets from largest polluters
Some 40 world leaders were invited to the event, held online due to Covid-19. President Xi Jinping of China, the world’s largest carbon polluter, was the first global leader to speak after Mr Biden. Some world leaders made subtle digs at the right-wing former president in remarks on Thursday. International climate and policy campaign director, Cherelle Blazer, said it met “the urgency of the moment”. Democrats can kill US jobs & industries with no real impact on global emissions.”
Al Sharpton says Minnesota needs ‘air freshener’ for ‘stench of police brutality’ at Daunte Wright’s funeral
Moments later, officer Kimberly Potter fatally shot Mr Wright, an unarmed, 20-year-old Black man, mistaking her gun for her Taser. During his eulogy for Mr Wright on Thursday in Minneapolis, civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton took this as a metaphor. “We come today as the air fresheners for Minnesota. Mr Wright was killed by police towards the end of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, during an arrest last May. Now in his name, in the name of Daunte, we’re going to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as federal law,” Mr Sharpton said during his remarks.
Russia pulling troops back from near Ukraine border in move that will cool tensions in region
Russia is pulling troops back from an area near its border with Ukraine, in a move which will cool tensions in the region and also with the west. Pic Associated PressUkraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky visited Donetsk near the Russian border earlier this month amid tensions between the neighbouring states. As well as the build-up in eastern Ukraine, Russian troops were also said to be carrying out war games on the Crimean peninsula. His spokeswoman said earlier this month that more than 40,000 Russian troops had gathered on the border, and another 40,000 were in the disputed peninsular. Analysis: Avoiding war took some diplomatic masteryBy Diana Magnay, Moscow correspondentIt is not only President Zelensky breathing easier tonight.
Republicans plan to SNUB Biden's first address to Congress - though only 200 can attend
Several Republican lawmakers are planning to snub President Joe Biden's first address to Congress on Wednesday as the joint session is limited to 200 attendees in the midst of the pandemic. 'I don't think I'll probably attend,' Iowa Senator Joni Ernst told Punchbowl News. Republicans are planning to snub President Joe Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress on WednesdayThe House is out of session next week, but even Republican senators say they don't plan to attend. Ohio Representative Jim Jordan said he wants to attend Biden's address and hopes the invitation gets extended to the whole of Congress. Ticket allotment has not been revealed, but it will be divided in some way among House Democrats, House Republicans, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans.
Air Force to court martial a general for the first time in its 74-year history
The Air Force is to court martial a general for the first time in its 74-year history after a decorated two-star leader allegedly sexually assaulted a civilian woman. Air Force Major Gen. William Cooley, a decorated officer with more than 20 years in the military, becomes the first general to face court-martial in the military branch's 74-year history. The Air Force general was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal. This is the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Cooley was relieved of his command of the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in January 2020.
Climate activists dump wheelbarrow full of cow manure outside White House to protest climate plan
AdvertisementA group of climate activists have dumped wheelbarrows full of cow manure outside the White House to protest President Joe Biden's climate plan. Climate activists with Extinction Rebellion pushed wheelbarrows full of cow dung through the streets and emptied them in front of the White House. After dumping the cow manure in front of the White House, a sign was placed in the pile reading, 'Stop the bulls***.' Members of the group also held banners that read, 'DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY NOW' and 'BIDEN'S 2030 PLAN = MASS DEATH.' Extinction Rebellion activists say this target is unattainable under the administration's plan.
Anti-discrimination bill passes in US Senate as Josh Hawley casts only opposition vote
The Senate passed an anti-discrimination bill to address the rise in hate crimes against Asians in the U.S. by wide, bipartisan margins Thursday afternoon. The Senate overwhelmingly voted Thursday on a bill to combat the rise in hate crimes against Asians, which has occurred during the coronavirus pandemicSen. Josh Hawley was the only no vote on the bill. Hawley became a national political figure for his role in challenging Electoral College vote counts on the day of the MAGA riot on January 6The bill expedites the DOJ's review of anti-Asian hate crimes. In late March, Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered a review of how the Justice Department can best deploy its resources to combat hate crimes against Asian-Americans. One concern is that hate crimes are actually underreported.
Kamala 'addresses' migrant crisis 1,800 miles from border as she sits down with 'philanthropists'
'They don't want to leave their grandparents, they don't want to leave the culture.' Last month, the White House announced Harris as its border 'czar', claiming she would lead the administration's response to the crisis. In her 29 days as point person, Harris has not visited the border nor held any significant press conferences on the issue. Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday that migrants from Central American don't want to leave their home countries. Harris will also hold a virtual meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday, the official said, to discuss solutions.
[Editorial] Threat to freedom of speech
Its point is to change the Press Arbitration Commission into the Press Commission and place it under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The arbitration commission is currently a civil organization independent of the government. The bill requires the president to appoint the chairman. And yet, the ruling party and its satellite party are pushing the bills that can be used to oppress freedom of speech. The ruling party suffered crushing defeats in the April 7 by-elections.
Biden expected to label 1915 massacre of Armenians as genocide
But Biden pledged last year during his presidential campaign to recognize the Armenian genocide. "If we do not fully acknowledge, commemorate, and teach our children about genocide, the words 'never again' lose their meaning. " - Erdogan: 'Defend the truth' -Branding the massacre genocide would carry no legal consequences, but could potentially add support to reparations claims. The massacre was set off after Ottoman leader Mehmed Talaat ordered the mass deportation of Armenians as World War I raged and the Ottoman Empire was battling Tsarist Russia. In 2019 both houses of the US Congress voted to use the genocide label in a symbolic resolution.
What they're saying at the global climate summit
The United States hosted a global summit in which several nations pledged to uphold or expand their commitments to help limit climate changeAdvertising Read moreWashington (AFP)World leaders gathered virtually Thursday for an international climate summit convened by US President Joe Biden, in which they vowed to meet or ramp up their goals to reduce emissions and slow global warming. During his address Biden expressed intent "to tap the economic opportunity that climate change presents our workers and our communities." - China -President Xi Jinping reiterated his pledge that China -- by far the world's largest emitter -- would reach carbon neutrality "before 2060." Putin said the world's fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter had set out to "significantly limit" net emissions by 2050. But he promised a "partnership" with Biden to mobilize green investment and urged a greater "lifestyle change" to fight climate change.
[Robert J. Fouser] By-elections reveal huge gender gap
The by-elections for mayors in Seoul and Busan ended in landslide defeats for President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party. In Busan, that Democratic Party candidate won only 34.4 percent of the vote, a huge drop from the 55.2 percent it won in June 2018. Two main currents running against the Democratic Party came together to produce the storm. The second current is anger at a perceived holier-than-thou attitude in the Democratic Party. Robert J. FouserRobert J. Fouser, a former associate professor of Korean language education at Seoul National University, writes on Korea from Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Ted Cruz Says Republicans Didn’t Try to ‘Rig the Game’ by Changing the Supreme Court. He’s Ignoring 2016.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who in late 2016 suggested Senate Republicans should indefinitely leave the Supreme Court with only eight justices if Hillary Clinton were to win the presidency, on Thursday said Republicans never tried to “rig the game” by altering the high court’s makeup. Cruz made the comments flanked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on the front steps of the Supreme Court building. “You didn’t see Republicans when we had control of the Senate try to rig the game. “There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices,” Cruz said in the wake of the 2016 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The Washington Post said Cruz made the comment in 2016 in response to a question about whether Senate Republicans would continue to “blockade” Supreme Court nominations beyond the 2016 election if Hillary Clinton won the White House.
McConnell, McCarthy Announce Tim Scott Will Deliver Republican Address To The Nation
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Thursday that Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott will be delivering the GOP’s address to the nation. “Senator Tim Scott is not just one of the strongest leaders in our Senate Republican Conference. “I couldn’t be more proud as a friend, as a Republican, and as an American to have Senator Tim Scott deliver the Republican response to President Biden’s address next week. No member in Congress epitomizes the essence of today’s Republican Party more than my friend and colleague Senator Scott,” McCarthy said about Scott. (RELATED: ‘Thankful For The Verdict’ — Sen. Tim Scott Reacts To Chauvin Being Found Guilty Of All Charges, Calls It ‘A Monumental Day’)“I’m excited and honored for this opportunity to address the nation,” Scott said.
Republicans’ opening bid on infrastructure is about a quarter of the size of Biden’s plan
Senate Republicans have unveiled their $568 billion infrastructure counterproposal. Republicans argue that their infrastructure plan is “robust.” Though it’s a fraction of Biden’s proposal, the Republican plan is actually larger than the last $305 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill Congress passed in 2015 that was signed into law by President Barack Obama. There is some funding for electric vehicle infrastructure in the Republican plan, but it pales in comparison to Biden’s. Biden’s plan also contains a clean electricity standard, which many clean energy advocates see as a key way to cut US greenhouse gas emissions dramatically. Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have previously floated the idea of approving a bipartisan $800 billion infrastructure measure, and considering the more contentious tenets separately.
Biden administration proposes restoring California’s right to set car pollution rules
The waiver had allowed the state to set stricter auto emission and fuel efficiency rules than even the federal government. Trump revoked California’s waiver in 2019 shortly before his administration issued a new set of fuel economy and emissions rules that were significantly weaker than the Obama standards. The change also affected the District of Columbia and the 13 states that follow California’s tighter standards. “The Trump administration should never have challenged California’s legal authority to set our own vehicle emission standards,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. “The Clean Air Act clearly gives us the right to protect the air Californians breathe and I want to thank the Biden administration for dropping this frivolous challenge.”
Top U.S. general in Middle East worried about potential collapse of Afghan military after troop withdrawal
WASHINGTON – The head of U.S. forces in the Middle East said on Thursday that he was concerned that the Afghan military would collapse after U.S. and foreign troops leave the war-torn country. Afghan forces, he said, have gotten used to the support from U.S. and other nations' militaries over several years. Later at the Pentagon, McKenzie said Biden consulted with him and other top military brass before the commander-in-chief made the call to pull the troops. McKenzie also told reporters that while the U.S. will continue to support Afghanistan from afar, he was particularly concerned about aircraft maintenance. When asked about the trillions of dollars that had been invested in training and assisting the Afghan military, McKenzie said he believed the U.S. had seen a "good return on our investment."
'Swing district' NJ House Dems — 2022 GOP targets — scramble for cash I Movers and Shakers
That anxiety was evident in the first quarter fundraising hauls of three New Jersey Democrats who are likely to face fierce and well-financed challenges to their battleground districts in the 2022 midterms. Rep. Andy Kim, who flipped the 3rd Congressional District in Burlington and Ocean counties in 2018, has also moved aggressively on the fundraising circuit. STILE:New Jersey suddenly a 'beacon' in the national debate on voter suppressionSTILE:Are NJ Republicans parting ways with Trump era? Not surprisingly, the House Democrats campaign arm listed all three as "front liners,'' candidates whose campaigns will be shored up with extra cash and resources in the battle to maintain control. He also raised $964,000 in the first quarter, leading the pack among his fellow swing district Democrats in New Jersey.
UNSC: ‘Deep concern’ about sexual violence allegations in Tigray
In first joint statement on #Ethiopia / #Tigray, #UN Security Council urged “unfettered humanitarian access to all people in need" & voiced “deep concern about allegations of human rights violations,” including sexual violence. There are also calls for full investigations into accusations of widespread rights abuses including sexual violence being used as a weapon of war. “We have heard the alarm bells about human rights violations and abuses, in particular sexual violence against women and girls,” Nason said on Thursday. The Ethiopian government has set up a task force to investigate the reports of sexual violence in Tigray, insisting it takes the allegations seriously. Separately, Ethiopia’s state-appointed human rights commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights announced in late March they had agreed to carry out a joint investigation “into human rights violations and abuses allegedly committed by all parties” in Tigray.
Algerian scholar gets three years in jail for ‘offending Islam’
A renowned Algerian scholar on Islam, Said Djabelkhir, was handed a three-year prison sentence on Thursday for “offending Islam” in three Facebook posts, but pledged to appeal and keep fighting for “freedom” of thought. “We have the misfortune to be doing research in Algeria,” said the academic, a specialist on Sufi Islam. During his trial earlier this month, Djabelkhir defended himself against accusations that he had “harmed Islam”, the religion of the Algerian state, arguing he had only provided “academic reflections”. Djabelkhir has received the backing of many academic colleagues and Algerian politicians since the accusations against him surfaced. Opponents, however, accuse him of disrespecting the Quran and the five pillars of Islam, including the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
US-Turkey relations to be tested by possible Armenian genocide recognition
ISTANBUL — US President Joe Biden is reportedly preparing to formally recognize the 1915 mass killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide in a move that would further strain US-Turkey relations. Previously, both the House and Senate approved measures in 2019 to recognize the genocide as a formal matter of US foreign policy. Yet few expect reversals on Turkish policies in Ukraine and Afghanistan, where Ankara’s interests are served by the status quo. Tol said the lapse in holding Mohammed accountable “sent the wrong signal,” but that the Armenian genocide designation might materialize due to added support from US Vice President Kamala Harris. “She’s been playing a surprisingly big role in foreign policy and the decision-making process, so this could be part of her track record,” Tol told Al-Monitor.
Senate Republicans propose $568 billion infrastructure plan to counter Biden
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans unveiled a $568 billion infrastructure plan Thursday limited to roads, bridges, broadband and other physical infrastructure, countering President Biden's American Jobs Plan with a framework around one-quarter the size of his sweeping $2.25 trillion package. Republicans proposed $299 billion on roads and bridges, vastly more than the $115 billion proposed in Biden's plan, and $44 billion on airports, more than the $25 billion outlined in Biden's plan. Republicans proposed $61 billion for public transit systems and $20 billion for rail, compared to Biden's proposal for $85 billion for transit and $80 billion for Amtrak improvements and expansion. Republicans want $65 billion for broadband infrastructure, significantly less than the $100 billion proposed by Biden. Republicans suggested $35 billion for drinking water and wastewater, compared to $111 billion proposed by Biden for clean drinking water, including the replacement of all lead pipes and service lines.
GOP offers $586B counter to Biden infrastructure plan
Senate Republicans unveiled their counterproposal to President Biden’s $2.5 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday, offering a narrower alternative to the broad, mammoth plan. GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says the sides agree the nation’s infrastructure needs to be addressed. The proposal received the endorsement of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who called on Democrats to “come to the table” and work on a bipartisan plan. “Today, Senate Republicans introduced our framework to improve our nation’s infrastructure. Americans need and deserve bipartisan infrastructure solutions.
Supreme Court upholds life without parole sentences for juveniles
The Court voted 6-3, splitting along conservative-liberal lines, to uphold the sentence of Brett Jones, who fatally stabbed the 68-year-old man. Jones was convicted of murder in 2005, sentenced to life without parole, and resentenced in 2015. Jones argued that sentencing a minor to life without parole required a judge to make such a finding, but the court rejected his reasoning. Mississippi, where Jones was convicted, is one of only six states that does not require finding of permanent incorrigibility for a life sentence sans parole. In 2012, the court disallowed life sentences without parole for minors except in murder cases, and even those should be reserved “for all but the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene says AOC has agreed to Green New Deal debate
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene claims Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has agreed to debate her on the economic policy behind the Green New Deal. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene proposed that she and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez debate on a national news network. Getty ImagesEarlier this month, Greene challenged AOC to a live, televised debate on the economic policy behind the Green New Deal. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a 14-page resolution for the Green New Deal. “We absolutely welcome a response and look forward to a lively debate,” Greene spokesman Nick Dyer told The Post.
What it means for the United States to recognize massacre of Armenians as genocide
That could change Saturday, when President Biden is expected to recognize it as a “genocide” in an annual Remembrance Day declaration. Why does Turkey oppose the term ‘genocide’? Story continues below advertisementBut for Turkey, the term genocide threatens the story it tells about the founding of its modern nation state. Story continues below advertisementTurkey frequently complains when other countries use the term genocide. Obama, in contrast, had pledged to formally recognize the Armenian genocide when he first ran in 2008.
Canadian politician apologizes for taking nude photo of fellow lawmaker on Zoom
A member of the Canadian parliament is apologizing after taking a photo of a fellow lawmaker, who was briefly caught nude during a virtual meeting of the parliament last week. However, MP Lemire did not say with whom he shared it, why he shared it, and how many people shared it after receiving the photo from MP Lemire." CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAmos, apparently, was visible only to members of parliament and staffers on an internal video conference feed. Since he wasn’t speaking during the period when he appeared naked, his image didn’t show up on a feed visible to the public. Since the Speaker of the House is considering an investigation, I don’t have further comments at this stage."
North Carolina sheriff waiting to release body cam video of deputy shooting of Black man despite protests
The North Carolina Bureau of Investigation, an outside agency, was "immediately contacted" and is conducting the investigation into the matter, the sheriff added. The sheriff confirmed that it was a Pasquotank County deputy involved in the shooting and that the individual has been placed on administrative leave. "We’re going to let the North Carolina SBI do their job and we will have further information later on," Wooten told reporters. "The sheriff’s office has complete trust in the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation and its ability to complete this investigation," Wooten said. "Here we are again outraged to hear of yet another Black man dead, allegedly at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve," North Carolina NAACP President Rev.
Senate Dems block amendment defunding universities that discriminate against Asian Americans
Senate Democrats blocked an amendment to the new COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that would have barred universities that discriminate against Asian Americans from accessing federal funding. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and John Kennedy, R-La., co-sponsored the unsuccessful amendment, which would have banned federal funding from going to colleges and universities that discriminate against Asian American applicants when being recruited by schools or applying. "In an unbelievably cynical move, Senate Democrats blocked efforts to stop discrimination against Asian Americans in higher education, where racial bias has become all too common," the lawmakers said. "This amendment would bar funds from institutions that discriminate against Asian American students." CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP"The Biden administration’s decision to drop the Yale lawsuit is totally wrong and sets a dangerous precedent," said Steel.
Mourners remember Daunte Wright as prince, proud father who 'was loved by so many' amid calls for justice
Ben Crump, attorney for the Floyd and Wright families, led the assembled mourners in chanting, "Daunte Wright’s life mattered!" In a rousing speech to the mourners, Crump acknowledged the relatives of other young Black men and women killed by police. DAUNTE WRIGHT FUNERAL PLANNED FOR THURSDAY AFTER MOURNERS ATTEND WEDNESDAY VIEWINGU.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Gov. The police chief said it appeared from body camera video that the officer who shot Wright used her pistol when she meant to use her Taser. Minneapolis residents who peacefully celebrated Tuesday's guilty verdicts had barely one full day before attention turned to burying Wright.
Citigroup will pay NY mayoral candidate, former exec Ray McGuire $5.7 million over next few years
Former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, who is running to be mayor of New York, will receive a total of over $5 million from the Wall Street bank from 2022 through 2025. A Politico report from 2019 shows that New York Mayor Bill De Blasio made over $250,000 in one year. The filing shows that McGuire will be paid in four equal installments starting next year and ending in 2025, totaling just over $5.7 million. McGuire has raised over $7 million since he entered the race, with some contributions coming from New York's business leaders. Last year, McGuire appears to have made at least $1 million in 2020 while at Citi, including through capital gains, dividends and interest.
'No Chavismo here': Peru socialist candidate Castillo seeks to calm jittery markets
Pedro Castillo of Peru Libre party waves to the media after casting his vote, outside a polling station in Cajamarca, Peru April 11, 2021. read moreBut Castillo blasted detractors, telling Radio Exitosa they had put words in his mouth. "I completely reject those that say that Pedro Castillo is going to nationalize," he said. "There is no Chavismo here," Castillo said, referring to the brand of government installed by Maduro's socialist predecessor, Hugo Chavez. Castillo's rival Fujimori, who has advocated pushing forward with Peru's free market economic model, said the front-runner's statements were contradictory.
Russia Is Murdering the Kremlin's Biggest Critic in Plain Sight. Who Will Save Alexei Navalny?
“If you saw me now—maybe you would have a good laugh,” Alexei Navalny wrote on Facebook April 20. Navalny risks kidney failure and cardiac arrest owing to abnormally high levels of potassium and creatinine in his blood (“After Novichok,” Navalny wrote, “potassium is not a biggie”). National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN there would be “consequences” if Russia eliminated Navalny in prison. What about sanctioning those hemisphere-hopping Russian oligarchs Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation named when he was first arrested upon his arrival back in Moscow from Berlin in January? “[T]here is no better weapon against injustice and lawlessness,” Navalny wrote.
Ahead of EU summit, 11 countries tell Brussels to back off on social policy
Ahead of an EU leaders’ summit in Porto focused on social issues, 11 member countries issued a joint statement warning Lisbon — and Brussels — to respect national authority over policymaking in areas such as labor and employment, pensions, education and childcare. But the broad array of other countries involved shows that the resistance to giving the EU more power on social policy is not just about money. Leaders on the European Council adopted a European Pillar of Social rights at a similar summit in Gothenburg, Sweden in November 2017. In their non-paper, the 11 countries were careful to voice praise for the Porto summit itself, and for an “action plan” prepared by the Commission. “Given the COVID-19 pandemic with large socioeconomic consequences for all Member States and the upcoming twin digital and green transitions, the Social Summit comes at a timely moment,” they wrote.
Lone Arizona Republican votes 'no,' blocking passage of bill targeting mail voting
A bill that would stop some voters from getting a ballot automatically mailed to them each election failed in Arizona’s state Senate Thursday after a single Republican joined Democrats in voting against the legislation. "I am for this bill, but I am not voting for it until after the audit," the Republican state senator said, referring to the results of an audit orchestrated by Senate Republicans of the 2020 election results. The bill's sponsor, Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, said on the floor it was "disappointing to be on the receiving end of someone’s temper tantrum." It needed approval from the state Senate to head to GOP Gov. Senate Bill 1485 would remove infrequent voters from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL), turning it into an “active” early voting list.
Senate overwhelmingly passes hate crime bill responding to anti-Asian violence in wake of Covid-19
The Senate passed legislation targeting anti-Asian hate crimes after an uptick of incidents during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lawmakers approved the measure in a 94-1 vote. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was the only member to oppose the bill.
DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
Eleanor Holmes-Norton, D-D.C., center, joined from left by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference ahead of the House vote on H.R. Eleanor Holmes-Norton, D-D.C., center, joined from left by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference ahead of the House vote on H.R. 51- the Washington, D.C. Manchin is also one of a handful of Democratic Senators who has not openly supported the D.C. statehood initiative. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Senate OKs bill to fight hate crimes against Asian Americans
The measure would expedite the review of hate crimes and provide support for local law enforcement in response to thousands of reported violent incidents in the past year. Police have seen a noted uptick in such crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. ADVERTISEMENTThe names of the six women killed in Georgia are listed in the bill, which passed the Senate on a 94-1 vote. Hirono worked closely with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to incorporate some additional Republican and bipartisan provisions, including better reporting of hate crimes nationally and grant money for states to set up hate crime hotlines. The hate crimes legislation is the first byproduct of that agreement.
Florida Senate OKs bill requiring school moments of silence
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Every Florida public school would be required to have a moment of silence of up to two minutes during first period under a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday. The bill passed on a 32-6 vote and would amend current law that allows school districts to have a moment of silence for prayer or meditation, but doesn’t require it. “We want people to be free in that moment just to stop and reflect,” said Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley, the bill’s sponsor. “However you use it, just be still and listen and reflect before you start a day’s activity.”Opponents said the measure promotes prayer in school. I grew up in Florida and I was one of eight Jewish children in my entire elementary school.
Restoring service central to Biden’s postal board nominees
“There is an enormous reservoir of goodwill among the people for the Postal Service. That has to be preserved, it cannot be squandered, it’s the strength of the Postal Service,” said Hajjar. Despite the concerns, more than 99% of ballots were delivered to election officials within five days during the general election, according to the Postal Service. During the hearing, the nominees stressed the need to establish a clear plan to improve delivery service as lawmakers pressed them on delays. “The universal service obligation of the Postal Service requires delivering prompt, reliable and efficient service to all Americans, all over the country,” said Stroman.
Georgia governor won’t wade into debate on Okefenokee mining
Joining the governor are Charlton County Sheriff Robert Phillips, left, and Folkston Mayor Lee Gowen. Brian Kemp said Thursday he’s not wading into the debate over whether a mining company should be allowed to dig for minerals near the edge of the vast wildlife refuge in the Okefenokee Swamp. After meeting Thursday morning with local leaders and business owners in the county seat of Folkston, Kemp declined to take sides on the proposed mine. Kemp said he doesn’t see parallels between his concerns about drilling off Georgia and the proposed mine near the Okefenokee. Michael Lusk, who manages the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, told Kemp the refuge attracts about 600,000 tourists per year and invited the governor to pay a visit.
New Mexico among states grappling to reform policing
The Democratic governor described the law as a victory for social justice and a potential boon for economic development. Her decision makes New Mexico the seventh state since last November to legalize adult possession and sales of cannabis for recreational use. Her decision makes New Mexico the seventh state since last November to legalize adult possession and sales of cannabis for recreational use. The conviction Tuesday of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is shifting public attention toward reform efforts in dozens of states to provide greater police accountability. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Daunte Wright’s mother: ‘My son should be burying me’
Katie and Aubrey Wright, parents of Daunte Wright, cry as the speak during funeral services of Daunte Wright at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, Pool)Katie and Aubrey Wright, parents of Daunte Wright, cry as the speak during funeral services of Daunte Wright at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, Thursday, April 22, 2021. Wright’s mother has said that her son called her after he was stopped and told her that was why he had been pulled over. “True justice is not done as long as having expired tags means losing your life during a traffic stop,” Klobuchar said. ___Find AP’s full coverage of the death of Daunte Wright at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-daunte-wright
World leaders pledge climate cooperation despite other rifts
President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. The entire world faces “a moment of peril” but also “a moment of opportunity,” Biden declared, speaking from a TV-style chrome-blue set for the virtual summit of 40 world leaders. The pandemic made gathering world leaders for the climate summit too risky. The format meant a cavalcade of short speeches by world leaders, some scripted, some not.
Vaccine Passports: Israel, Bahrain Reach Landmark Agreement
Vaccine Passports: Israel, Bahrain Reach Landmark AgreementEnlarge this image toggle caption Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty ImagesIsrael and Bahrain on Thursday reached what Israel calls the world's first bilateral agreement for mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine passports for quarantine-free travel between two countries, an Israeli diplomat who helped forge the deal tells NPR. In Israel and Bahrain, the vaccine passports will be entirely digital: a QR code on one's phone, recognized at both countries' passport control, Fluss says. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said in a statement that Israel would reach similar agreements with other countries in the coming days. Several countries have already unilaterally recognized Israeli vaccine certificates in a bid to attract Israeli tourists without quarantine requirements, including Greece and Cyprus. Those countries have also announced efforts to forge bilateral travel agreements, as the European Union is working to unveil vaccine passports for EU-wide travel in mid-June.
John Kerry: Glasgow climate meeting is ‘last, best hope’ for big nations to make a difference
That’s the view of John Kerry, special envoy on climate, speaking Thursday afternoon as part of President Biden’s Earth Day climate summit of 40 world leaders. Read: Biden pledges to cut U.S. greenhouse gases 50% by 2030 — with major implications for oil and gas sector“ Glasgow’s U.N. climate meeting is ‘last, best hope’ to move the needle on climate change. Kerry sited a “big chunk of difference” in policy between now and January 19, or the end of the Trump presidency. The world is moving and the market is moving.’ ” — John Kerry“Tesla TSLA, -3.28% is the highest valued car company in the world — why? “The world is moving and the market is moving.
Russia Orders Army Back From Ukraine Border, Easing Tensions
Western officials say Russia moved as many as 100,000 troops, as well as tanks, warplanes and other equipment, to areas near the border with Ukraine in recent weeks, the largest such buildup in years. Accusing Zelenskiy of taking numerous “destructive” steps in the relationship with Russia, Putin said he’s still willing to host the Ukrainian leader for talks on bilateral ties. The Ukrainian leader Tuesday proposed a meeting with Putin in Donbas to reduce tensions. Kyiv and its western allies blame Moscow for the latest surge in tensions and have dismissed calls for talks with the separatists. The Russian military buildup had raised fears of a renewal of the heavy fighting seen in 2014.
Chauvin Verdict Brings the Police Relief and Some Resentment
Then came the verdict: Derek Chauvin was guilty on all counts, including murder, for killing George Floyd last May. “So much is being thrown at us as law enforcement officials,” Adams said. The feelings of rank-and-file officers were more complicated: a mix of relief, resentment at being vilified alongside Chauvin and unsettling thoughts of themselves in his shoes. There, largely white police departments patrol largely white communities, and residents are often friends or relatives of law enforcement officers. Attitudes like that, activists said, speak to the resistance of law enforcement to be held accountable and allow police abuses to continue.
Republican House leader rejects George W. Bush's condemnation of the party as 'isolationist, protectionist' and 'nativist'
Scott J. Applewhite/APHouse Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy dismissed former President George W. Bush's recent condemnation of the GOP. Bush said his party had become "isolationist, protectionist, and to a certain extent nativist." House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday dismissed former President George W. Bush's recent condemnation of the GOP as "isolationist, protectionist, and to a certain extent nativist." "If I looked at the last election, the Republican Party in Congress ... has elected more women than at any time in the history of the Republican Party. Story continuesWhile McCarthy cited the House GOP's growing diversity as evidence to refute Bush's claims, some of the newly elected Republican women are among the party's most extreme members.
A Miami man killed an armed teen in self-defense. Why he’s still facing a criminal case
Luis, himself wounded in the arm and hand, got out, kept firing, took Nimikae’s gun and drove off. Miami-Dade prosecutors have now ruled that Luis, 24, was legally justified and acted in self-defense for shooting Nimikae in the initial gunfight on Feb. 13. As he fired, Luis was on the phone with someone, claiming that he was being “shot at” by the attackers, police said. But Miami-Dade homicide Detective Zubair Kahn, in his arrest warrant, noted that the shooting of the incapacitated teen was captured on bank surveillance video. Luis gave his account of what happened to homicide detectives, and was later released to await the outcome of the probe.
Eric Andre Says He Was Racially Profiled By Law Enforcement At The Atlanta Airport
Actor and comedian Eric Andre said he was racially profiled by two law enforcement agents in an Atlanta airport Wednesday as he was preparing to board a plane. Several hours later, the Clayton County Police Department took responsibility for the interaction but denied Andre’s version of events. Mr. Andre also voluntarily consented to a search of his luggage but the investigators chose not to do so. The task force operates separately from the Atlanta Police Airport Drug Interdiction Unit.”It said officials from the APD and airport would meet next week with Clayton County law enforcement officers to review procedures. Representatives of Andre, Delta Air Lines and the Clayton County PD did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
GOP reps ask Biden to halt provision in COVID stimulus banning states from using money for tax cuts
The letter, led by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., follows a lawsuit filed by 13 states seeking to have the provision declared unconstitutional. BIDEN ADMINISTRATION SUED BY 13 STATES OVER TAX PROVISION IN CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PLANTreasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the law does not actually ban states from cutting their taxes – only from using money they get from it to pay for tax cuts. "Nothing in the Act prevents States from enacting a broad variety of tax cuts," Yellen wrote last month. "It simply provides that funding received under the Act may not be used to offset a reduction in net tax revenue resulting from certain changes in state law." Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, however, contends that the law is worded in a way that could be interpreted as a full ban on state tax cuts.
Andrew Cuomo is top-paid governor in history despite scandals
Despite the scandals swirling around him, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the country's highest-paid governor in history with an annual salary of $225,000. The $25,000 increase was part of a three-year pay increase of $71,000, according to Open The Books. An investigation to determine whether New York state lawmakers should attempt to impeach Cuomo is underway, with about 70 witnesses contacted, according to reports. FOX Business' Lucas Manfredi and Brittany De Lea and Fox News' Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.
Biden wanted to rally the world around his new climate target. Not all nations joined
“It’s an encouraging start,” Biden said during a break in a series of speeches from other nations’ leaders during the first morning of the two-day summit. Biden’s global climate envoy, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, told White House reporters after the opening day’s session that the administration would use persistent diplomacy to bring along leaders of nations that were lagging behind. Although a United Nations conference on climate change is scheduled for the end of the year in Scotland, Biden’s summit was conducted virtually because of the pandemic. When Vice President Kamala Harris and Biden opened the summit, their words echoed distractingly in the online video. “We must make sure the next step is in the right direction.”AdvertisementBiden’s climate summit was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
D.A. George Gascón’s new vision for taking on L.A. County gangs draws confusion, criticism
Los Angeles County Dist. George Gascón says he’s going to fundamentally change the way the largest prosecutor’s office in the nation handles gang crime. The number of homicides in Los Angeles rose above 300 for the first time in a decade last year, and the LAPD considers many of those slayings to be gang-related. who has never touched it … how is that going to play out?” one prosecutor connected to the Hardcore Gang unit asked. “The model of Hardcore Gang … you create a model that, first of all, even the name itself, it’s sort of this connotation of us against them.
Senate passes anti-Asian hate crimes bill 94-1
By Alex Rogers | CNNThe Senate passed with a wide bipartisan majority Thursday a bill denouncing discrimination against Asian communities in the United States, and create a new position at the Justice Department to expedite reviews of potential Covid-19-related hate crimes. The bill would also direct the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to issue guidance raising awareness of hate crimes during the pandemic, and work with agencies to establish online reporting of them. Collins said it “affirms our commitment to stand with” them against hate crimes. Hirono and other Democrats have also pressured Biden to include more Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in top roles. Of the 23 Cabinet-level positions requiring Senate consideration, Biden nominated two Asian Americans: Katherine Tai for trade representative and Neera Tanden for Office of Management and Budget director.
Texas Senate passes policing bills, including requiring officers to step in if unreasonable force used
AUSTIN — The Senate passed policing reforms Thursday in response to the killing of George Floyd, including a bill that would require officers to intervene when witnessing excessive force. “George Floyd might have still been alive today had this law been put in place,” Miles said. Senate Bill 68 says police officers have a duty to step in if a colleague is using unreasonable force against a suspect. A far more sweeping policing reform bill, known as the George Floyd Act, has stalled in both chambers. The House version of the George Floyd Act, filed by Houston Democrat Rep. Senfronia Thompson, received a marathon hearing on March 25.
Texas Sen. Cornyn teams up with Sen. Sinema to introduce bill addressing migrant influx
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, teamed up with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Thursday in a bipartisan push for a bill addressing the migration surge at the border. Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Tony Gonzales, R-San Antonio announced they are introducing a partner bill in the House. “Senator Sinema and I both represent border states,” Cornyn said on a press call announcing the bill. “We know that this crisis at the border is not a Democratic or Republican problem,” Sinema said. And it’s one that we’ve been dealing with in our border states for decades.”Cuellar and Gonzales called the legislation “commonsense” in statements.
Evers creates $420M grant program for small businesses, vetoes GOP bills to spend relief dollars
Tony Evers is using $420 million of the billions in federal relief funding heading to Wisconsin to help small businesses that lost revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That would account for $1.1 billion of the federal funds the state is receiving. Other bills vetoed Thursday appear to be in keeping with federal rules, according to the fiscal bureau. Evers noted his grant program provides more than double what Republicans planned for small businesses. "The Legislature’s proposal to spend just a small portion of our American Rescue Plan funds on small businesses simply won’t cut it for me,” Evers said in a statement.
Wisconsin to launch statewide investigation of clergy sex abuse, attorney general document reveals
MADISON - Wisconsin authorities will launch an investigation into the state's Catholic dioceses and religious orders to determine how many clergy members have sexually assaulted children over the years. Wisconsin is home to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and dioceses in Madison, Green Bay, La Crosse and Superior. Wisconsin will join at least 22 other states that have launched investigations into sexual abuse by clergy. Colorado's attorney general opened an investigation into abusive clergy members in 2019, which found a total of 52 priests were credibly accused of sexual abuse, according to the Colorado Sun. The investigation is still ongoing, and Attorney General Dana Nessel said more abusive clergy members could be identified.
Afternoon Edition: April 22, 2021
Afternoon Edition Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon and a high near 58 degrees. Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition. I love it!” — Joy MurphyThanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Sign up here to get the Afternoon Edition in your inbox every day.
Immigration advocates say end of ‘no-match letters’ a victory for workers
Activists in Chicago are calling the decision by the federal government to end “no-match letters” a win for immigrant workers. The Social Security Administration announced this month it was ending the practice of mailing “Employer Correction Request Notices” to employers. The notices, better known as “no-match letters,” were sent to workplaces when an employee’s name or Social Security number on W-2 forms did not match the agency’s records. The errors could create issues for a worker who later seeks Social Security benefits, according to the agency. Jorge Mújica of Arise Chicago said immigrant workers had reached out to the Chicago-based organization, which advocates for workers, during the past two years.
At South Loop bus station, volunteers see signs of increased immigration
The family was among about a dozen immigrants the group made contact with on a recent Tuesday morning at the Greyhound bus station. Volunteers, who go to the station daily, have noticed a recent uptick in the number of immigrants passing through Chicago, said McCormick, the program coordinator. Earlier this year, volunteers resumed daily visits to the bus station after their efforts were slowed by the coronavirus pandemic. The group communicates with volunteers in other cities doing similar work to figure out what supplies to take to the bus station, McCormick said. The group has only come across adults and families at the bus station, McCormick said.
Foxx disgusted by Burke’s anti-Semitic remark — but not enough to return $30K from fundraiser at his house
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Thursday condemned the anti-Semitic remark allegedly made by indicted Ald. Edward Burke (14th) in a wiretapped conversation, but said she’s keeping $30,000 she raised during a 2016 campaign event at Burke’s house. “I don’t ascribe to Alderman’s Burke’s anti-Semitic remarks or any of the behavior that he engaged in that has found himself where he is right now,” Foxx told the Sun-Times. That’s why I’m a prosecutor.”The anti-Semitic remark that Burke’s attorney’s tried to keep secret was disclosed by federal prosecutors as part of a 227-page response to a flurry of pre-trial motions filed by the alderman’s attorneys. Foxx said Friday she was disgusted by Burke’s anti-Semitic remark — but not enough to return the money she raised at his house — in part, because she already spent it.
Nevada review finds no evidence to support GOP voter fraud claims
Nevada’s Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavkse said Wednesday her office’s just-completed review of the election found no evidence for the state GOP’s claims. As Republicans have done nationwide, the Nevada GOP has continued to claim without evidence that widespread voter fraud swung the outcome in the presidential race to Democrat Joe Biden over Republican Donald Trump. The party then filed four boxes of complaints to the Secretary of State’s office in March containing 122,918 individual complaints. The office’s initial review reduced that number to 3,963, many of them already under review by state elections officials and law enforcement. The office contacted the state Office of Vital Statistics and identified 10 of 1,506 as being deceased.
Nevada’s new COVID-19 cases, deaths stay high, but positivity rate dips
Nevada recorded 528 new coronavirus cases and 12 additional deaths over the preceding day, according to state data posted Thursday. The new cases reported on Thursday were well above the 14-day moving average of daily reported cases, which rose slightly to 271. All of the deaths reported Thursday occurred in Clark County, according to data from the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website. There were 348 people in Nevada hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases as of Thursday’s report, 13 more than the previous day, state data shows. Clark County on Thursday reported 444 new coronavirus cases, according to the county health district.
Florida Senate overturns Key West’s effort to limit cruise ships on the island
Key West voters in November approved limiting the size of ships and the number of passengers who can visit the city daily. The local vote was opposed by Caribe Nautical Services, which has spearheaded lobbying to upend the referendum.
Ronna McDaniel for Michigan governor? Report stirs speculation
Lansing — Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, revealed this week that she's considered running against Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s dismal record of leadership has done lasting harm to Michigan families," said Richard Walters, chief of staff for the Republican National Committee. Three days after Election Day, she appeared at an event with Laura Cox, then-chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. As Michigan Republican Party chairwoman, McDaniel helped Trump win Michigan by 10,704 votes in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Clinton. "Former MI GOP chair and current Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel also passed on a run, opting instead to lead the national party for two more years.
Black Business Spotlight: Small Linden pharmacy makes memorable impact
At Trio Pharmacy, Ijeoma Nnani administers medicine with a dose of good cheer. Williams praised Nnani’s efforts to get information to the Linden community during the pandemic. Because of that, organizations like the Greater Linden Business Network are working to secure funding for its members, which include Trio Pharmacy. “We’re trying to help small businesses, especially minority businesses in Linden, shore up their financial situation,” Gwinn said. “They are a treasured part of our vibrant business community.
Protests, vigil take place across Columbus after Ma'Khia Bryant shooting
Ohio State student activists mobilizeEarlier Wednesday, more than 500 Ohio State University students marched to the Ohio Statehouse and called on university leaders to sever ties to the police division. Three Ohio State student governments sent a list of five demands to university leaders last summer, after Floyd's death sparked civil unrest nationwide and days of protests in Downtown Columbus. Ohio State students were among those protesters who were cleared by police officers using tear gas, pepper spray and wooden bullets. "It's been 11 months and multiple Black people killed in this city and still no response from Ohio State," one student said into a megaphone. University spokesman Ben Johnson said in a statement that Ohio State supports students' rights to peacefully express their views.
Black leaders worry Ohio police bill would discourage the recording of arrests
Person after person who testified against a bill to expand Ohio's criminal definition of obstructing justice repeated the same concern: Police would use this to demand someone stop filming an arrest. "I certainly don’t read the bill that way," Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association Director Lou Tobin said. "I think what the bill prohibits is some sort of physical interference." But former Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan gave a different interpretation when he testified in support of the bill in March. Both Mallory and Conwell said they'd like to see language added to the bill that made it clear recording an arrest was not obstruction.
Bank of England reveals lobbying efforts of ex-PM Cameron
“The call I took from Mr. Cameron was not a substantive discussion of the proposal," Scholar told a committee of lawmakers. "It was simply a call to draw it to my attention. I said ‘Thank you very much, this is something we are looking at’.”Scholar said the proposal had been rejected by Treasury officials as it did not meet the criteria for the scheme. It has previously been disclosed that Cameron had also contacted Treasury chief Rishi Sunak in an effort to secure government-backed loans for Greensill Capital. The collapse of the financial firm threatens thousands of U.K. jobs at Liberty Steel, which was dependent on its finance.
Georgia governor won't wade into debate on Okefenokee mining
But that agency said in October that it no longer has jurisdiction over wetlands that would be drained or otherwise affected by the project. That's because the Trump administration limited the types of waterways that qualify for federal protection under the half-century-old Clean Water Act. Twin Pines still has five applications pending with Georgia's environmental agency, including three that deal with regulation of state waters. Kemp said he doesn't see parallels between his concerns about drilling off Georgia and the proposed mine near the Okefenokee. "You’re talking about a specific project that’s under review versus an idea that never went anywhere.”
Restoring service central to Biden's postal board nominees
"There is an enormous reservoir of goodwill among the people for the Postal Service. That has to be preserved, it cannot be squandered, it's the strength of the Postal Service," said Hajjar. Among other things, the plan would relax the current first-class letter delivery standard of one-to-three-days to a one-to-five-day benchmark for mail going to the farthest reaches of the postal network. The agency is seeking advisory opinions from the independent Postal Regulatory Commission on potential changes to delivery standards as well as other initiatives in the plan. Democrats have had DeJoy in their crosshairs since he took over the Postal Service, and have ramped up their criticism after he detailed his long-term strategy for the agency.
Restoring service central to Biden’s postal board nominees
ADVERTISEMENTSkip................................................................“There is an enormous reservoir of goodwill among the people for the Postal Service. That has to be preserved, it cannot be squandered, it’s the strength of the Postal Service,” said Hajjar. Despite the concerns, more than 99% of ballots were delivered to election officials within five days during the general election, according to the Postal Service. During the hearing, the nominees stressed the need to establish a clear plan to improve delivery service as lawmakers pressed them on delays. “The universal service obligation of the Postal Service requires delivering prompt, reliable and efficient service to all Americans, all over the country,” said Stroman.
Navalny hails rallies; doctors urge him to end hunger strike
Meanwhile, Navalny’s doctors urged him to “immediately” end a prison hunger strike now in its fourth week “to save his life and health.” And a top aide said Wednesday night’s protests seemed to have brought a compromise from Russian authorities on getting Navalny the medical help he had demanded when launching the hunger strike. The mass street protests in support of Navalny — which authorities had declared unlawful — swept dozens of cities and smaller towns across Russia. Navalny began the hunger strike to protest prison authorities’ refusal to let his doctors visit after he developed severe back pain and numbness in his legs. On Thursday, Navalny’s personal physician Dr. Anastasia Vasilyeva released a letter she signed with four other doctors, urging him to end his hunger strike. Navalny’s doctors said they would continue to insist on access to their patient — his chief demand in launching his hunger strike — but urged him “to immediately stop the hunger strike in order to save life and health,” saying that they consider being examined by “civilian,” non-prison doctors and undergoing “objective tests” enough to end the strike.
Politico forbids 'crisis' when describing border surge, despite Biden's own use
"Avoid referring to the present situation as a crisis, although we may quote others using that language while providing context. "If using the word 'crisis,' we need to ask of what and to whom." After immense pressure from both Republicans and Democrats, Biden himself referred to the situation on the border as a " crisis" earlier this month. Politico regularly uses " climate crisis" in its stories, and the now-forbidden " border crisis" has even earned its own tag, presumably to generate traffic from Google. Going forward, the memo explains, Politico staff should avoid using terms "which could portray migrants as a negative, harmful influence."
Fossil fuel subsidies are a ‘disgrace’, Greta Thunberg tells US House panel
Subsidies given to fossil fuel companies are a “disgrace” and must be immediately ended, Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist, has told a US congressional committee. Thunberg, testifying to the House oversight committee on Earth Day on Thursday, said it was incredible that fossil fuels are subsidized given the climate crisis. “It is the year 2021, the fact we are still having this discussion and even more that we are still subsidizing fossil fuels using taxpayer money is a disgrace,” said the 18-year-old. “The uncomfortable fact is if we are to live up to our Paris agreement promises we have to end fossil fuel subsidies, end new exploration, completely divest from fossil fuels and keep the carbon in the ground,” said Thunberg. How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis without being held accountable?
Albanian double murderer faces extradition 24 years after arriving as a bogus refugee
An Albanian double murderer is facing extradition from the UK after being identified more than 20 years since allegedly coming to Britain as a bogus asylum seeker and securing British citizenship. Artan Muca, 49, has allegedly been in hiding or on the run for 24 years after claiming asylum in the UK by allegedly using a bogus identity as a Kosovan war refugee. He appeared before central London magistrates and was remanded in custody on Wednesday following the extradition request by the Albanian Government for the double murder in 1997. Albanian sources suggested a cold case review of the murders led Albanian police to wiretap his relative's phones and intercept phone calls from the UK with the information then passed to UK police. We shared with them all the intelligence information we managed to get from our end including fingerprints data.
Border between England and Scotland could create jobs, claims SNP candidate
The creation of a border with England could create jobs in a separate Scotland despite it erecting barriers with the country's dominant trading partner, an SNP candidate in the Holyrood election has said. Emma Harper, who was an MSP in the last parliament and is standing in Galloway and West Dumfries, said that "we can show that a border can work" if Scotland left the UK. She insisted that "we want the softest of borders" despite the SNP's blueprint for a separate Scotland to join the EU leading to a hard customs border with England. The Tories said the intervention showed how "clueless" the SNP was about the devastating economic impact of independence. Scotland's trade with the rest of the UK is worth more than three times that with the EU.
Amanda Chase: GOP candidate for Virginia governor says Chauvin verdict makes her ‘sick’
And you should be, too.”Her comments, captured in a video Ms Chase posted to Facebook, drew rebukes from state and national Democratic groups. American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal super PAC, circulated video of Ms Chase’s remarks on Twitter, drawing about 150,000 views. Before noon Wednesday, a least one of the five Democrats running for governor was trying to raise money off Ms Chase’s remarks. Handcuffed and face down on the pavement, Mr Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes. Ms Chase was the only Republican gubernatorial candidate to volunteer a statement on the verdict.
David Cameron repeatedly lobbied Bank of England for coronavirus cash
I have a quick question for you,” Mr Cameron began in an email to Sir Jon on March 5 2020, requesting a telephone call to discuss Greensil. On March 17, Mr Cameron and Lex Greensill, the Australian founder of the firm, held a separate call with Bank officials to explain Greensill Capital’s supply chain finance operation. On April 3, Mr Cameron wrote to Sir Jon again. Greensill – who I work with – have had numerous conversations with HMT [Her Majesty’s Treasury] but have failed to get anywhere,” Mr Cameron wrote. Mr Cameron wrote: “Apologies for bothering you about this again.
Biden preparing to recognise Armenian genocide, risking backlash from Turkey
“My understanding is that he took the decision and will use the word genocide in his statement on Saturday,” a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. However, the sources also said Mr Biden could change his mind last moment given the importance of America’s bilateral ties with Turkey. “Today, we remember the atrocities faced by the Armenian people in the Metz Yeghern — the Armenian Genocide. White House press secretary Jen Psaki denied to comment to on the issue on Wednesday but said she expects Mr Biden will have “more to say about Remembrance Day on Saturday”. “Statements that have no legal binding will have no benefit, but they will harm ties,” Mr Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster Haberturk.
Michigan lawmaker pulled over for driving drunk threatens police
Inside the Chevy, state police found state Representative Jewell Jones, whose blood alcohol level was allegedly more than double the legal limit. Neither Mr Jones nor his attorney, Ali Hammoud, immediately responded to a request for comment from The Washington Post late on Wednesday. In 2015, just two years out of high school, Mr Jones was elected to the city council in his hometown of Inkster, a suburb of Detroit. Mr Jones allegedly threatened the Michigan state troopers by telling them he oversaw their agency’s finances. The troopers said in the report that they attempted twice to use a taser on Mr Jones and then aimed pepper spray at his eyes to get him in handcuffs.
Sean Hannity buys $5 million townhouse next to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate
The Fox News host now owns a $5.3 million townhouse in Palm Beach, Florida, only 2.7 miles from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate. “I’ve said many times on my radio show: I hate the stock market, I prefer real estate,” Mr Hannity said in 2018. For Mr Hannity, however, the home’s main selling point is probably its proximity to Mr Trump. During Mr Trump’s presidency, the two men reportedly spoke on the phone every night , and Mr Hannity has made numerous visits to Mar-a-Lago. On his TV show, Mr Hannity has persistently defended Mr Trump, attacked his opponents, and invited him on for soft-ball interviews.
Josh Hawley is lone senator to oppose bipartisan anti-Asian hate crimes bill
The vote was 94-1 in favour of the bill, with Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri the lone senator to oppose the measure. It also beefed up local and state hate crimes reporting, and brought in the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to issue guidance that would raise awareness to Americans about the rise in hate crimes happening amid the pandemic. The shooting on 16 March sparked national outrage and informed the public about the rise in Asian American hate crimes over the last year. “This historic, bipartisan vote on the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act is a powerful message of solidarity to our AAPI community. Following its passage, Ms Collins said the bill “affirms our commitment to stand with” them against hate crimes.
Fifteen Republican governors vow to block Biden’s environmental plans on Earth Day
Fifteen Republican governors have vowed to block President Joe Biden’s environmental plans on Earth Day. Now the GOP governors have taken aim at Mr Biden’s January executive order on climate change, and his promise to conserve at least 30 per cent of US lands and waters by 2030. The group, which includes many governors of western states, says it opposes any extra government restrictions of land use. Governors who signed the letter include Greg Abbott of Texas, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Kristi Noem of South Dakota. It contained 12 questions about Mr Biden’s “30x30” plan including asking who will manage it, how the lands in the program will be selected, compensation and funding.
Video: AOC blames 'racial injustice' for the climate crisis
Video: Marjorie Taylor Greene confronts AOC on the House floor and demands a debate on the Green New Deal after she claimed climate change is caused by 'racism'US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blames 'racial injustice' for the climate crisis in Green New Deal Proposal speech.
Earth Day: Greta Thunberg slams US politicians for ignoring climate crisis
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg warned U.S. lawmakers Thursday that history will hold them accountable for climate catastrophes if they do not stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry before it is too late. Thunberg, whose activism began at age 15 when she started skipping school on Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament for climate change, voiced pessimism. 'We appreciate that President Biden ran on ending fossil fuel subsidies. He said children had been greatly affected by the fear of climate change, and asked Thunberg why she had said previously that she wanted people to 'panic' about it. Thunberg, who was Time magazine's person of the year in 2019 for her work on climate change, has denounced the 'madness' of government subsidies for fossil fuel use.
Biden to propose nearly doubling capital gains tax for the rich
US President Joe Biden will propose almost doubling the capital gains tax rate for wealthy individuals to 39.6 percent, sources tell Bloomberg News. Biden campaigned on equalizing the capital gains and income tax rates for wealthy individuals, saying it’s unfair that many of them pay lower rates than middle-class workers. The capital gains increase would raise $370 billion over a decade, according to an estimate from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center based on Biden’s campaign platform. State LeviesFor $1 million earners in high-tax states, rates on capital gains could be above 50%. For New Yorkers, the combined state and federal capital gains rate could be as high as 52.22%.
RNC chair McDaniel floated possible Michigan governor run
Her grandfather, George Romney, served as Michigan governor for three terms, and her grandmother, Lenore, waged an unsuccessful 1970 Senate bid. Her mother, Ronna, waged unsuccessful 1994 and 1996 Senate campaigns and also served on the RNC. Should she step down to run for governor, RNC co-chairman Tommy Hicks would become temporary chair. The list of potential Republican challengers also includes John James, an Iraq war veteran who waged unsuccessful 2018 and 2020 Senate campaigns. After Trump lost reelection, he endorsed McDaniel to serve a third term, and the RNC chose her without opposition.
Climate crisis poses existential threat to U.S. national security, Defense secretary says
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday described the climate crisis as one of the nation's existential threats with the potential to profoundly destabilize global security. The new target more than doubles the Obama administration's prior commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the accords in 2019. "I welcome President Biden's leadership on tackling climate change," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in his opening remarks at the summit. It has a serious impact on our security, so it matters for NATO," he said, adding that NATO members would be stepping up efforts to address the climate crisis.
97 House Democrats Call On Senate To End The Filibuster
A group of 97 House Democrats, including progressives and moderates, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday urging him to eliminate the Senate’s filibuster rules so the party can enact its agenda. None of these bills can pass the Senate under current filibuster rules without receiving at least 10 votes from Republican senators to end debate and advance to a final vote. speaks during a news conference to advocate for ending the Senate filibuster, outside the U.S. Capitol on April 22. “And we have had enough.”“The people that I represent ? my constituents ? do not care about arcane Senate rules and procedures,” he added. Almost all members of the Senate Democratic caucus support changing the filibuster in some way.
Senate Passes Bill to Target Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
WASHINGTON — The Senate approved legislation on Thursday aimed at strengthening federal efforts to address hate crimes directed at Asian-Americans amid a sharp increase in discrimination and violence against Asian communities in the United States. The bipartisan vote, 94 to 1, was the first legislative action either chamber of Congress has taken to bolster law enforcement’s response to rising attacks on people of Asian descent. “By passing this bill, the Senate makes it very clear that hate and discrimination against any group has no place in America,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader. “By passing this bill, we say to the Asian-American community that their government is paying attention to them, has heard their concerns and will respond to protect them.”The measure, sponsored by Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, would establish a position at the Justice Department to expedite the agency’s review of hate crimes and expand the channels to report them. It would also encourage the creation of state-run hate crime hotlines, provide grant money to law enforcement agencies that train their officers to identify hate crimes and introduce a series of public education campaigns around bias against people of Asian descent.
UK MPs declare China is committing genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang
British MPs voted to declare that China is committing genocide against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang province. The motion passed on Thursday does not compel the government to act but is likely to mark a further decline in relations with China. He said the government had sent a powerful message in March by sanctioning four senior Chinese officials involved in the abuses in Xinjiang province. China recently sanctioned 10 UK individuals and entities, including five MPs, as a response to the UK sanctions. Tim Loughton, one of the five MPs, told the Chinese embassy he would not be cowed and had only been re-energised by the sanctions.
China says deadly military coup in Myanmar should be left to play out without foreign interference
China says the brutal military coup in Myanmar should be left to play out without foreign interference amid criticism over its muted response to the unfolding crisis. While Western countries, including Australia, have strongly condemned the military coup - China has been more cautious in its response, emphasising the need for stability. Mr Wang said the situation should be left to play out without foreign interference. The Association of South East Asian Nations is set to meet this week for an emergency summit in Jakarta addressing the military coup in Myanmar. The unfolding military coup has prompted sanctions from international allies including the United States, European Union, Canada and United Kingdom.
Boris Johnson urges leaders to ‘get serious’ at climate summit
With just over six months to go until vital UN climate talks, Boris Johnson has urged world leaders at a virtual White House summit to step up with plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions this decade. Governments will meet in November in Glasgow for the UN Cop26 climate summit to assess the pledges and try to get on track to meet the Paris goals. Johnson has accepted the recommendations of the UK’s Climate Change Committee to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035, and by 68% by 2030. “If we actually want to stop climate change, then this must be the year in which we get serious about doing so. “We should not think that pledges made in April are the last word ahead of a summit in November,” he said.
Mexico Planning To Build Shelters For Unaccompanied Migrant Minors Trying To Enter The US
Kaylee GreenleeMexico’s child welfare agency is working to establish 17 shelters for Central American migrant minors, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. Mexico’s child welfare agency will likely convert existing daycares and other facilities to temporarily house migrant minors. Mexican officials are planning to open five additional shelters along the northern border shared with the U.S., the AP reported. The Biden administration has opened several temporary facilities to house record numbers of unaccompanied migrant minors arriving in the U.S. Over 20,500 unaccompanied migrant minors were in Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) custody while another 2,700 remained at Customs and Border Protection facilities as of Wednesday, according to HHS. Mexico’s child welfare agency currently oversees four shelters for unaccompanied minors near the U.S. border, the AP reported.
Senate passes bill to combat hate crimes against Asian Americans
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is joined by fellow Democrats as he speaks at a news conference after the Senate passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 22, 2021. The Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to curb a spike in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The chamber approved the measure in a 94-1 vote, with Republican Josh Hawley of Missouri the only senator to oppose it. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has backed the bill, and President Joe Biden has signaled he would sign it into law. The proposal would instruct the Justice Department to expedite the review of hate crimes related to Covid-19.
Venice woman loses home, dog in fire as neighbors blame growing homeless encampment
A GoFundMe has been started to help the woman who lost her home and dog. "We heard glass breaking and people screaming in the alley," neighbor Francesca Padilla told ABC7. "I also heard our neighbor's dog whimpering. He couldn't get through and soon the sounds of the dog inside stopped.Neighbors say there has been a growing presence of homeless encampments in the area. GoFundMe has been started to help the woman who lost her home and dog.The fire may have been arson.
The Internet says to 'check in on your Black friends.' It's more complex than that.
We saw it on social media after George Floyd's death last summer, after Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict this week and during the many Black deaths in between: "Check in on your Black friends." Breonna Taylor has been gone a year:Why we need to talk more about the racial trauma of Black deathOn social media, some Black people said they appreciate when white friends and colleagues check in. "There's no one-size-fits-all response to racial trauma," said Brandon J. Johnson, creator of The Black Mental Wellness Lounge YouTube page. 'When you see, 'check in on your Black friends,' you're like, 'well, every Black person I know is my Black friend. Johnson said he had many conversations about the Chauvin verdict and next steps with Black friends and family.
'Choose wisely': Greta Thunberg warns House lawmakers on their legacies, urges end to fossil fuel subsidies
WASHINGTON — Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg called tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry a "disgrace" in testimony to Congress at an Earth Day hearing on subsidies. The 18-year-old activist from Sweden told the House Oversight Committee in the hearing on "The Role of Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Preventing Action on the Climate Crisis" that history would hold them accountable if they fail to take action to end fossil fuel subsidies, a cause taken up by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis, the global aspect of equity and historic emissions without being held accountable?" They also criticized plans to reduce or eliminate fossil fuel subsidies without ensuring countries like China will do the same. "We are the people who are impacted first and worst by climate crisis, yet we are the people who often contribute the least to the climate crisis," Houska said.
White cops have been convicted of killing a Black person before, but it's rare
Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, one for each shot fired at the Black teenager. Walter ScottWalter Scott, 50, an unarmed Black man, was shot repeatedly in the back as he ran away from an officer in April 2015. With both feet planted on the ground, the officer fired eight shots, hitting Scott five times. In December 2017, a federal judge sentenced Slager to 20 years in prison. The officers claimed that Lawson was fatally injured when he tumbled headfirst down a flight of stairs after being arrested.
House Approves D.C. Statehood, but Senate Obstacles Remain
On Thursday, lawmakers pointed to the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6, in which Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department helped respond to the chaos, as further evidence of the need for statehood. “Statehood for the District of Columbia is about showing respect for our democracy, for the American people and for our Constitution,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said on the House floor on Thursday. During an hour of debate, several Republican lawmakers criticized the bill as an unconstitutional affront to what the country’s founders intended when they established the nation’s capital. He said he would be open to giving Ms. Norton, or her successor, full voting rights on the House floor. “Let’s respect the institutions of our democracy and have real conversations about fair congressional representation for the District of Columbia,” he said.
UK lawmakers pass motion saying China committing genocide
LONDON — British lawmakers on Thursday approved a parliamentary motion declaring that China’s policies against its Uyghur minority population in the far western Xinjiang region amounted to genocide and crimes against humanity. But it is another move signaling the growing outcry among UK politicians over alleged human rights abuses in China. The motion was moved by Conservative lawmaker Nus Ghani, one of five British lawmakers recently sanctioned by China for criticizing its treatment of the Uyghurs. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced increasing pressure from within his own Conservative government to take a tougher stance against Beijing over human rights abuses. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the measures were part of “intensive diplomacy” to force action amid mounting evidence about serious rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim people.
Disgraced NYC politician Andy King sued by another former staffer
Disgraced city politician Andy King tried to obstruct a probe into his conduct, a former staffer alleges in yet another lawsuit accusing the ousted councilman of bullying and abusing his aides. But King told Lewis to change his time sheet to make it look like he was “off the clock” during the car accident, the court filing alleges. Lewis brought claims of retaliation and not accommodating his health disability against King and the City Council. Frampton-Shillingford and Melius separately settled their claims against the City Council, though both cases are still pending against King. The City Council did not immediately return a request for comment.
The Cybersecurity 202: Encrypted messaging app Signal finds serious flaws with a phone cracking tool favored by law enforcement
AdvertisementPhone cracking technologies like Cellebrite have grown in popularity as tech companies and law enforcement continue to spar over encryption. Law enforcement officials argue they should have special access into the technology to read the messages of suspected criminals. A report from nonprofit Upturn found more than 2,000 law enforcement agencies across all 50 states have purchased tools including Cellebrite to extract data from phones. Experts say the vulnerabilities point to very real concerns over the security of technology that law enforcement is increasingly relying on to prosecute criminals. The legislation would ban U.S. law enforcement agencies and the government from buying personal data without a warrant, Drew Harwell reports.
Supreme Court unanimous that FTC lacked authority to recover billions for consumers
The commission said Congress will need to step in because of the decision. “The Supreme Court ruled in favor of scam artists and dishonest corporations, leaving average Americans to pay for illegal behavior,” acting FTC chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter said in a statement. The section of the law at issue was amended in 1973 to allow the FTC to seek a court-ordered “permanent injunction” against unscrupulous practices. Story continues below advertisement“Protecting consumers and compensating them for harm is a paramount duty of the FTC,” she said in a statement. The ruling was a victory for business groups that said that the FTC had turned a limited grant of authority into a weapon that extracted billions of dollars.
Supreme Court rules against juvenile sentenced to life without parole
The “argument that the sentencer must make a finding of permanent incorrigibility is inconsistent with the Court’s precedents,” Kavanaugh wrote. Advertisement“Such an abrupt break from precedent demands ‘special justification,’ ” Sotomayor wrote, quoting a Kavanaugh opinion from last term. And four years later, in Montgomery v. Louisiana, the court said those sentenced under the old rules could challenge their permanent imprisonment. AdvertisementIn Miller, Kavanaugh wrote, "the Court mandated 'only that a sentencer follow a certain process — considering an offender's youth and attendant characteristics — before imposing' a life-without-parole sentence." "The dissent thinks that we are unduly narrowing Miller and Montgomery," Kavanaugh wrote.
John Kerry speaks at White House news briefing
LIVE PoliticsJohn Kerry speaks at White House news briefingSpecial Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will join White House press secretary Jen Psaki and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy at a news briefing.
Susan Page: Nancy Pelosi Told Me She Is A Street Fighter With Her 4 Inch Heels
Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief of USA TODAY, spoke to Brian Kilmeade about her new book “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power“. Page discussed the consequential impact on the country Speaker Pelosi has had in her long political career including being the first female Speaker of the House. Page also spoke about how Pelosi did not get the credit she deserved for pushing through the Affordable Care Act, the backstory of Speaker Pelosi ripping up President Trump’s State of the Union speech and her complicated relationship with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Squad. Plus, Susan Page on the rocky initial interview she had with Nancy Pelosi for the book when she bit into a Dove ice cream bar and wound up picking up melting chocolate off her carpet. Click here to order “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power”
Rand Paul rips FBI’s ‘suicide by cop’ classification of baseball park shooting: ‘Unsupported by the facts’
In a statement to Fox News, Paul rejected the idea that the attack was not politically motivated. OHIO CONGRESSMAN SAYS FBI CALLED 2017 BASEBALL SHOOTING TARGETING GOP 'SUICIDE BY COP,' DEMANDS NEW PROBE"I was present at the baseball practice where a Bernie Sanders supporter nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise," Paul said. To argue that this assassination attempt was suicide by cop is unsupported by the facts." Scalise also spoke out against the "suicide by cop" narrative. "This was not ‘suicide by cop.’ End of story."
Activists allegedly refusing to leave George Floyd Square after Chauvin verdict, call for demands to be met
Activists who have taken up Minneapolis’ George Floyd Square, which grew to become an "autonomous zone," say they will not leave the area until officials agree to comply with their list of two-dozen demands. MINNEAPOLIS’ GEORGE FLOYD SQUARE FEATURES SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR WHITE PEOPLEGeorge Floyd Square has been closed since late May, as the corner became a makeshift memorial to Floyd and a space for community healing. "The current state of the intersection known as George Floyd Square is contributing to the peace and safety of the surrounding neighborhoods," the statement reads, in part. He said the area could not be an autonomous zone, where police were prevented from entering. In one instance in August 2020, police took 14 minutes to respond to a man who was attacked down the street from the autonomous zone during an attempted robbery, KSTP-TV reported.
Kamala Harris emphasizes 'root causes' of border surge, says problem is 'complex'
Vice President Kamala Harris is emphasizing what she describes as the root causes of the migrant surge at the border, calling the issue "complex" as she continues to face criticism for her handling of the crisis. Harris, in a roundtable on the Northern Triangle, said the underlying issue was "addressing the acute and root causes of migration away from that region, the reasons people flee." "When you look at the root causes, we're also looking at issues of corruption. TOP REPUBLICANS REQUEST MEETING WITH KAMALA HARRIS OVER BORDER 'CATASTROPHE'The U.S. is seeing a dramatic surge in migration at the border, with 172,000 migrants encountered in March alone — and thousands more estimated to have evaded Border Patrol. They have also attacked Harris for not visiting the border.
20 Republican AGs oppose 'alarming' court-packing efforts in letter to Biden, congressional leaders
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and 19 other Republican state attorneys general sent a letter to President Biden and congressional leaders opposing efforts to alter the makeup of the Supreme Court. Biden has already announced the formation of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, which will explore potential court reforms and address issues, including the size of the court. Days later, Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill to expand the court from nine justices to 13. "The judicial branch and the judicial power created by Article III was to prevent the new federal government from repeating those abuses." The letter went on to address recent accusations from Democrats that the Supreme Court – which currently has a 6-3 majority of justices who were appointed by Republican presidents – has been politicized.
Russia orders troop pullback, but keeps weapons near Ukraine
"The troops have shown their capability to defend the country and I decided to complete the drills in the South and Western military districts." The U.S. and NATO have said that the Russian buildup near Ukraine was the largest since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and threw its support behind separatists in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland called Donbas. Ukraine’s president said the Russian troops’ pullback will help ease tensions and thanked international partners for their support. He noted that Ukraine remains vigilant, but "welcomes any steps to decrease the military presence and deescalate the situation in Donbas." Russia also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea this week, arguing that they fully conform with the international law.
U.S. commanders request aircraft carrier to protect troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, officials say
U.S. commanders have asked for the deployment of an aircraft carrier to help protect U.S.-led troops as they withdraw from Afghanistan, two senior Defense officials told NBC News. The request underscores concerns at the Pentagon that the Taliban may choose to launch attacks on NATO troops as they pull out. No final decision has been taken on the request from Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, the officials said. At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, Gen. McKenzie said more troops and resources would be deployed to safeguard the forces leaving Afghanistan. At House hearing on Tuesday, Gen. McKenzie said U.S. troops were ready if the Taliban chose to target NATO forces as they withdraw.
Senate passes bill to combat hate crimes against Asian Americans
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) speaks during a news conference following the weekly Democrat policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Democratic Senators spoke about the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. The Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to curb a spike in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has backed the bill and President Joe Biden has signaled he would sign it into law. The proposal would instruct the Justice Department to expedite the review of hate crimes related to Covid-19.
'Ok, I get the idea': GOP senator cuts off Stacey Abrams on controversial voting law
During a Senate Judiciary hearing about voting rights, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) pressed Stacey Abrams on Georgia's new and controversial elections law that was passed after then-President Donald Trump called into question the credibility of the state's 2020 election results. There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud found in Georgia.
Republicans unveil $568 bln infrastructure package to counter Biden's $2.3 trillion plan
Shelley Capito (R-WV) speaks during a news conference to introduce the Republican infrastructure plan, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2021. REUTERS/Erin ScottU.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday proposed a $568 billion, five-year infrastructure package as a counter offer to President Joe Biden's sweeping $2.3 trillion plan, calling their measure a starting point for bipartisan negotiations. But the package, which represents less than one-quarter of the Biden package, has already been dismissed by Democrats in Congress as inadequate. Biden, who this week asked Republicans to offer a counter-proposal by mid-May, proposed a sweeping infrastructure plan that not only includes traditional infrastructure projects but also addresses climate change and expands human services such as elder care. Republicans have opposed the size and scope of the Biden proposal, as well as its plan to pay for spending by raising taxes on U.S. corporations.
Boris Johnson’s tax texts show perils of government by WhatsApp
And on another occasion, Johnson urged MPs to rally around Priti Patel, his home secretary, after she was accused of bullying. The then-prime minister would answer (rather than initiate) texts, a former aide said, but did not favor WhatsApp and relied on calls being placed through the No. One Whitehall official complained: “Often ministers just text each other rather than going through private offices for the paper trail. 10 is going, ‘sorry, who said that?’”“It has very much been a government run via WhatsApp for the past two years,” they added. “Texts are no different from an unsolicited mail — if you don’t want it, just bin it,” he told POLITICO.
Capitol Police denies Lofgren claim they were focused only on anti-Trump forces on 1/6
“The radio call has been misquoted and is lacking full and necessary context,” the department said in an unsigned statement. What we’re looking for is any anti-Trump counter protestors." “The radio call does not mean USCP was only looking out for anti-Trump counter protestors,” the department statement said. Lofgren, the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, plays a key role overseeing the Capitol Police. The transmission itself, according to the Capitol Police, is not the subject of any investigation.
Senate passes anti-Asian American hate crime bill
Senate Republicans had originally expressed concerns about the need for the legislation, but both sides negotiated amendments to the final bill to address Republicans' hesitation. Collins and other Republicans had raised concerns that the original text too narrowly defined the types of hate crimes addressed. “Without data, it's difficult to investigate and prosecute (hate crimes),” Collins said. The hate crimes bill, a relatively modest piece of legislation, would be Congress’ first substantive piece of legislation addressing a rise in bias crime against Asian Americans if it is signed into law. According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, about a third of Asian American adults fear attacks on them, a higher proportion than other ethnic groups, and 81 percent of Asian American adults said violence against them was increasing, compared to a little over half of all American adults.
Watch: Climate activists dump pig manure near White House on Earth Day
Climate activists gathered near the White House on Earth Day and dumped pig manure on the street. The group believes Biden's climate change policies don't do enough for the environment.
MSNBC Author Katelyn Burns
Like immigration and racial equality, Democrats can speak to trans issues in a way that expresses their vision for an inclusive and prosperous nation — for everyone.
Gunmen kill two Guard members in Iran’s Kurdish area
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Unknown gunmen suspected of terrorism killed two members of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, the official IRNA news agency reported on Thursday. The Guard members also killed two gunmen and wounded several of their accomplices in the Wednesday night shootout near Kurdish town of Marivan, near the border of Iraq. The report identified the fallen Guard members as Osman Jahani and Nasser Amini without giving their rank. Iran’s Kurdish area has seen occasional fighting between Iranian forces and Kurdish separatists, as well as militants linked to the extremist Islamic State group. In December, unknown gunmen killed three Iranian border guards in the Kurdish area near the country’s northwestern border with Turkey.
General: Afghan military will collapse without some US help
FILE - In this April1 14, 2018, file photo, then-Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie speaks during a media availability at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)FILE - In this April1 14, 2018, file photo, then-Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie speaks during a media availability at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Afghanistan’s military “will certainly collapse” without some continued American support once all U.S. troops are withdrawn, the top U.S. general for the Middle East told Congress Thursday. Gen. Frank McKenzie also said he was very concerned about the Afghan government’s ability to protect the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. U.S. officials have made it clear that military commanders did not recommend the full, unconditional withdrawal that Biden has ordered.
Unmute, please: Echoes, glitches resound in virtual summit
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, speaks as the screen showing world leaders at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Lee Jin-wook/Yonhap via AP)South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, speaks as the screen showing world leaders at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 22, 2021. Just like the rest of us, world leaders are still figuring out the tech side of virtual work, even more than a year into the pandemic. Thursday’s livestreamed U.S.-hosted global climate summit started with a glitch, not a bang. Vice President Kamala Harris began the two-day summit by stepping forward to introduce President Joe Biden, but her speech was literally double talk.
North Dakota House overrides veto of mask mandate bill
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s House voted Thursday to override Gov. Doug Burgum’s veto of a bill that would prohibit state officials from mandating face coverings. Sixty-three House votes were needed to provide a two-thirds majority. The legislation now goes to the Senate, which will hold its own override vote later in the afternoon. The bill received broad support in both chambers in the Republican-led Legislature, with a 67-24 vote in the House and a 30-17 vote in the Senate.
Mayors ask Biden to be included in climate migration study
No nation offers protection to people specifically displaced because of climate change. The mayors say they should be consulted as well since cities are on the frontlines of receiving most of the migrants, refugees and others displaced by storms, drought and other effects of climate change. The mayors of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver, Miami, and Houston also signed the letter. ADVERTISEMENTThe effects of climate change has produced an average of 23 million refugees a year since 2010, according to a World Meteorological Organization report released Monday. “This is an opportunity for localities, including cities, to be part of the process, part of solution,” she said.
Israel says Syrian missile was not aimed at nuclear reactor
Israel says Syrian missile was not aimed at nuclear reactorJERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Thursday that a Syrian missile that reached deep into Israeli territory and set off air raid sirens near the country’s top-secret nuclear reactor was the result of a misfire and not a deliberate attack. The missile landed in southern Israel early Thursday, prompting Israel to respond with airstrikes on the missile launcher and other targets in Syria. Gen. Hidai Zilberman, was quoted as telling military correspondents that the Israeli air force was already operating in Syrian airspace when the anti-aircraft missile was fired. “I think it reflects, actually, incompetence in Syrian air defense, where they were responding to Israeli strikes on targets in Syria. Syria’s state news agency SANA said the exchange began with an Israeli air strike on Dumeir, a suburb of the capital, Damascus.
Oklahoma Law Grants Immunity To Drivers Who Unintentionally Harm Protesters
Oklahoma Law Grants Immunity To Drivers Who Unintentionally Harm ProtestersEnlarge this image toggle caption Amanda Voisard/The Washington Post via Getty Images Amanda Voisard/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesA new law in Oklahoma increases penalties for demonstrators who block public roadways and grants immunity to motorists who unintentionally kill or injure protesters while attempting to flee. "When fleeing an unlawful riot, they should not face threat of prosecution for trying to protect themselves, their families or their property." Another provision grants civil and criminal liability protection to motorists who unintentionally cause injury or death while "fleeing from a riot." "In those instances, and we've seen them, even here in Oklahoma, it does protect them," Standridge said. And earlier this week, Florida's governor signed a law he called the "strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement measure in the country."
In Rare Moment Of Bipartisan Unity, Senate Approves Asian American Hate Crimes Bill
In Rare Moment Of Bipartisan Unity, Senate Approves Asian American Hate Crimes BillEnlarge this image toggle caption Jose Luis Magana/AP Jose Luis Magana/APCapping nearly two weeks of talks between Democrats and Republicans, the Senate approved legislation on Thursday to ramp up law enforcement efforts to better protect the Asian American and Pacific Islander community from hate crimes. The move marks a rare moment of bipartisan unity needed to approve the Senate legislation despite a new political era marked by increasingly bitter party divisions. "The vote today on the anti-Asian hate crimes bill is proof that when the Senate is given the opportunity to work, the Senate can work to solve important issues," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said ahead of the vote. Biden had urged approval for hate crimes legislation in the wake of a March shooting in Georgia that left several women of Asian descent dead. Through grant programs and other efforts, the legislation incentivizes law enforcement agencies to better track instances of hate crimes and establish related hotlines.
Russia To Pull Troops From Ukraine Border, Defusing Crisis
Russia To Pull Troops From Ukraine Border, Defusing CrisisEnlarge this image toggle caption Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty ImagesRussia says it will begin a phased reduction of troops from its border with neighboring Ukraine – apparently ending a deployment that had alarmed Kyiv and Western observers concerned about a possible repeat of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea. "In this regard, I have decided to complete the Southern and Western military district reviews," he added. "The reduction of troops on our border proportionally reduces tension," Zelenskiy wrote on Twitter. He also said that despite the troop reduction, Russia would keep a close tab on planned NATO exercises. Russia ordering troops back to base after their deployment to the border is an important and timely move, a NATO official told Reuters.
Biden will outline 'American Families Plan' in speech to Congress, White House says
President Joe Biden will use a speech to Congress next week to outline his "American Families Plan," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. The plan is expected to focus on policies including paid family leave, childcare and free community college. Asked about a report that Biden will propose nearly doubling capital gains taxes on wealthy Americans to help pay for the plan, Psaki said she wouldn't get ahead of Biden's final decisions. She reiterated his pledge not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. U.S. stocks DJIA, -0.77% turned south in afternoon trade after a report said Biden is weighing the capital-gains proposal.
‘One thing we’ve always done really well is take calculated risks’: Betches Co-Founders
The Daily BeastJohn Moore/Getty ImagesThe defense intellectual Fred Ikle once wrote that every war must end. It’ll simply require far more platforms, operating at greater range,” McKenzie said, suggesting that the skies above Afghanistan will continue to see U.S. surveillance and strike aircraft. “We’ve done four such operations in the last roughly 90 days, one of which is ongoing right now.”Sen. “The long term view from the War on Terror is this: it’s not going to be bloodless,” he said. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you.
My coworker wants to sell her house as prices have skyrocketed. The co-signer on her mortgage demands 25%. Can she sell without his permission?
Associated PressA Michigan lawmaker who was arrested for drunken driving and resisting police threatened to call Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and told state troopers it would not be good for them because he oversees their budget, according to an incident report. Rep. Jewell Jones, an Inkster Democrat, was charged in Livingston County last week after driving his Chevy Tahoe into a ditch along Interstate 96 near Fowlerville around 6 p.m. on April 6, following reports of erratic driving. Jones said he would need their badge numbers when calling the governor, according to the report released late Wednesday through a public records request.
Biden to propose hike in capital gains taxes to pay for more child care -sources
Biden will propose raising the marginal income tax rate to 39.6% from 37%, and nearly doubling taxes on capital gains to 39.6% for people earning more than $1 million, according to the sources. Wealthy Americans could face an overall capital gains tax rate of 43.4% including the 3.8% net investment tax on individuals with income of $200,000 or more ($250,000 married filing jointly). Currently, those earning more than $200,000 pay an overall rate of about 23.8% including the Obamacare net investment tax. "If it had a chance of passing, we'd be down 2,000 points," said Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member at hedge fund Great Hill Capital LLC, referring to reports about hiking the capital gains tax. (Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw, Trevor Hunnicutt; additional reporting by Andrea Shalal, David Lawder and Herbert Lash; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Cynthia Osterman)
Mondaire Jones accuses GOP lawmakers of bringing ‘racist trash’ to House debate as DC statehood bill passes
“I have had enough of my colleagues’ racist insinuations that somehow the people of Washington DC are incapable or unworthy of our democracy,” the New York lawmaker told the House of Representatives on Thursday. Mr Jones objected to remarks from Republican Senator Tom Cotton who said statehood would prevent the nation’s capital from being a “well-rounded working class state”. “I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word ‘white’,” said Mr Jones, who is Black. “Democrats’ partisan push for DC statehood is irresponsible and represents exactly what the Founding Fathers sought to guard against when establishing the seat of the federal government,” he wrote. The state of Washington DC statehood: What House Democrats are proposing and why it will probably fail
Markey introduces bill to create a Civilian Climate Corps
During an event on Tuesday about the Green New Deal, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., announced that he is introducing a bill to create a Civilian Climate Corps. Video TranscriptED MARKEY: Today, I am introducing new legislation with my partner Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez that will create a Civilian Climate Corps for jobs and justice in our country. [APPLAUSE]Livable wages with benefits, on-the-job training from local unions, sweat equity that builds racial, moral, and political equality, work that rebuilds the economy and saves the planet all at the same time. This is the 21st century Civilian Climate Corps.
Sotomayor gives blistering dissent to Trump SCOTUS appointees who find juvenile not worthy of parole
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor arrives at the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC, on 20 January 2021 ((Reuters))Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave a blistering dissent to Donald Trump‘s SCOTUS appointees who found a juvenile not worthy of parole, calling the ruling “an abrupt break from precedent”. He eventually took the case to the Supreme Court to challenge his sentence, claiming that he is not “permanently incorrigible”, with the oral hearings held in November 2020. Since those previous rulings were made, the court has lost two liberal-leaning judges crucial in such decisions. In a blistering dissent to the judges who voted against Mr Jones in the case, Justice Sotomayor, who was nominated to the position by former President Barack Obama, highlighted the implication of the decision. Justice Sotomayor, who wrote the dissenting opinion with Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, wrote that the majority opinion is “an abrupt break from precedent”.
Stacey Abrams lists what’s wrong with Georgia voting law
A video clip of activist Stacey Abrams went viral after she responded to a GOP senator who asked her to list her objections to Georgia's controversial new election law. STACEY ABRAMS: I'm against certain provisions of it, yes. STACEY ABRAMS: I think there are provisions of it that are racist, yes. STACEY ABRAMS: It shortens the federal runoff period from nine weeks to four weeks. STACEY ABRAMS: Yes.
'Mr President?': Biden and Putin suffer awkward silence in climate summit technical glitch
Instead, Mr Putin loomed silently on a giant screen above Mr Biden, Mr Binken and John Kerry, the US climate tsar. On the screen Mr Putin looked bored, twiddling his forefinger and thumb. Biden - White HouseAfter nearly a full minute of awkward silence Mr Blinken, looking ever so slightly flustered, tried again. Kremlinologists immediately speculated that the most recent incident might be an attempt by Mr Putin to unsettle Mr Biden. Story continuesThe echo problem continued as Mr Biden took the microphone, but was hurriedly fixed during his speech.
Senate passes bill targeting hate crimes against Asian Americans
The Senate on Thursday approved a bill designed to make it easier for law enforcement to investigate hate crimes against Asian Americans, which have surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would designate one Justice Department official to expedite review of potential hate crimes against Asian Americans. It would also set up a voluntary database of hate crimes and issue guidance to help local law enforcement make it easier for people to report crimes. AdvertisementThe bill originally only addressed hate crimes related to the pandemic, a link that Republicans and others viewed as potentially too onerous for law enforcement to make. In addition to the Justice Department appointment, the bill would set up a database of hate crimes and issue guidance to help local law enforcement make it easier for people to report crimes.
Bill to combat hate crimes against Asian Americans passes Senate
While the bill bolsters resources for addressing hate crimes more broadly, supporters said it will send a clear message to the Asian American community that steps are being taken to curb an alarming increase in threats and violence. The Senate passed by an overwhelming margin legislation designed to combat hate crimes in the U.S., as lawmakers united to respond after a sharp increase in attacks against Asian-Americans since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. “Hate crimes will not be tolerated and federal law enforcement will do everything in its power to detect, deter and if necessary prosecute crimes to the full extent of the law.”The legislation requires the Justice Department to conduct a review of hate crimes, and to provide guidance to state and local governments to enable them to establish online reporting of hate crimes and expand public education campaigns to raise awareness of such assaults. It also provides grants for states to establish state-wide hate crimes reporting hotlines and improve their training to better identify and report them. Hirono said there are some discussions underway about the House possibly taking up the Senate bill and clearing it to speed the process.
Russia pulls troops back from near Ukraine, but not weapons
The Russian troop buildup near Ukraine that came amid increasing violations of a cease-fire in war-torn eastern Ukraine raised concerns in the West, which urged the Kremlin to pull its forces back. A Ukrainian soldier was killed Thursday by separatist fire in the east, bringing the number of Ukrainian troops killed this year to 32. The U.S. and NATO have said the Russian buildup near Ukraine was the largest since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and threw its support behind separatists in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of Donbas. Ukraine’s president applauded the Russian troops’ pullback. Russia also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea this week.
DC statehood measure clears House, Senate fight awaits
The proposal faces a far tougher fight in the Senate, where simple Democratic control of the chamber won’t be enough. An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats in control of both chambers and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill. Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Former Denver police officer pleads guilty to sex assault, avoids jail time
A former Denver police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to sexual assault in a deferred judgment plea agreement that stipulates no jail time. Johnny Leon-Alvarez, 30, entered the plea before Denver District Court Judge Morris B. Hoffman. At Thursday’s hearing, Leon-Alvarez admitted, in response to a direct question from Hoffman, that he forcefully sexually assaulted the victim. When Leon-Alvarez dropped her off at her home, he sexually assaulted her. The plea agreement can be amended, or stricken, by the court, up until the defendant’s sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for June 21.
Israel says Syrian missile was not aimed at nuclear reactor
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said Thursday that a Syrian missile that reached deep into Israeli territory and set off air raid sirens near the country’s top-secret nuclear reactor was the result of a misfire and not a deliberate attack. The missile landed in southern Israel early Thursday, prompting Israel to respond with airstrikes on the missile launcher and other targets in Syria. Gen. Hidai Zilberman, was quoted as telling military correspondents that the Israeli air force was already operating in Syrian airspace when the anti-aircraft missile was fired. It said the Syrian military fired surface-to-air missiles in response. Iran has accused Israel of a series of attacks on its nuclear facilities, including sabotage at its Natanz nuclear facility on April 11, and vowed revenge.
CCSD School Board to review AG’s finding it violated Open Meetings Law
The Clark County School Board will discuss and possibly vote Thursday night to acknowledge findings that the board didn’t provide adequate public comment opportunities. Clark County School District's first in-person board meeting since COVID-19 shut schools down is underway on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ellenschmidtttThe Clark County School Board will discuss and possibly vote Thursday night on an agenda item acknowledging findings from the Nevada Attorney General’s Office that it violated the state’s Open Meetings Law. In January, the School Board started allowing members of the public to leave recorded messages to be played during the public comment period. The board resumed in-person meetings in February for the first time in nearly a year and restored a public comment period.
Las Vegas christens new courthouse with ribbon cutting
The $56 million Las Vegas municipal courthouse across from City Hall in downtown will open Thursday, two weeks before it is scheduled to be accessible to the public. A rendering of the Las Vegas courthouse. (Molasky Group of Cos.)A rendering shows the proposed new Las Vegas Municipal Courthouse, which the Molasky Group of Companies plans to develop southeast of Las Vegas City Hall. (City of Las Vegas)The $56 million Las Vegas municipal courthouse across from City Hall in downtown will open Thursday, two weeks before it is scheduled to be accessible to the public, city officials said. Municipal court operations will be closed to the public between Thursday and May 2 while the offices are relocated to the new building.
House approves DC statehood, but Senate fight looms
An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Eleanor Holmes-Norton, D-D.C., left, at a news conference ahead of the House vote on H.R. Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C., face a milestone moment in their decades-long movement to reshape the American political map. An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Foxx says she should have known what prosecutor would say in court about police shooting of Adam Toledo
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx acknowledged Thursday she should have known what one of her top deputies was going to say in court about the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo because it was a “heater case.”“My name is on the door. “The officer tells [Adam] to drop it as [Adam] turns towards the officer. [Adam] has a gun in his right hand,” Murphy said in court. “The officer fires one shot at [Adam], striking him in the chest. On Thursday, Foxx acknowledged she did not see the statement of facts Murphy read aloud in court — and that she should have seen it.
Florida Supreme Court kills legalize marijuana amendment
“It’s unfortunate because I think Floridians would legalize marijuana for adult use tomorrow if given the opportunity,” said Pollara, who helped run Orlando attorney John Morgan’s successful medical marijuana initiative in 2016. “But the reality is that with this decision, combined with the recent [proposed] changes to the law ... the chances of seeing something on the 2022 ballot are basically zero. And the chances of seeing something on a future ballot are also pretty damn close to zero.”
Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard has ‘zero interest’ in running for Congress
So far, nine people have declared their candidacies, including several current and former elected officials, and more may enter the race. Bernard said he isn’t endorsing anyone at this point. “The race has not been set. And it’s still fluid in terms of the [number] of candidates.”
Labor's clout in NYC mayoral race
Big-city mayoral races give municipal unions a unique forum in which to tout or fight the very candidates who would become top boss of their workplace. For tens of thousands of Long Islanders who work for New York City, but do not vote there, endorsements offer a collective bit of influence across the Queens border. As a whole, the outsize attention to union endorsements gives very little hint of who will come out a winner. Given the current political climate, police unions with many suburban residents, led by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, could end up outliers. A third of more than 35,000 uniformed members of the New York Police Department live in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as Newsday reported in February.
Oregon lawmaker says harassment by colleague was ‘unacceptable’
BEND — A Republican state lawmaker who says she was subjected to sexual harassment by Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, said he responded inappropriately when she asked him to support a bill. “I asked for a yes vote,” Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson of Prineville told the Central Oregon Daily News. He interjected with, going out for a beer, going out for dinner, dot dot dot. Breese Iverson has asked that House Speaker Tina Kotek remove Witt from the three legislative committees they both serve on. The matter would then go before the House Conduct Committee to consider whether Witt violated legislative rules, and whether there should be consequences.
Ohio House Republicans reject gender-neutral change for adoption language
That change would update Ohio law to reflect court decisions already being followed in the state. The language change could help couples in some family courts adopt children more easily, he said. And there's a value to updating the language in Ohio law to be more inclusive and accurate. "This is one place where it would be great to have our community represented in Ohio law." Rep. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton, said the language change was a matter of semantics and had no practical effect on Ohioans' ability to adopt children.
These Michigan donors gave the most to President Biden's inauguration
Lansing — Four of Michigan's largest companies chipped in at least $250,000 each to support President Joe Biden's inauguration in January, according to newly released disclosures. Beyond the inauguration, Farner said the company would pause and review its political contributions. Midland-based Dow Chemical gave $500,000 to Biden's inauguration, General Motors Co. gave $500,000, and Ford Motor Co. gave $250,000, according to the new disclosures. The top Michigan donor outside the four companies was Ralph Gerson, former board chairman of Guardian Industries Corp., who gave $100,000. The other Michigan donors listed gave less than $1,500 each, according to the filing.
City of Scottsdale passes anti-discrimination ordinance
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The city of Scottsdale has voted to approve a non-discrimination ordinance, becoming the eighth city in Arizona to provide protections to members of the LGBTQ community and other groups. The Scottsdale City Council unanimously passed the ordinance on Tuesday protecting residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, public places and housing. The ordinance will take effect on May 20 and apply to all elected and appointed city officials, employees and volunteers and all contractors, vendors and consultants of the city. “The ordinance represents the city of Scottsdale’s commitment to anti-discrimination and fair treatment of residents, visitors and employees in the Scottsdale community, and the City Council’s support and value for diversity and inclusiveness,” the statement said. The City Council had discussed a similar ordinance in 2016, but never took it to vote because of disagreements on whether to exempt businesses with fewer than 15 employees.
US troops in Afghanistan begin packing gear in pullout prep
The pullout under U.S. President Joe Biden marks the end of America's longest war after a 20-year military engagement. While preparations are under way, troops likely won't begin to depart for a few weeks, he said, adding that "we won't see a coming down of the (troop) numbers" until remaining bases close. In the short term, America will likely increase its troop presence in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said last Friday. The additional troops would be in Afghanistan over the coming weeks and months to help with what the herculean task of wrapping up 20 years of war. The Taliban, meanwhile, were non-committal when asked by the AP whether the insurgents would attack departing U.S. and NATO troops.
The Latest: Pope Francis praises efforts in climate summit
She says instead of just talking about climate change, world leaders “need to accept that the era of fossil fuels is over.” She demands an immediate transition to renewable energy worldwide and an end to fossil fuel subsidies and infrastructure, including new pipelines. The 19-year-old Bastida is a leader of Fridays for Future, an international youth movement that includes Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg spoke to the U.S. Congress at a separate event. ———10 a.m.Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for international cooperation to tackle climate change at a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden. In his speech, Putin urged “broad and effective international cooperation in the calculation and monitoring of volumes of all types of harmful emissions into the atmosphere.”Putin said Thursday, “Russia is genuinely interested in galvanizing international cooperation so as to look further for effective solutions to climate change as well as to all other vital challenges.”Putin says Moscow is ready to offer a number of joint projects and consider preferences for foreign companies willing to invest in clean technologies, including those in Russia.
DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
WASHINGTON (AP) — A decades-long movement to reshape the American political map took a further step Thursday as the House of Representatives approved a bill to make the nation's capital the 51st state. The legislation proposes creating a 51st state with one representative and two senators, while a tiny sliver of land including the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall would remain as a federal district. Instead of the District of Columbia, the new state would be known as Washington, Douglass Commonwealth — named after famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who lived in Washington from 1877 until his death in 1895. An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill.
Roscoe Cooper replaces Micky Ogburn as chair of the Henrico School Board
The Henrico School Board on Thursday voted 4-1 to install Roscoe Cooper as Board chairman weeks after Micky Ogburn relinquished the seat amid controversy over an offensive Facebook post she shared. In 2016, Ogburn apologized on behalf of the school division for a video shown during class as part of Black History Month that detailed how white privilege worked. She was chair of the board then. “However the staff within our buildings loved me, nurtured me.”Cooper, the pastor of Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church and the Fairfield district representative, served as chair of the Board in 2020. He's been on the Board since 2015, and has also served as vice chairman.
Greta Thunberg urges US to 'listen and act on the science' on climate crisis – video
Greta Thunberg appeared virtually before a House subcommittee Thursday to call on US officials to do more, saying it’s ‘not too late’ to make real changes in the fight against climate change. ‘The simple fact and uncomfortable fact is that if we are to live up to our promises and commitments in the Paris agreement, we have to end fossil fuel subsidies, stop new exploration and extraction, completely divest from fossil fuels and keep the carbon in the ground,’ the climate activist said. Her comments came during the environment subcommittee remote hearing on ‘The role of fossil fuel subsidies in preventing action on the climate crisis’ and also Earth Day
20 jokes only very intelligent people will understand
The first logician says “I don’t know”. The second logician says “I don’t know”. However, since he’e uncertain if the others want a beer he says, “I don’t know.” Same reasoning for the second man. To understand this joke, you first have to understand what mitosis is. I don’t know and I don’t care.
Ponies detained due to post-Brexit paperwork freed in Northern Ireland following court ruling
However, in the first case of its kind since the transition period ended in January, a judge ordered the release of the ponies, which otherwise faced the prospect of being returned to Britain and quarantined for a further 30 days. The Court also heard concerns that the animals could have been slaughtered, as the woman was unable to afford the costs involved. The case was highlighted on Wednesday night through social media by Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, who has called on Boris Johnson to scrap the protocol. Speaking afterwards, solicitor Patrick Higgins, acting for the woman, called on the UK Government and Brussels to review the new rules imposed on Northern Ireland, which he said were causing problems on a daily basis. “No matter what way people voted in the Brexit referendum, no one in Northern Ireland voted for this new additional level of bureaucracy being placed upon animals owners, hauliers and vets as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol,” Mr Higgins said.
'Mr President?': Biden and Putin suffer awkward silence in climate summit technical glitch
A technical glitch at the climate summit meant Joe Biden was left hanging for nearly 90 seconds by his political nemesis Vladimir Putin. "I now turn the floor to the President of the Russian Federation," announced Tony Blinken, the US secretary of state. Instead, Mr Putin loomed silently on a giant screen above Mr Biden, Mr Binken and John Kerry, the US climate tsar. The American leaders, seated at a large table, looked at each other and fiddled with their masks. On the screen Mr Putin looked bored, twiddling his forefinger and thumb.
Did Putin get what he wanted in latest round of sabre-rattling?
As 100,000 troops trudge back to their barracks in Russia's heartlands one may be forgiven for thinking Vladimir Putin is in retreat. Much reading of the tea leaves has taken place since Mr Putin, master of deception, moved columns of his armed forces close to the Ukraine border. As they begin to slowly return, the Kremlin may feel it has got what it wanted out of the latest round of sabre-rattling. Mr Putin has achieved three principal goals. First, a phone call from US president Joe Biden, in which Mr Biden urged a de-escalation - an acknowledgement at least of Mr Putin's parade of firepower.
Frank: MyPillow CEO’s pro-Trump social network breaks immediately upon launch
FrankSpeech, a pro-Trump social media platform set up by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, has failed to launch for the second time in seven days. A lengthy, rambling live stream from CEO Mike Lindell was one of two videos recently playable on the bare site. Duke dismissed any notion that he is biased or funded by the Chinese Communist Party, as Mr Lindell claimed he was. A post on Sunday from Mr Lindell urged supporters to promote the site’s launch, and gained over 2,000 comments. Mr Lindell is a prominent supporter of former president Donald Trump, and has claimed Mr Trump will be in the White House again by August.
Officer who shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was military trained marksman, report says
The Columbus officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant on Tuesday was a military-trained marksman, according to reports. Columbus, Ohio Interim Police Chief Michael Woods identified the officer involved in the fatal shooting as Nicholas Reardon during a Wednesday press conference. Mr Reardon has been with the department since 2019, Mr Woods said, and he has since been placed on paid leave pending an investigation. Social media and news reports revealed that Mr Reardon is a US Air National Guardsman who received an expert marksman badge with an M4 Carbine. When asked about why Mr Reardon shot at Ma'Khia Bryant, Mr Woods said that police officers were allowed to use deadly force against someone if their life or the life of another person was at risk.
Sotomayor gives blistering dissent to Trump SCOTUS appointees who find juvenile not worthy of parole
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave a blistering dissent to Donald Trump‘s SCOTUS appointees who found a juvenile not worthy of parole, calling the ruling “an abrupt break from precedent”. Jones was sentenced to prison without the possibility of parole in 2005, for fatally stabbing his grandfather Bertis in 2004 during a fight about his girlfriend. He eventually took the case to the Supreme Court to challenge his sentence, claiming that he is not “permanently incorrigible”, with the oral hearings held in November 2020. Since those previous rulings were made, the court has lost two liberal-leaning judges crucial in such decisions. So, too, do the efforts of the almost 1,500 other juvenile offenders like Jones who are serving LWOP sentences.
‘Statehood is in my DNA’: Pelosi points to father’s legacy in defence of DC vote
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has often invoked the career of her late father, a former congressman from Maryland, and his role as the “unofficial mayor” of Washington DC. Before the House of Representatives voted for the second time to make the nation’s capital city the 51st state, the California Democrat said the issue is “in my DNA”. Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr, was chair of the House appropriations subcommittee on DC, which was renamed in 2007 but continues to have jurisdiction over the city. “He did not like that,” Ms Pelosi told reporters on Thursday. “He was a big believer of home rule.
John Kerry criticises Trump for pulling out of Paris accord ‘without any facts, without any science’
John Kerry denounced former president Donald Trump for withdrawing the US from the landmark Paris treaty, which the former Secretary of State signed in 2015. Mr Biden announced on his first day in office that the US would reenter the agreement after the former president formally withdrew in 2020. Mr Biden announced the US non-binding emissions target as part of a two-day White House climate summit with world leaders. “No politician in the future is going to undo this, because all over the world, trillions of dollars, trillions of yen, trillions of euros are going to be heading into this new marketplace,” he said. “The world as a whole is moving in this direction, because these companies have made this critical long term strategic marketing judgment,” he said.
Belgian ambassador to South Korea apologises for wife's attack video
Belgium's ambassador to South Korea has apologised after his wife was filmed attacking two shop workers who had accused her of shoplifting. CCTV footage broadcast by South Korea's SBS television shows the woman pulling the arm of an employee and slapping him. The incident has sparked huge anger across South Korea, a very law-abiding country. Belgian Ambassador Peter Lescouhier "sincerely regrets the incident involving his wife," the embassy said in a bilingual Facebook post and apologised on her behalf. As the wife of an ambassador, she has diplomatic immunity, but the embassy said it would cooperate with the police.
Climate misinformation shifts focus from denial to extreme weather events
Despite years of warnings from scientists that a warming planet would result in dangerous weather conditions, researchers say there's been a shift in climate misinformation from denying climate change to focussing on extreme weather events. Climate misinformation spreaders have shifted their focus from denialism to extreme local weather events that are a result of climate change. Now it’s softer forms of denial and efforts to diminish the impacts of climate change,” he added. Facebook now has a Climate Science Information Centre that is dedicated to counteracting climate change myths. YouTube was called out by the US House Select Committee on the climate crisis, as a leading source for climate change misinformation and urged them to do more.
Slovakia expels three Russian diplomats in solidarity with Czech Republic
Slovakia on Thursday announced it was expelling three Russian diplomats, giving them a week to leave the country, saying it was acting in solidarity with neighbouring Czech Republic whose diplomatic rift with Moscow is escalating. Earlier Thursday, the Czech Republic ordered Russia to remove most of its remaining diplomatic staff from the country, after already having expelled 18 Russian staff over the weekend, identifying them as intelligence officers. READ MORE: >> Unit 29155, the Russian spies specialising in ‘sabotage and assassinations’Russia has denied the Czech accusations and on Sunday ordered out 20 Czech staff in retaliation. The Czech government said it was also slapping a ceiling on the Russian embassy workforce, giving Russia until the end of May to reduce their numbers to the same level as those of the Czech embassy in Moscow. Prague currently has a total of 24 embassy staff in Russia, which in turn has 94 staff in Prague.
COVID-19 hate crimes bill to fight Asian American discrimination passes Senate
The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act cleared the chamber in a 94-1 vote. It would expedite the Justice Department's review of hate crimes andwould designate an official at DOJ to oversee the effort. More:In bipartisan vote, Senate advances bill on hate crimes against Asian AmericansSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week that as the “proud husband of an Asian American woman, I think this discrimination against Asian Americans is a real problem." Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., would establish grants to aid local and state governments to encourage more training on hate crimes for law enforcement, establish hate crime hotlines and allow for a "rehabilitation" effort for perpetrators of hate crimes. Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group tracking hate incidents, said it had received nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents across the country since March 2020, compared with roughly 100 incidents annually in previous years.
Unions warn Senate Democrats: Pass the PRO Act, or else
Losing unions’ support ahead of 2022 could be devastating to Democrats, who are looking to maintain — and, ideally, build on — their razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. Kelly, who was elected to the late Sen. John McCain’s seat last year, was not the intended focus of the call with the DSCC — rather, it was meant to discuss unions’ support of Democrats more broadly and, one source said, their prioritization of the PRO Act. Unions "underscored the importance of the PRO Act to labor," another person familiar with the call said. "The intent was to underline the importance of labor’s support to Democrats generally and the importance of the PRO Act to union members in both the private and public sectors." In the wake of Biden’s inclusion of the PRO Act in his infrastructure proposal, organized labor won another small battle earlier this week when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he would cosponsor the bill.
Investigation suppressed by Trump administration reveals obstacles to hurricane aid for Puerto Rico
The 46-page report presents an incomplete picture of the political influence of the Trump White House on delaying disaster relief for the struggling island. AdvertisementStory continues below advertisementWhile investigators interviewed 20 current and former HUD officials and two Puerto Rico housing officials, they had no access to Carson. Wanda Vázquez Garced (D) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in January 2020 after untouched disaster aid was discovered. Davis took the unusual step of laying out the administration’s obstruction at the top of the HUD report. Puerto Rico Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi said in a statement that the inspector general’s findings show “clearly there were onerous and discriminatory restrictions on the funding appropriated by Congress to help Puerto Rico recover from recent natural disasters."
Greta Thunberg blasts politicians for 'ignoring' climate crisis
Advertising Read moreWashington (AFP)Environmental champion Greta Thunberg assailed powerful politicians on Thursday for "ignoring" climate change, as she demanded an end to fossil fuel subsidies and implored the current generation of leaders to take the crisis more seriously. Speaking as world leaders gathered at a climate summit hosted by US President Joe Biden, 18-year-old Thunberg warned that powerful interests and lawmakers were contributing to the "destruction" of living conditions around the globe. "How long do you think you can continue ignoring the climate crisis, the global aspect of equity and historic emissions without being held accountable?" Thunberg, the world's foremost young climate activist, has addressed members of the US Congress before, at a hearing in 2019. But Thursday's remarks coincided with Biden's Earth Day Climate Summit, in which he committed to aggressive new goals for reducing emissions.
Koch groups call on administration to release all temporary worker visas
Two groups within conservative mega-donor Charles Koch's political network called on the Biden administration Thursday to release all the temporary worker visas allocated by Congress for fiscal year 2021. The H-2B program allows for non-agricultural seasonal or surge workers to enter the United States and work for their sponsoring employer. ADVERTISEMENTStill, the administration has yet to announce whether it will release all the statutorily allowed H-2B visas, even as the economy rebounds and the unemployment rate shrinks. The Biden administration has generally been cautious in announcing upticks in the number of foreign nationals it will allow in the country, as the number of asylum seekers at the southern border continues to increase. "Previous research has also found that for every additional 100 H-2B workers, 464 jobs are created for Americans," they added.
Russia to withdraw troops from deployment on border with Ukraine, Moscow confirms, as major snap exercises in Crimea conclude
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has announced that troops deployed in the west and south of the country in recent days will soon begin returning to base, saying they have now passed tests of their combat readiness. The chief of the country’s military revealed on Thursday that a number of units of the regular army and airborne divisions had been transferred to the area, near the shared border with Ukraine, as part of surprise military exercises. The buildup had caused alarm in Kiev, and been cited by Western nations as a potential precursor to an invasion, which the Kremlin repeatedly denied. According to Shoigu, “the goals of the sudden inspection have been fully achieved. If you like this story, share it with a friend!
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg testifies to House panel on Biden's plan for clean energy
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg testifies to House panel on Biden's plan for clean energySwedish climate activist Greta Thunberg testified virtually to the House about President Biden's pledge to get rid of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Thunberg: Not too late to act in Climate fight
Thunberg: Not too late to act in Climate fightClimate Activist Greta Thunberg appeared virtually before a House subcommittee Thursday to call on U.S. officials to do more, saying it's "not too late" to make real changes in the fight against climate change.
The Internet says to 'check in on your Black friends.' It's more complex than that.
We saw it on social media after George Floyd's death last summer, after Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict this week and during the many Black deaths in between: "Check in on your Black friends." Breonna Taylor has been gone a year:Why we need to talk more about the racial trauma of Black deathOn social media, some Black people said they appreciate when white friends and colleagues check in. "There's no one-size-fits-all response to racial trauma," said Brandon J. Johnson, creator of The Black Mental Wellness Lounge YouTube page. 'When you see, 'check in on your Black friends,' you're like, 'well, every Black person I know is my Black friend. Johnson said he had many conversations about the Chauvin verdict and next steps with Black friends and family.
Why is it taking so long to get tax refunds this year? Some are taking the IRS 6-8 weeks in 2021
Her tax return was filed on Feb. 27 and she's expecting to receive a 2020 tax refund of $5,522. Tax returns where the IRS needs to validate information relating to the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Advance Child Tax Credit. Earned Income Tax Credit has new twistThe Earned Income Tax Credit is a potential spot for errors. This tax season, the Earned Income Tax Credit can be claimed on a 2020 tax return based on someone's 2019 or 2020 income this year. By April 19, she was still waiting for a tax refund for 2019 and another tax refund for 2020.
House approves making Washington, DC, a state
The House on Thursday voted to make Washington, DC, the nation’s 51st state — a move that, if approved by the Senate, would hand Democrats two new senators. If approved by the Senate, Washington, DC, would become the 51st state. “I have had enough of my colleagues’ racist insinuations that somehow that people of Washington, DC, are incapable or even unworthy of our democracy,” he said in a floor speech. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton at a news conference advocating for DC statehood. Getty ImagesSpeaking before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recalled her late father, Rep. Thomas D’Alesandro Jr.
Confirmation of top Biden scientist delayed over ties to Jeffrey Epstein
President Biden’s choice for his top science adviser is facing an uphill confirmation battle in Washington as ties to Jeffrey Epstein emerge as an issue in his consideration, according to a report. Questions over Eric Lander’s association with Epstein have delayed his nomination to be director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Politico reported. Corbis via Getty ImagesThe White House acknowledged the unsavory connection but defended Lander in a statement: “Dr. Lander and other distinguished scientists lunched with Epstein in 2012 in the office of now-disgraced Harvard professor Martin Nowak. AFP via Getty ImagesLander pleaded ignorance to BuzzFeed News when asked about the meeting in 2019, claiming he did not know Epstein would be there and did not know the infamous pedophile’s history.
US Postal Service reportedly tracking Americans’ social media posts
The US Postal Service is running a shadowy surveillance program that tracks Americans’ social media posts — including ones about planned right-wing protests, a report revealed Thursday. “No intelligence is available to suggest the legitimacy of these threats.”Rachel Levinson-Waldman is deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s liberty and national security program. The USPS reportedly helps monitor posts by groups such as the Proud Boys, or demonstrators protesting coronavirus lockdowns that could be considered “inflammatory.” Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesThe effort by government branches to monitor Americans’ social media posts has for months been hotly debated. The US Postal Service did not respond to questions about the social media tracking effort sent by Yahoo News. Postal Inspection Service, which assesses threats to Postal Service employees and its infrastructure by monitoring publicly available open source information,” the statement said.
Lawmakers told Russia likely behind ‘directed-energy’ attacks on US troops
The Pentagon has briefed top lawmakers on suspected “directed-energy” attacks against US troops, potentially by Russia, according to a report. The congressional officials who told the outlet they had been briefed said they were informed about the suspected attacks as part of their Pentagon oversight duties. At the time, two people familiar with the probe said, several troops began experiencing “flu-like symptoms.”The Defense Department briefed at least two groups of lawmakers on suspected attacks against US troops. Alamy Stock PhotoThe incidents of suspected attacks by Russia became a concern to national security officials last year, which is when the Pentagon’s office of special operations and low-intensity conflict launched the investigation. Reached for comment by Politico, a spokesperson said that the department was not aware of any directed-energy attacks against US troops in Syria.
Stewart-Cousins rebuked for standing with Gov. Cuomo after calling for resignation
ALBANY — State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins — the highest ranking elected official in New York to call for Gov. State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined Gov. She needs to reiterate her demand for him to resign.”Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is the highest ranking elected official in New York to call for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In what other industry, in what other world is this okay?”Peers have accused State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of normalizing Gov.
NYC Councilman Chaim Deutsch pleads guilty in federal tax fraud case
New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch admitted Thursday that he defrauded the government of tens of thousands of dollars in taxes by concealing “his true business income,” federal officials said. Deutsch was charged and pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Manhattan federal court to tax fraud for failing to report business income connected to his real estate company, Chasa Management, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The Manhattan feds say the 52-year-old councilman evaded paying $82,076 in property taxes between 2013 and 2015. “It is dispiriting when a sitting City Council member is convicted of a crime,” DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said. The councilman is not required to give up his seat with the guilty plea, according to council sources.
White North Carolina official fired for refusing to use black woman’s doctoral title
A North Carolina city has reportedly ousted a white official who refused a black resident’s request to be addressed by her doctoral title during a televised meeting. The incident Monday occurred toward the end of a four-hour Zoning Commission meeting in which Rosario expressed concerns about a development project near her home. Your name says on here ‘Carrie Rosario.’ Hey Carrie,” Collins persisted. Tony Collins has been removed from the Greensboro Zoning Commission. As a black female, I am not going to see another black female treated in this manner,” Hightower told McClatchy News, according to the Observer.
A key question moving forward: Is Trump’s grip on the GOP stronger than his base’s?
AdvertisementStory continues below advertisementThe 2024 polling still shows Trump at 50 percent among Republican voters, 39 points above the second-place contender. Trump being Trump, though, his team went to the mattresses. Jason Miller, his top aide, tweeted or retweeted 12 rebuttals to the Bolton poll, disparaging Bolton and taking issue with the poll numbers. He cited data from Trump’s longtime pollster John McLaughlin that showed that 83 percent of Republicans would support Trump in a 2024 primary bid. What shifted under Trump was partly about Trump and partly about cementing that fringe-and-right-wing-media-led approach to politics at the center of Republican politics.
Jordan to free most of those arrested in alleged plot to destabilize the government
Two other two individuals — royal family member Sharif Hassan bin Zaid and former finance minister Bassem Awadallah — were described as having “different roles” in the alleged plot and would remain imprisoned, the statement said. Story continues below advertisementThe king’s half brother, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, who was also implicated by authorities in the alleged plot and confined to his palace in Amman, was not mentioned in the statement. In response, Abdullah advised officials to look favorably on those deemed to have been misled into participating in the alleged plot, the statement said. Hamzah had been crown prince for four years before the title was transferred to Abdullah’s eldest son, Hussein, in 2004. Speculation about possible regional involvement intensified soon after the arrests when an unscheduled high-ranking delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Amman.
FOX News Media awards Dr. Charles Krauthammer Memorial Scholarship to Marin ‘Pei Pei’ Martin
Marin "Pei Pei" Martin, the daughter of Fox News Digital senior opinion editor Lynne Jordal Martin, was selected as the latest recipient of the annual Dr. Charles Krauthammer Memorial Scholarship, FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott announced on Thursday. "We are proud to continue the tradition of honoring Charles Krauthammer’s storied legacy with this year’s memorial scholarship recipient. The Dr. Charles Krauthammer Memorial Scholarship was established by FOX News Media in 2018 and is awarded to eligible children of network employees. After medical school, he became chief psychiatry resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he studied depression and published ground-breaking findings in top medical journals. Krauthammer, who was known to mentor and serve as a role model for countless students, is honored by his scholarship helping the next generation of thought leaders such as Marin "Pei Pei" Martin.
GOP senators say Dems trying to 'rig' SCOTUS through court-packing, ask Biden to rein in party's 'crazies'
"We're here today because the United States Supreme Court is broken," Markey said in front of the Supreme Court building, flanked by Democratic lawmakers and activists. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., rejected the notion that Democrats are trying to pack the Supreme Court. He insisted that Republicans did so by blocking Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and ramming through Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation just before the presidential election. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and likely some other Senate Democrats, are opposed to packing the Supreme Court too. If we get power back, will it be 20 Supreme Court justices?"
Too much COVID-19 vaccine given to dozens of inmates in Iowa: report
More than 70 inmates at a correctional facility in Iowa were given too much COVID-19 vaccine, according to a local report. At least 77 inmates at the Iowa State Prison in Fort Madison were given excessive amounts of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Corrections told local news station KCCI-TV. Two medical staff members from the Iowa Department of Corrections reportedly incorrectly administered the vaccine, over-vaccinating the 77 inmates. After realizing the incorrect doses, the Iowa Department of Corrections contacted both Pfizer and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for further guidance. A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Corrections did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
Former Trump administration official mulling GOP challenge against Cheney
Cheney, the third-ranking lawmaker in House GOP leadership, was the most high-profile of the 10 House Republicans who voted in January to impeach then-President Donald Trump. We have no time for warring against one another, against fellow Republicans, or against a former president who served Wyoming well," Pendley will emphasize. CHENEY CALLS GAETZ ALLEGATIONS 'SICKENING' BUT MUM ON WHETHER HE SHOULD RESIGNBut Cheney already faces multiple GOP primary challenges when she is up for reelection next year. Last week, Trump endorsed Wyoming GOP chair Frank Eathorne's reelection bid, pointing to Eathorne's censure of Cheney earlier this year. Trump has yet to endorse any of the primary challengers or potential challengers to Cheney.
Oregon teacher: White educators should be 'as bold' as Capitol rioters in anti-racism push
An Oregon school district hosted a diversity summit in which participants encouraged White educators to be as bold as Capitol rioters and pressured others into pursuing "anti-racist" ideology. "My lovely White people," says Beaverton school district teacher Stephanie Yelder, "be as bold as those idiot invaders, insurrectionists about storming that Capitol. The district also said: "Katherine Watkins does not speak for the Beaverton School District. When PDE asked about potential bullying of faculty, the school district maintained that it was trying to "become an anti-bias, antiracist school district. The teacher's threat should be publicly renounced by the school district."
Hawley-Braun bill would force Biden to declassify Wuhan coronavirus leak intelligence
Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Mike Braun, R-Ind., on Thursday introduced a bill that would force the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to COVID-19 origins. Since April of 2020, experts have voiced concerns that the novel coronavirus may have originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. "For over a year, anyone asking questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been branded as a conspiracy theorist," Hawley said in a Thursday statement. "The world needs to know if this pandemic was the product of negligence at the Wuhan lab but the CCP has done everything it can to block a credible investigation." He added that the "Biden administration must declassify what it knows about the Wuhan lab and Beijing’s attempts to cover up the origin of the pandemic."
Biden White House officially supports making DC the 51st state
President Biden's White House Tuesday formally backed making Washington, D.C., the 51st state of the union and urged Congress to pass the H.R. 51 legislation to give Washingtonians "long overdue full representation." The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said the Biden administration "strongly supports" the D.C. statehood legislation that would give the district two new senators and one member of Congress. HOUSE COMMITTEE ADVANCES DC STATEHOOD BILL ALONG PARTY-LINE VOTE"For far too long, the more than 700,000 people of Washington, D.C., have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress," the White House OMB statement said. "Establishing the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, as the 51st state will make our union stronger and more just," the White House said.
Biden avoids confronting China over climate in Earth Day speech with world leaders
President Biden urged world leaders to act quickly and together to confront the consequences of Earth's changing climate, but notably did not specifically address heavy polluters like China. Within our climate response lies an extraordinary job creation and economic opportunity ready to be fired up," he said. Attendees included Russian President Vladimir Putin; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson; Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; French President Emmanuel Macron; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi; Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga; Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro; Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an; and Korean President Moon Jae-in. The Biden administration's pledge would require the most ambitious U.S. climate effort ever undertaken as scientists say man-made climate change is worsening around the world on multiple fronts. The virtual summit, scheduled to continue through Friday night, was held on the United States' 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
Senate Republicans outline their own infrastructure plan — here's what's in it
Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, left, speaks to Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. A group of Senate Republicans outlined their infrastructure plan Thursday, unveiling a much narrower vision for how to revamp U.S. transportation and broadband than the sweeping approach backed by President Joe Biden. The GOP package would cost $568 billion, only a fraction of the Democratic president's more than $2 trillion package. It also would not address policies such as care for elderly and disabled people, which Biden included in his plan. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and John Barrasso of Wyoming.
U.S. House passes bill to make Washington, D.C., the 51st state
People enjoy the warm weather at the World War II Memorial near the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, U.S. March 27, 2021. By a vote of 216-208, the Democratic-controlled House approved the initiative with no Republican support. The population of Washington, D.C., is heavily Democratic. The new state would be named "Washington, Douglass Commonwealth" after George Washington, the first U.S. president, and Frederick Douglass, a former enslaved person who became a famous abolitionist. Currently, Washington, D.C., has only one member of Congress - a House "delegate" who is not allowed to vote on legislation.
German business favours Greens candidate to succeed Merkel - poll
Co-leader of Germany's Green party and designated candidate for chancellor Annalena Baerbock holds a news conference in Berlin, Germany, April 19, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/PoolGermany's business elite favours Greens candidate Annalena Baerbock to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel after a federal election in September, an opinion poll published on Thursday showed. read moreThe Civey poll of 1,500 executives for WirtschaftsWoche magazine, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, showed 26.5% favoured Baerbock for chancellor, ahead of Christian Lindner of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) on 16.2%. Baerbock, 40, a former champion trampolinist and mother of two, has promised a "new start" with a focus on investing in education, digital and green technologies. read moreMany conservatives are worried about their prospects without Merkel, who has led them to four consecutive victories but is stepping down after September's election.
RNC chair McDaniel floated possible Michigan governor run
Her grandfather, George Romney, served as Michigan governor for three terms, and her grandmother, Lenore, waged an unsuccessful 1970 Senate bid. Her mother, Ronna, waged unsuccessful 1994 and 1996 Senate campaigns and also served on the RNC. McDaniel is also the niece of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the GOP's 2012 nominee and a former governor of Massachusetts. Should she step down to run for governor, RNC co-chairman Tommy Hicks would become temporary chair. After Trump lost reelection, he endorsed McDaniel to serve a third term, and the RNC chose her without opposition.
UK lawmakers declare China’s treatment of Uyghurs ‘genocide’
The House of Commons passed a nonbinding, all-party motion stating that Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in China’s Xinjiang region are suffering “crimes against humanity and genocide.” | U.K. Parliament Handout/EPA | UK Parliament Handout/EPALONDON — The British parliament has declared China’s crackdown on Uyghur Muslims a “genocide,” in a move expected to damage the two countries’ relationship. Although the U.K. government is under no obligation to respond to the motion, its backing shows the strength of feeling in the U.K. parliament on the issue. China has repeatedly rejected reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang. Hours ahead of the debate, Beijing sought to seize the initiative against Britain by accusing it of widespread human rights violations and double standards on racism. The U.K. government argues it is for the international courts alone to declare a genocide.
D.C. statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats in control of both chambers and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill. For lifelong statehood proponents like Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s long-serving and nonvoting delegate in the House, Thursday’s vote was a culmination of a life’s work. Opponents proposed a variety of alternatives, from absolving Washingtonians of federal taxes to “retroceding” most of D.C. back into Maryland. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Iowa Woman Who Ran Down Children Pleads Guilty To Hate Crimes
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines woman has pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes for intentionally driving her SUV into two children in 2019 because she said she thought one was Mexican and the other was a member of the Islamic State group. Nicole Poole Franklin, 43, entered the pleas Wednesday in a Des Moines federal court to two counts of violating the U.S. Minutes later, Franklin ran down a 14-year-old Latina girl on a sidewalk, leaving her with injuries for which she was hospitalized for two days. On the state counts, Franklin faces up to 25 years on each attempted murder count. It wasn’t clear if other state counts, including hate crimes, would be dropped as part as her guilty plea in state court, the Register reported.
POLITICO Playbook PM: McDaniel for governor?
POLITICO Playbook PM: McDaniel for governor? Presented byRNC Chair Ronna McDaniel is reportedly giving thought to a run against Michigan Gov. … McDaniel also told the roughly 140 members in attendance that she’d given thought in recent months to running against [Gov. “How serious McDaniel is about running for governor is unclear. ‘Kevin McCarthy isn’t in control of the conference,’ a Republican lawmaker told The Daily Beast.
Russia orders troops to withdraw from Ukraine border after buildup that alarmed West
Russia has ordered its troops to withdraw from the border with Ukraine after a massive military buildup that raised alarm from Western Europe to Washington. Russia does keep a permanent contingent of forces along its 1,200-mile-long land border with Ukraine, but in recent weeks had massed tens of thousands of troops, convoys of tanks, artillery and other units. At the Pentagon, officials said Thursday there was no sign yet of a withdrawal or change in how Russian forces were deployed near Ukraine’s borders or in occupied Crimea. The Kremlin says it has moved its troops within its own territory how it sees fit, while maintaining its military movements near the border with Ukraine pose no threat. Kuleba said it was urgent that his country receive further military assistance from the U.S. before it was too late.
Why the GOP is so adamantly against D.C. statehood
White House officially endorses D.C. statehood --> pic.twitter.com/n3joF2sPoK — Kevin Robillard (@Robillard) April 20, 2021Not surprisingly, given the potential for two new Senate seats at play, feelings about D.C. statehood have divided neatly along partisan lines. Feelings about D.C. statehood have divided neatly along partisan lines. In 1846, at least in part to protect slaveowners from the impending abolition of slavery in D.C., Congress agreed by statute to retrocede to Virginia its part of the District of Columbia. And to smooth out any practical (but not constitutional) concerns, the leading proposal for D.C. statehood would have Congress subsequently take up a proposal to repeal that amendment once it no longer serves a purpose. D.C. statehood may be politically divisive.
On the Supreme Court, Ted Cruz pretends to forget his own record
Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) to hold a press conference in front of the Supreme Court this morning. First, when there was a GOP majority in the Senate, Republicans didn't have much of a need to "rig the game," because the Supreme Court was already conservative. Second, and more importantly, if Cruz wants to reflect on Republicans' reluctance to "rig the game" at the Supreme Court in the recent past, that's a conversation I'm eager to have. In fact, Cruz endorsed an unprecedented partisan blockade, insisting that the high court have eight members for 11 months. "There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices," Cruz said at the time.
U.S. commanders request aircraft carrier to protect troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, officials say
WASHINGTON — U.S. commanders have asked for the deployment of an aircraft carrier to help protect U.S.-led troops as they withdraw from Afghanistan, two senior Defense officials told NBC News. The request underscores concerns at the Pentagon that the Taliban may choose to launch attacks on NATO troops as they pull out. No final decision has been taken on the request from Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, the officials said. At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, Gen. McKenzie said more troops and resources would be deployed to safeguard the forces leaving Afghanistan. At House hearing on Tuesday, Gen. McKenzie said U.S. troops were ready if the Taliban chose to target NATO forces as they withdraw.
Supreme Court rules juvenile offenders can be given life sentences
The Supreme Court has ruling that juvenile offenders can be sentenced to life without parole. NBC's Pete Williams reports on the decision ass the defendant, who was charged with the killing of his grandfather when he was 15, challenged that the judge could not prove he was "permanently incorrigible."
UK lawmakers pass motion saying China committing genocide
LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers on Thursday approved a parliamentary motion declaring that China’s policies against its Uyghur minority population in the far western Xinjiang region amounted to genocide and crimes against humanity. The motion is non-binding and does not compel the British government to act. But it is another move signalling the growing outcry among U.K. politicians over alleged human rights abuses in China. The motion was moved by Conservative lawmaker Nus Ghani, one of five British lawmakers recently sanctioned by China for criticizing its treatment of the Uyghurs. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the measures were part of “intensive diplomacy” to force action amid mounting evidence about serious rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim people.
Michigan board deadlocks on measure to repeal emergency law
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s elections board deadlocked Thursday on certifying a veto-proof initiative that would enable the Republican-led Legislature to wipe from the books a law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue sweeping pandemic orders last year. Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers voted not to certify the citizen-initiated measure despite a recommendation by the state elections bureau, which determined Unlock Michigan collected 460,00 valid signatures — more than the roughly 340,000 needed. “I’m concerned about the validity of some of these signatures ... how these signatures were gathered,” Democrat Julie Matuzak said. The Michigan Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional in October, but Unlock Michigan wants to repeal it to prevent a future court from deciding differently.
Countering Biden, GOP pitches $568B for infrastructure
The outline does not offer specifics, such as which federal programs would lose unspent dollars to infrastructure. “This is the largest infrastructure investment that Republicans have come forward with,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., told reporters. “This is a robust package.”ADVERTISEMENTRepublican lawmakers have been quick to criticize the infrastructure proposal from Biden. Democrats are intent on passing a major infrastructure boost this year and could use the budget reconciliation process to bypass GOP opposition. “I feel like the White House and other counterparts on the House side want to try to reach a consensus, hard infrastructure bill.”
Israel says Syrian missile was not aimed at nuclear reactor
Israel says Syrian missile was not aimed at nuclear reactorJERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Thursday that a Syrian missile that reached deep into Israeli territory and set off air raid sirens near the country’s top-secret nuclear reactor was the result of a misfire and not a deliberate attack. The missile landed in southern Israel early Thursday, prompting Israel to respond with airstrikes on the missile launcher and other targets in Syria. Gen. Hidai Zilberman, was quoted as telling military correspondents that the Israeli air force was already operating in Syrian airspace when the anti-aircraft missile was fired. It said the Syrian military fired surface-to-air missiles in response. Iran has accused Israel of a series of attacks on its nuclear facilities, including sabotage at its Natanz nuclear facility on April 11, and vowed revenge.
Supreme Court Rejects Restrictions On Life Without Parole For Juveniles
Supreme Court Rejects Restrictions On Life Without Parole For JuvenilesEnlarge this image toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP J. Scott Applewhite/APThe U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 vote, ruled Thursday that a judge need not make a finding of "permanent incorrigibility" before sentencing a juvenile offender to life without parole. The Jones case involved how to apply the prior Supreme Court rulings. Close to a decade after Jones was sentenced to life without parole, the Supreme Court ruled that those, like Jones, who committed crimes when they were minors could not be automatically sentenced to life terms. Because Jones had been one of those who had received such an automatic life without parole sentence, the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered him to be resentenced. And that, she argued, is all that the U.S. Supreme Court has required.
DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
Eleanor Holmes-Norton, D-D.C., center, joined from left by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference ahead of the House vote on H.R. 51- the Washington, D.C. Eleanor Holmes-Norton, D-D.C., center, joined from left by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference ahead of the House vote on H.R. 51- the Washington, D.C. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
House Democrats Pass Bill To Make D.C. The 51st State
House Democrats Pass Bill To Make D.C. Her statehood bill, H.R. House Democrats passed the bill last year in a historic vote but the legislation never reached the GOP-led Senate. Ahead of the vote, Republican lawmakers linked D.C. statehood with a laundry list of progressive policies. Even if the filibuster weren't at play here, it's unclear whether all Senate Democrats are on board with the legislation.
Countering Biden, Senate Republicans Unveil Smaller $568 Billion Infrastructure Plan
Countering Biden, Senate Republicans Unveil Smaller $568 Billion Infrastructure PlanEnlarge this image toggle caption Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSenate Republicans have released a $568 billion infrastructure proposal to counter the more than $2 trillion package unveiled by President Biden early this month. The five-year GOP proposal is unlikely to gain much support from Democrats, but the outline serves as a benchmark for any future negotiations on a bipartisan bill. Capito, who is leading the GOP infrastructure push, said the goal is for congressional committees to lead the process. In their plan, GOP senators specifically list roads and bridges, public transit systems, rail, drinking water & wastewater infrastructure, ports & inland waterways, airports, safety, broadband infrastructure and water storage. The framework calls for:$299 billion for roads and bridges$61 billion for public transit,$20 billion for rail$35 billion for drinking water and wastewater$13 billion for safety$17 billion for ports and waterways$44 billion for airports$65 billion for broadband$14 billion for water storageUnder Biden's plan, the transportation section alone is $53 billion more than the entire GOP plan.
Young adults worry it’s ‘morally wrong’ to have children, Earth Day study finds
Young adults say that concerns over climate change and uncertainty about the future of the planet influence their reproductive decision-making, according to a new University of Arizona study released on Earth Day. A recent Morning Consult poll of 4,400 Americans found that one in four childless adults say climate change influenced their reproductive decisions. Finally, many of the young adults choosing to go childless said that uncertainty over the future was also discouraging them from starting families. But a third (34%) also noted that concern about climate change was another reason for choosing not to have children. And among adults of all ages, one in four (26%) also said that climate change has factored into their reproductive decisions.
Greta Thunberg on U.S. eliminating fossil-fuel crutch: ‘I don’t believe you’ll actually do this’
Thunberg was called to virtually address a House subcommittee, chaired by the Democrats in the majority, that is reviewing ending fossil-fuel subsidies. “The simple fact, and uncomfortable fact, is that if we are to live up to our promises and commitments in Paris, we have to end fossil fuel subsidies … now,” she said. In 2018, the total revenue of the U.S. oil and gas industry came to about $181 billion. Rep. Ro Khanna of renewables-embracing California, the head of the subcommittee, wants quicker action from Biden to end fossil fuel subsidies as part of a plan to rebuild U.S. infrastructure. “We appreciate that President Biden ran on ending fossil fuel subsidies.
Senate Republicans unveil $568 billion infrastructure counterproposal
REUTERS/Lucy NicholsonRepublicans unveiled a $568 billion counterproposal to President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan on Thursday. The Republican plan — less than half the size of Biden's proposal — is more focused on physical infrastructure like the nation's roads, railways and bridges. The package includes:$299 billion for roads and bridges$61 billion for public transit systems$20 billion for rail$13 billion for safety measures$17 billion for ports and inland waterways$44 billion for airports$65 billion for broadband$14 billion for water storageSen. Shelley Moore Capito (R., W. Va.), Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss. Republicans have largely rejected Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan, saying it's too expensive and includes too many measures unrelated to physical infrastructure. "$568 billion is a very, very generous offer in dealing with infrastructure.
Republicans unveil $568 billion infrastructure package to counter Biden's $2.3 trillion plan
By contrast the first four rounds of talks, led by his predecessor Simon Birmingham and Ms Truss, made “really rapid progress”, it is claimed. A bilateral trade deal between the two nations is expected to boost UK exports to Australia by around £900 million. Mr Tehan arrives in the UK on Wednesday evening and the two-day dialogue begins on Thursday. Ms Truss believes that in-person talks at the political level hold the key to finalising the deal. Annual UK trade with Australia is worth over £18 billion, with services accounting for 60 per cent.
House passes bill that would make D.C. the 51st state
Walsh told “New Day” host John Berman, “Why don’t more conservatives say [‘Black Lives Matter’] yet? They’ve got people like Hannity and Tucker Carlson riling them up every day, John. Also Read: Tucker Carlson’s College Yearbook Says He Belonged to Club for Harvey Milk’s Murderer Walsh told Berman on Thursday, “I’ve learned. I listened to Black Americans and I understand why it’s important to say ‘Black Lives Matter. I listened to Black Americans, and I understand why it's important to say Black Lives Matter.
Republicans unveil $568B infrastructure framework as counteroffer to Biden's spending plan
A group of moderate Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a scaled-back infrastructure proposal, a counteroffer to the massive $2.3 trillion tax and spending plan introduced by President Biden earlier this month. Shelley Moore Capito, Roger Wicker, Pat Toomey and John Barrasso released a five-year, $568 billion proposal focused on roads, bridges and other traditional forms of infrastructure. Republicans have criticized the size and scope of Biden's spending measure – dubbed the Americans Jobs Plan – arguing that it contains too many provisions that are unrelated to traditional forms of infrastructure, such as funding for elderly and disabled Americans and green energy. REPUBLICANS PREPPING $650B COUNTEROFFER TO BIDEN'S SPENDING PROPOSALGOP lawmakers have also balked at Biden's push to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and impose a higher global minimum on U.S. companies' foreign earnings. The group said their plan should be funded in its entirety so as to not contribute to the nation's staggering debt.
Mark McCloskey, St. Louis gun-wielding lawyer, mulls US Senate run to fight Biden’s ‘anti-American’ agenda
Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis attorney who grabbed national headlines last year for pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters with his wife, says he’s "maybe running for Senate" to fight President Biden's "anti-American" agenda. I'm still in the Lara Trump, Herschel Walker camp," he said on FOX Business’ "Mornings with Maria" Thursday. While city attorneys brought weapons charges against McCloskey and his wife, they quickly were vaulted to conservative stardom. GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE"The legislature is out there busily undermining our rights," he added. When it comes to a 2022 run for Missouri's open Senate seat, it may come down to a sense of duty for McCloskey.
D.C. statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
The proposal faces a far tougher fight in the Senate, where simple Democratic control of the chamber won’t be enough. An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats in control of both chambers and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill. AdvertisementConnolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Comedian Eric Andre says he was racially profiled at Atlanta airport: ‘Be careful’
Comedian and actor Eric Andre has accused authorities at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport of racially profiling him after he was subjected to a drug search while boarding a flight to California. The airport has responded to the “Bad Trip” star’s report and linked the officers to the Clayton County Police Department. Or a good Atlanta lawyer,” Andre wrote Wednesday on his Instagram story. I need help.”“If you guys know what’s going on at the Atlanta airport please let me know,” he added in a follow-up post that urged his followers to “be careful out there.”AdvertisementBottoms acknowledged Andre’s concerns Wednesday afternoon, tweeting, “Sorry to hear about your experience. “After learning of Mr. Andre’s tweet this afternoon, we determined that the incident involved officers from the Clayton County Drug Task force,” which operates separately from the Atlanta Police Airport Drug Interdiction Unit.
Rob Bonta is confirmed as California attorney general
“We will heavily rely on the attorney general to serve as a backstop and final arbiter in cases of abuse or misconduct by law enforcement,” Sawyer told Bonta. Bonta told lawmakers that he is also very concerned about a rise in hate crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The position of state attorney general has an annual salary of $182,189, and Bonta faces a full plate of challenges in taking over the position. As attorney general, Bonta will be in charge of implementing the bill he voted for last year that requires the state DOJ to investigate fatal police shootings of unarmed civilians. Bonta served as a deputy city attorney for San Francisco as well as a private attorney before his election to the Assembly.
D.C. statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
The proposal faces a far tougher fight in the Senate, where simple Democratic control of the chamber won’t be enough. AdvertisementAn identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats in control of both chambers and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill. Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Fall River police officer who shared Facebook post critical of George Floyd transferred to non-public facing role
AdvertisementIt was quickly deleted, but not before screenshots were shared on local Facebook groups. “It is with regret that the Fall River Police Department’s Facebook page was accessed by personnel who inadvertently re-posted an opinion that was meant for their own personal account. The posting in no way represents the opinion of the Chief of Police or the Fall River Police Department,” it said. Advertisement“I think it’s fair to say there’s a been a lot of blowback,” Cardoza said Thursday, and asked for the people of Fall River to have confidence in him to make the right decisions. “The post, despite being intended for a personal page, contains beliefs completely incompatible with my hopes for the Fall River Police Department.
DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
The proposal faces a far tougher fight in the Senate, where simple Democratic control of the chamber won’t be enough. An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats in control of both chambers and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill. Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
US troops in Afghanistan begin packing gear in pullout prep
KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. military has begun shipping equipment and winding down contracts with local service providers ahead of the May 1 start of the final phase of its military pullout from Afghanistan, a U.S. Defense Department official said Thursday. The pullout under U.S. President Joe Biden marks the end of America’s longest war after a 20-year military engagement. While preparations are under way, troops likely won’t begin to depart for a few weeks, he said, adding that “we won’t see a coming down of the (troop) numbers” until remaining bases close. In the short term, America will likely increase its troop presence in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said last Friday. The Taliban, meanwhile, were non-committal when asked by the AP whether the insurgents would attack departing U.S. and NATO troops.
Pandemic-denier Ted Nugent tests positive for COVID
Rocker Ted Nugent is revealing he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus — months after he said the virus was “not a real pandemic.”Ted Nugent performs at Rams Head Live in Baltimore on Aug. 16, 2013. Nugent revealed he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus — months after he said the virus was “not a real pandemic.” (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)Rocker Ted Nugent is revealing he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus — months after he said the virus was “not a real pandemic.”“I thought I was dying,” Nugent says in a Facebook live video posted Monday. He has repeated a narrative pushed by conservative media and disputed by health experts that suggests the official death count from the coronavirus is inflated. A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in late March found that 36% of Republicans said they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated, compared with 12% of Democrats. The seven-day national average of cases remains over 60,000 new infections per day.
DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
The proposal faces a far tougher fight in the Senate, where simple Democratic control of the chamber won’t be enough. An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats in control of both chambers and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill. Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
More states opening police discipline records. What’s Nevada doing?
U.S. lawmakers have pushed to make police internal affairs records public, but the Nevada Assembly is considering a bill that would close off key investigative documents. In this Aug.6, 2020, file photo, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford speaks in Las Vegas. Lawmakers around the country have pushed to make police internal affairs records public, but the Nevada Assembly is considering a bill that would close off key investigative documents. But the legislation includes a provision that “the identity of a witness, any procedure, testimony taken, document or other tangible evidence produced” be exempt from Nevada’s public records laws. “AB58 does not change any existing public records law as it applies to law enforcement agencies,” she said in an emailed statement.
Biden summit draws climate vows from sparring global leaders
“Meeting this moment is about more than preserving our planet,” Biden declared, speaking from a TV-style set for a virtual summit of 40 world leaders. But the U.S. summit also marshaled an impressive display of the world’s most powerful leaders speaking on the single cause of climate change. The pandemic made gathering world leaders for the climate summit too risky. The format meant a cavalcade of short speeches by world leaders, some scripted, some apparently more impromptu. His people he said, are “ teetering on the edge of despair.”After the stream of solemn pledges on fighting climate change, the talk turned to money.
Las Vegas christens new courthouse with ribbon cutting — WATCH LIVE
The $56 million Las Vegas municipal courthouse across from City Hall in downtown will open Thursday, two weeks before it is scheduled to be accessible to the public. A rendering of the Las Vegas courthouse. (Molasky Group of Cos.)A rendering shows the proposed new Las Vegas Municipal Courthouse, which the Molasky Group of Companies plans to develop southeast of Las Vegas City Hall. (City of Las Vegas)The $56 million Las Vegas municipal courthouse across from City Hall in downtown will open Thursday, two weeks before it is scheduled to be accessible to the public, city officials said. Municipal court operations will be closed to the public between Thursday and May 2 while the offices are relocated to the new building.
The Florida Legislature actually did something right | Editorial
Taking Marsy’s Law another absurd step further, the Florida Highway Patrol and some police agencies are refusing to release the names of people involve in traffic accidents even when there is no likelihood of a crime having been committed and even without any request by the citizens themselves. Citing Marsy’s Law, the FHP withheld the name of a 17-year-old motorist who had been electrocuted when she stepped out of her burning car onto a downed power line. In 2019, Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, filed implementing legislation for Marsy’s Law that would have stopped police from using it to shield themselves from accusations of misconduct. The bill didn’t get a hearing.
Senators seeking applicants for next US marshal in Chicago 3 years after last leader resigned
A screening committee headed by former U.S. District Judge David Coar will review and vet candidates, and advise the senators on who might be the best fit for the high-profile position. The senators will make recommendations to President Joe Biden, whose nominee will then go through a confirmation process in the U.S. Senate.
Biden pledging to cut US fossil fuel emissions up to 52% by 2030
His commitment to cut U.S. fossil fuel emissions up to 52% by 2030 will come at the launch Thursday of an all-virtual climate summit for 40 world leaders, marking a return by the U.S. to global climate efforts after four years of withdrawal under President Donald Trump. “The United States is not waiting, the costs of delay are too great, and our nation is resolved to act now,” the Biden administration said in a statement. The world’s top two climate offenders, China and the United States, are feuding over non-climate issues. There is no money in sight,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said earlier this month, after a visit from Biden climate envoy John Kerry. And at home, political divisions exposed by Trump’s presidency have left the United States weaker than it was at the 2015 Paris accord.
DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
The proposal faces a far tougher fight in the Senate, where simple Democratic control of the chamber won’t be enough. An identical statehood bill passed the House in 2020, but it quickly died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats in control of both chambers and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill. Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Woman wins drunken driving case at Michigan Supreme Court
Associated PressBad Axe – An anonymous call alleging that a driver could be drunk wasn’t enough for police to make a traffic stop in Huron County, the Michigan Supreme Court said Thursday. The court noted that a county officer followed the woman’s car but didn’t see any violations before stopping the vehicle. She was charged with drunken driving while with a child and having an open container of alcohol. The stop violated constitutional protections against search and seizure, the court said in a 5-0 opinion. In 2016, someone called the sheriff’s office to report that a woman yelled at children while outside her vehicle and appeared to be drunk.
Unlock Michigan's proposal stalls as state board deadlocks on petitions
Gretchen Whitmer's initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic hit an obstacle Thursday as a state board deadlocked on whether to approve the group's petition signatures. The four-member Board of State Canvassers voted 2-2, failing to certify the signatures as the two Democratic members questioned the collection strategies used by Unlock Michigan. "The Board of State Canvassers failed to do its legal duty today to certify the Unlock Michigan petition," Wszolek said. A day earlier, Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel announced she wouldn't bring any charges after investigating allegations of wrongdoing involving Unlock Michigan. Earlier this month, Keep Michigan Safe filed a lawsuit suit in the Michigan Court of Claims, asking the court to bar the Board of State Canvassers from considering the Unlock Michigan petition.
DC statehood bill passes House for second time, legislation moves to split Senate
The 2020 passage in the House marked the first time a D.C. statehood bill passed in either chamber of Congress. More:What would statehood for Washington, DC mean — and could it finally happen? Since 2000, according to the Brookings Institute, the Democratic presidential nominee has captured over 89% of the vote in Washington, D.C. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaking from the Senate floor Thursday, said arguments against Washington, D.C., statehood are rooted in bigotry. “The debate over D.C. Statehood has taken a rather dark turn," he said.
'Pride and hope': Navalny praises protests in his support
MOSCOW (AP) — Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said in an emotional message from behind bars Thursday that he felt “pride and hope” after learning from his lawyer about the mass protests demanding his freedom that swept Russia the previous night. Those who didn't support it publicly, but sympathized,” Navalny said in an Instagram post. “And, I will sincerely say, two feelings are raging inside me: pride and hope.”“People are marching in the street. It means they know and understand everything," said Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent. "They won't give up their future, the future of their children, their country.
Talks narrow on a compromise to changes in US policing laws
A Republican bill from Scott does not go as far as the House-passed measure. The GOP's Justice Act would step up compliance by law enforcement in submitting use-of-force reports to a national database. It also would require compliance reports for no-knock warrants, like the kind officers used to enter the residence when Breonna Taylor was killed in Kentucky. Talks in recent weeks have centered on one of the main differences, the limits on the public’s ability to sue law enforcement officers under “qualified immunity.” One alternative being discussed would allow police departments, rather than individual officers, to be held liable. “I think that is a logical step forward,” said Scott, putting more of the burden on the department rather than the officer.
High court moves away from leniency for minors who murder
Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the result but said he would have instead rejected outright a 2016 decision in favor of the juveniles. The court's three liberal justices dissented, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor writing that the decision “guts” prior cases in favor of minors. Five years later, it later barred life-without-parole sentences for juveniles except in cases of murder. In 2012 and 2016 the court again sided with minors. The court said life-without-parole sentences should only be given to “the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility.”
DC statehood faces a crossroads with congressional vote
Updated 3 times AlertMeWASHINGTON — Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C., face a milestone moment in their decades-long movement to reshape the American political map. The House will vote Thursday on legislation that would create a 51st state with one representative and two senators. A tiny sliver of land including the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall would remain as a federal district. Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Czechs expel more Russians in dispute over 2014 depot blast
Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said Russia won’t be allowed to have more diplomats in Prague than the Czechs currently have at their embassy in Moscow. In response, Russia expelled 20 Czech diplomats. We will respond quickly,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Moscow does not employ Czechs at its Prague embassy. Neighboring Slovakia on Thursday became the first NATO ally to expel Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity with the Czechs.
DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
If the measure were to become law, Smith predicted a wave of lawsuits that would cloud the new state's actions and any congressional legislation it touched. "Every legislative act of this new state would be called into question. D.C. has long chafed under its relationship with Congress, which has the power to essentially veto or alter any local laws. After a night of widespread vandalism, President Donald Trump usurped D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s authority and called in a massive multiagency federal force to downtown. The law enforcement forces cleared peaceful protesters from a public street so Trump could pose for a photo outside a church.
DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms
Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “When the constitution was written, this place didn’t exist,” he said. “When people say this is not about race and partisanship, you can be sure it’s about race and partisanship.”During a March hearing by the House oversight committee, a succession of GOP representatives claimed D.C. was unfit for statehood while calling the entire effort a cynical Democratic power play. Opponents proposed a variety of alternatives, from absolving Washingtonians of federal taxes to “retroceding” most of D.C. back into Maryland. Statehood opponents say D.C. is a special case that requires special steps.
Israel confirms Syrian missile landed near Dimona nuclear reactor
Israel has acknowledged that its air defences failed to intercept a missile fired from Syria overnight that traversed 125 miles of its highly protected airspace and landed near its secretive Dimona nuclear reactor. The defence minister, Benny Gantz, claimed the missile had landed in Israel as a result of errant Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Directly firing a large missile at Dimona could have been a trigger for such an escalation. The missile landed around 20 miles short of the Dimona site, in Israel’s Negev desert. With tensions already high with Iran, Israel may be seen as wanting to play down any attempted attack or risk a confrontation.
New Oklahoma law targets protesters while protecting drivers who hit them
A new Oklahoma law protects drivers who unintentionally injure or kill demonstrators from any liability, while simultaneously subjecting protesters who block roadways to jail time and hefty fines. Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Kevin Stitt, signed HB 1674 on Wednesday, even as advocates excoriated their elected officials for undermining democracy. Legislators passed HB 1674 following historic protests against police brutality and racial injustice last summer, both in Oklahoma and across the country. The state representative Kevin West, HB 1674’s author, said voters contacted him last summer with concerns about protests elsewhere in the country, the Oklahoman reported. Don Spencer, president of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, spoke in a video from February about his desire for legislation like HB 1674.
House approves bill that would admit Washington, D.C., as 51st state
Washington — The House voted Thursday on a bill that would admit Washington, D.C., as the 51st state, although the measure is likely to fail in the evenly divided Senate. But while those two states each have two senators and a representative in the House, D.C. has no voting representation in Congress. Senate Democrats introduced a companion bill to the House measure in January, which has 44 cosponsors in the Senate, including Schumer. However, it's unclear whether all Senate Democrats would support D.C. statehood, even if the filibuster was eliminated. This can have controversial side effects when D.C. residents make decisions that are blocked or overturned by Congress.
Sign at George Floyd Square gives list of special orders for white visitors
The square where George Floyd was murdered by ex-Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin now has a sign with special rules for white people. A sign at George Floyd Square gives special instructions to white people. A Twitter reaction to the George Floyd sign that was posted on social media. People lay flowers at a memorial in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 21, 2021. I can’t imagine what would happen if any place had a sign posted with special instructions for black people,” Dorothy Derr said.
Trump delayed $20bn in aid to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, report finds
The Trump administration delayed more than $20bn in hurricane relief aid for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, according to a report by the housing department’s office of the inspector General. The efforts to deliver recovery funding to the island were “unnecessarily delayed by bureaucratic obstacles”, according to the 46-page report. The investigators were also denied or delayed access to Hud information on several occasions. The report found that Hud’s review and approval of their funding action plan for Puerto Rico was delayed due to the 2018-2019 government shutdown. More than 5,000 people died in Puerto Rico in 2017 due to the hurricane, according to a study by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Senior Surrey Police officer is given final written warning over workplace affair
A senior police officer has been given a final written following an affair he had with a junior colleague. An independent panel ruled that Mr Kemp's failure to disclose the relationship could have caused a conflict of interest. Following the private misconduct hearing, which took place last month, the panel ruled that Mr Kemp would receive a final written warning that would remain in place for two years. "The independent panel was made up of a legally qualified chair, a member of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and an independent member. "He has been given a final written warning, which will be valid for two years.
It's 'fair' to call me a private education hypocrite, says Scottish Labour leader
Anas Sarwar has admitted it is a “fair” to call him a hypocrite after he unveiled plans for an attack on private education despite sending his own children to a fee-paying school. Scottish Labour’s manifesto, published Thursday, calls for the charitable status of private schools to be revoked and for any public sector backing for them to end. The document states that such a policy would serve as “a contribution towards achieving a more socially just and inclusive society”. “I'm open about the fair question and the fair criticism that people make around the decision that my wife and I made for our children,” he said. “I want every child to have opportunity and that's why we put our education comeback plan at the heart of this manifesto.
Russia orders troops back from occupied Crimea and border with Ukraine
Russia’s defence minister on Thursday ordered the withdrawal of most of the troops that had recently amassed at the border with Ukraine following nearly four weeks of a war scare. Kyiv accused Moscow of trying to provoke fighting in the long-simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine but Russia insisted that the unusually high number of troops that had moved across the country in late March to its south-western border were merely there for military exercises. The European Union put the number of Russian troops at the border with Ukraine and the Russia-occupied Crimean peninsula at 100,000. Starting Friday, all the troops involved in the south and the west will withdraw to their bases, he said. However, Russia will leave some armoured vehicles in one area in the south, about 100 kilometres from the Ukrainian border, until the end of summer when new military drills are set to begin in Russia’s west.
Mondaire Jones accuses GOP lawmakers of bringing ‘racist trash’ to House debate as DC statehood bill passes
As lawmakers in the House of Representatives prepared to vote for a second time to make Washington DC the nation’s 51st state, Democratic congressman Mondaire Jones fired back at Republicans who have criticised the effort. “I have had enough of my colleagues’ racist insinuations that somehow the people of Washington DC are incapable or unworthy of our democracy,” the New York lawmaker told the House of Representatives on Thursday. Mr Jones objected to remarks from Republican Senator Tom Cotton who said statehood would prevent the nation’s capital from being a “well-rounded working class state”. “I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word ‘white’,” said Mr Jones, who is Black. “Democrats’ partisan push for DC statehood is irresponsible and represents exactly what the Founding Fathers sought to guard against when establishing the seat of the federal government,” he wrote.
Earth Day: World leaders take digs at Trump at White House summit as Xi and Putin pledge action
World leaders took shots at ex-president Donald Trump as they participated in Joe Biden’s Earth Day climate summit. Mr Biden convened 40 leaders from the world’s most powerful countries to galvanise a global effort against the climate crisis, even securing commitments from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mrs Merkel’s comments came as Joe Biden unveiled ambitious plans to cut emissions during the virtual White House summit. Mr Biden told the summit that the US will aim to cut carbon emissions by as much as 52 per cent by 2030. “It is so good to have the US back on our side in the fight against climate change,” said Ms von der Leyen.
Greta Thunberg warns US lawmakers over climate change
Climate activist Greta Thunberg urged US lawmakers to end fossil fuel subsidies, or face catastrophic consequences in future decades. "I don't believe for a second that you will actually do this," she told politicians on the House Oversight Committee's environmental subcommittee.
Earth Day summit was Joe Biden's show - but China unwilling to increase its ambitions
There may have been 40 world leaders virtually present at President Joe Biden's Earth Day summit but this was unmistakably his show. Follow live updates from Joe Biden's climate change summitThis is a promising kick start to a crucial year of global climate diplomacy culminating in November at the UN climate summit in Glasgow known as COP26. Although it has promised enhanced cooperation with America on climate change, China, the world's largest polluter, remains unwilling to increase its ambitions from peak carbon emissions in 2030 and net zero emissions by 2060, 10 years later than many other major economies have pledged. That's why you can hear the steady drum beat of 'climate change = jobs' in all of Joe Biden's speeches, and why Boris Johnson, in his own singular style, said 'cake, have, eat is my message to you'. Sky News broadcasts the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.
Juror in the Derek Chauvin trial speaks out
Lisa Christensen listened to the whole trial, but as an alternate juror she was not involved in the jury's deliberations about the verdict. She told CBS This Morning that she thought Chauvin was guilty because "the prosecution made a really good, strong argument."
House of Commons declares Uighurs are being subjected to genocide in China
MPs have declared that Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in China's Xinjiang region are being subjected to genocide. The House of Commons on Thursday approved a motion calling on the government to act to fulfil its obligations under international human rights law. In January, the US declared China had committed genocide in its repression of the Uighurs, while national parliaments in Canada and the Netherlands have also made the same declaration. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, for the UK, the attribution of genocide is a matter for the courts. Conservative former minister Nus Ghani, who moved the motion in the Commons on Thursday, acknowledged some MPs were "reluctant to use the word genocide".
Pentagon investigated Russian 'energy attacks' on US troops
Adding yet another layer to the tensions, Pentagon officials have briefed lawmakers on directed-energy attacks on U.S. troops that Defense Department officials believe were carried out by Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and the U.S. Russian troops began returning to basis following massive demonstrations in Crimea, which prompted warnings from Ukraine and the U.S. and allies. The exercises involved thousands of Russian troops and hundreds of warplanes. Nearly 100,000 Russian troops are believed to have massed at the Ukrainian border.
Teacher suspended after taking a photo with her foot on the neck of a black pupil, 11
A Texas teacher has been suspend after sharing a 'staged photo' which shows her standing with her foot on a black student's neck. The student, Zaelyn Jackson, 11, has defended his teacher, saying that she was 'just playing' in the staged image and that she did not mean any harm. The mother said she had known the teacher for years and they had a close relationship and Zaelyn was not injured at all. The mother added that she does not believe the teacher is racist or deserves to lose her job over the 'joke'. Zaelyn agreed, saying the teacher should not be fired as he told CBS 11: 'I think she was doing it as a joke.
Climate Summit: Putin looks confused and sits in silence after Macron is cut off by technical glitch
Russian President Vladimir Putin endured an awkward moment during Thursday's climate summit after he was left sitting in confused silence following a technical glitch. ', he told fellow world leaders. The cost of inaction is mounting,' he said in his speech kicking off his Climate Summit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday the UK would cut emissions by 78 per cent by 2035. In addition to the president and world leaders, several Cabinet secretaries and business leaders will attend.
In COVID-plagued Michigan, warning signs that...
Vaccine coverage in the state had been steadily rising by two to four percentage points a week since late January. But with the rise in infections and hospitalizations seen last week, and vaccinations slowing, those numbers could rise again, as happened in Michigan. A quarter of the available shots went unused, says Jennifer Michaluk, a county health department official. Trump won more than 60 percent of November's vote in 49 Michigan counties. 'We remind [Michiganders that] Trump got vaccinated,' said Mark Hamed, who serves as medical director for eight Michigan counties, all of which voted for Trump with at least 63 percent of the vote.
Mondaire Jones sparks fury by calling GOP arguments against D.C. statehood 'racist trash'
Prior to the vote, Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones sparked fury on the House floor by calling Republican arguments against statehood 'racist trash,' as D.C. is a majority-minority city. 'One of my House Republican colleagues said that D.C. shouldn't be a state because the District doesn't have a landfill,' he continued. In a party-line vote, House Democrats passed H.R. Not a single House Republican voted in favor of the legislation. President Joe Biden has said he's supportive of the D.C. statehood.
Putin Offers to Meet Ukraine President in Moscow 'Any Time'
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky was welcome in Moscow "any time" but stressed that he should discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine with separatists directly. "If we are talking about bilateral relations, then, by all means, we are ready to welcome the president of Ukraine at any time that is convenient for him," the Russian leader said during a meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow. Putin's invitation to Zelensky came in response to this week's offer from the Ukrainian president for the two leaders to meet in eastern Ukraine, where an uptick in fighting between Kiev's army and pro-Moscow separatists has raised fears of a return to full-blown war. Ukraine, the European Union and the United States have recently sounded the alarm over Russian troops massing on the border of the ex-Soviet country. Moscow has said troops are running military drills in response to NATO maneuvers, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Thursday ordered the troops to return to their permanent bases by May 1.
With Trump's backing, Walker freezes Senate GOP field in Georgia
"Right now, (I'm) just going through the process and thinking about it," Walker told CNN. "This got nothing to do with President Trump," Walker said. And it's anyone's guess what kind of candidate Walker might turn out to be. When asked about Walker, Warnock told CNN: "I'm prepared to defeat whoever they put up." "He is a candidate that Trump Republicans, non-Trump Republicans, Independents, traditional Democrats, and even many partisan Democrats can agree with," said Evans.
Florida marijuana legalization dealt blow by Florida Supreme Court
TALLAHASSEE — A high profile effort to legalize marijuana was all but killed by the Florida Supreme Court Thursday. “A ballot summary suggesting otherwise is affirmatively misleading.”Similar issues have previously come before the Florida Supreme Court. Ben Pollara, who ran the 2016 medical marijuana campaign, said the Court’s decision Thursday reflected the body’s shift rightward under Gov. The Florida House and Florida Senate — both controlled by Republicans — also filed briefs to the Court opposing the initiative. “Floridians would legalize marijuana tomorrow if given the opportunity to do so, but that’s clearly not what Tallahassee wants,” Pollara said in a statement.
Senate expected to pass anti-Asian hate crimes bill
(CNN) The Senate is expected to pass Thursday a bill denouncing discrimination against Asian communities in the United States, and create a new position at the Justice Department to expedite reviews of potential Covid-19-related hate crimes. The bill would also direct the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to issue guidance raising awareness of hate crimes during the pandemic , and work with agencies to establish online reporting of them. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that the bill is "proof" that "the Senate can work to solve important issues," and would tell bigots "we're going after you." The bill, sponsored by New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng and Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono, gained momentum after the shootings of six Asian women in Atlanta on March 16 drew even more attention to the rise of anti-Asian violence over the past year. Some Republicans were initially skeptical about the legislation known as the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act but Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins and others teamed up with Hirono to strike an agreement broadening its support.
House Passes Bill To Make DC The 51st State
The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday which would give statehood to Washington, D.C., making it the 51st state in the U.S.H.R. The bill would designate “Washington, Douglass Commonwealth” as the 51st state while still having a separate federal district. “The Democrats’ D.C. statehood scheme is about two things: consolidating power and enacting radical policies. (RELATED: Biden Admin Announces ‘Strong Support’ For DC Statehood Bill, Says 51st State ‘Long Overdue’)“After they change the filibuster, they’re going to admit the District as a state. They’re going to admit Puerto Rico as a state.
Myanmar’s military ‘a system of monarchs and slaves,’ defector says
Major Hein Thaw Oo, of the Meikhtila-based Light Infantry Division (LID) 99, was the highest-ranking known defector from the military at the time of reporting. “In the military, for whatever reason, you’re always scared of anyone who has a higher rank than you,” Hein Thaw Oo told Myanmar Now. Hein Thaw Oo insisted there are more who want to defect, “from sergeants on upward.”“If you don’t believe it, go ask them. Hein Thaw Oo told Myanmar Now that the suppression of public opposition at these demonstrations has been directly ordered by military strategists from the junta’s Ministry of Defence in Naypyitaw. Military officers consider protest sites to be battlefields, and ignore when lower ranking soldiers loot homes or commit robberies and extortion, he explained.
With eye on Islamist fight, France backs Chad military takeover
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian justified the installation of a military council headed by Deby's son on the grounds that stability and security were paramount at this time. The French are just hoping that military and civil discontent don't undermine the transition too much." It is seen as vital to enable French and other forces to re-orient their military mission to central Mali and to target Islamist leaders linked to al Qaeda. The FACT rebels, a group formed by dissident army officers, rejected the military's plan and have vowed to resume hostilities. Military and diplomatic sources said Paris would watch the offensive closely and assess if the group was ready to talk.
UK Parliament declares China's treatment of Uighurs a genocide
The U.K. Parliament unanimously voted to declare China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Province a genocide, marking the latest country to slap the designation on China’s human rights violations in the area. The move follows similar designations from the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, all of which have said the crackdown on the minority Muslim group amounts to a genocide. “Today Parliament has spoken with one voice and called out the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal oppression of Uyghurs for what it is: a genocide. We have a solemn obligation under the Genocide Convention to act to prevent further atrocities from taking place. No one can still deny the scale of the abuses taking place in the Xinjiang region,” added MP Yasmin Qureshi.
UK Parliament unanimously declares the Chinese government is committing a Genocide against Uyghurs in historic first
The UK joins the US, Canada and the Netherlands in having made formal declarations of a genocide taking place against Uyghurs. Nusrat Ghani MP, author of the motion and IPAC member said:“Today Parliament has spoken with one voice and called out the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal oppression of Uyghurs for what it is: a genocide. We owe it to the victims of this genocide to call out the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal persecution of the Uyghurs. Thus the sanctions and threats by the Chinese Communist regime do not scare us, we shall stay strong demanding that Gulag-like Laogai camps shall be dismantled”. The Chinese government cannot be allowed to continue to carry out crimes against humanity and genocide with impunity.”
Navalny ally urges jailed Kremlin critic to end his hunger strike
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends a hearing to consider an appeal against an earlier court decision to change his suspended sentence to a real prison term, in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File PhotoA medical trade union leader and ally of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Thursday she and her group were asking the jailed opposition politician to call off his hunger strike. "To continue (the strike) would be dangerous for his life and health," Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of the Doctors Alliance union, told Reuters. "We very much hope Alexei will end the hunger strike tomorrow." Russia's leading opposition politician began a hunger strike on March 31 to demand proper medical care for leg and back pain that he said he was being denied to him in prison.
U.S. Supreme Court spurns limits on life sentences for juveniles
A general view of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2020. Sotomayor noted that 15 state courts have found that the earlier Supreme Court rulings required a finding of incorrigibility. In a 2012 ruling, the Supreme Court had decided that mandatory life sentences without parole in homicide cases involving juvenile offenders represented cruel and unusual punishment. The court had previously ruled that juveniles could not be executed and only juveniles accused of murder could be subjected to life sentences without the possibility of parole. Of the 50 states, 29 allow life sentences without parole for juveniles while 20 states have no prisoners serving such sentences, according to the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit group that supports sentencing reform.
Woman pleads guilty to hate crimes for running down children
Franklin, entered the pleas Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in a Des Moines federal court to two counts of violating the U.S. Nicole Poole Franklin, 43, entered the pleas Wednesday in a Des Moines federal court to two counts of violating the U.S. She pleaded guilty Monday to two state counts of attempted murder in the same Dec. 9, 2019, attacks, the Des Moines Register reported. On the state counts, Franklin faces up to 25 years on each attempted murder count. It wasn't clear if other state counts, including hate crimes, would be dropped as part as her guilty plea in state court, the Register reported.
DC statehood bill passes House for second time, legislation moves to split Senate
But the Washington, D.C. The 2020 passage in the House marked the first time a D.C. statehood bill passed in either chamber of Congress. More:What would statehood for Washington, DC mean — and could it finally happen? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaking from the Senate floor Thursday, said arguments against D.C. statehood are rooted in bigotry. “The debate over D.C. Statehood has taken a rather dark turn," he said.
Spying, poisoning, attempted election meddling: Russia tensions escalate with the U.S.
Spying, poisoning, attempted election meddling: Russia tensions escalate with the U.S.Navalny's poisoning, attempted election interference and cyber espionage are just a few of the reasons tensions between the U.S. and Russia have heightened.
Man behind failed 2017 subway bombing gets life in prison
Failed Port Authority bomber Akayed Ullah was sentenced to life behind bars Thursday morning. … I do not support harming innocent people.”NYPD at the scene of a the bombing attempt involving Akayed Ullah. NYPD and Port Authority cops arrested him soon after, while Ullah was lying injured on the ground of the emptied subway tunnel. After the jury returned their verdict, Ullah tried to blame President Trump for inspiring the failed terrorist attack. Gregory P. MangoThe failed terrorist tried to appeal his conviction by claiming he had not acted on behalf of ISIS — but a judge shot that down in January.
‘The world had changed’: After Derek Chauvin is found guilty, some see a shift in police prosecutions
“The first thing I’m going to say is, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we believe the Chauvin trial was fair and just. When use-of-force cases move into courtrooms, they said, jurors could be more skeptical of police accounts than in the past. And Chauvin’s a murderer now.”AdvertisementStory continues below advertisementExperts cautioned against drawing too sweeping a conclusion from the Chauvin case, warning that individual trials are limited in scope. Chauvin’s case was also unlike many others, observers noted, given that it was unusually well-documented, widely seen and universally condemned. “When I saw him being taken away in handcuffs, that’s when I knew the world had changed,” Sweet said of Chauvin.
Widow of officer killed in 2020 riot makes plea to Joe Biden: Demand peace in our communities
"It's disheartening that our leaders are downplaying this and they’re not calling for peace," Dorn told "Fox & Friends" on Thursday. Dorn made the comments two days after President Biden delivered remarks where he looked back at the protests over the summer favorably. "The murder of George Floyd launched a summer of protest we hadn't seen since the civil rights era in the '60s. Biden made the comments as the nation was waiting on a verdict by the jury in Chauvin’s trial. President Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he was "praying the verdict" was "the right verdict."
BLM protesters storm Oklahoma Capitol over GOP bills protecting drivers fleeing riots, police from 'doxxing'
Demonstrators chanting "Black Lives Matter" stormed the Oklahoma Capitol on Wednesday, forcing the state House of Representatives into lockdown, in order to protest several Republican-backed bills, including one that provides legal protections to motorists fleeing riots. More than two dozen protesters filled the gallery on the fifth floor while the Oklahoma House in the chamber below was in session. One bill increases penalties for protesters blocking traffic and protects drivers who unintentionally strike drivers with their cars. Another aims to protect law enforcement and their families from "doxxing." House Bill 1674, co-authored by Republican state Rep. Kevin West and his GOP colleague state Sen.
Mark McCloskey, who aimed guns at protesters with his wife, want grand jury to take a new look at their case
A message left with Gardner’s office wasn’t immediately returned. Mark McCloskey emerged from his home armed with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey came out with a semiautomatic handgun. A police probable cause statement said protesters feared "being injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s finger being on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor." The indictment states that a semiautomatic pistol was altered in a way that "obstructed the prosecution of Patricia McCloskey" on the weapons charge. GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HEREIn December, a judge dismissed Gardner’s office from prosecuting the case, ruling she created an appearance of impropriety by mentioning the McCloskey case in fundraising emails before the August Democratic primary.
GOP doctors, health care providers ask Pelosi when House COVID restrictions will be lifted with members vaxxed
EXCLUSIVE: Eighteen Republican doctors and health care providers in Congress sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking when the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted from the chamber, now that most members have been vaccinated. Reps. Michael Burgess of Texas, Andy Harris of Maryland and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio led the House GOP Doctors Caucus in sending the letter to Pelosi on Thursday. "Yet the state of dysfunction could change, and you have the authority to do that," the doctors added. "If a majority of Members are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, why are you still preventing normal operations?" "As Members of Congress with medical backgrounds, we have worked vigorously to educate our constituents, and fellow Members in the House, that though the timeline of the COVID-19 vaccines was accelerated, the process was safe."
House passes DC statehood bill to make district 51st state after heated floor debate
The divided House Thursday passed legislation to make Washington D.C. the 51st state and to grant its more than 700,000 residents full representation in Congress. D.C. statehood already passed the House last June but it died in the GOP-led Senate. HOUSE COMMITTEE ADVANCES DC STATEHOOD BILL ALONG PARTY-LINE VOTED.C. leaders, led by Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C.'s delegate in the Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, have long advocated for statehood. DEMOCRATS RENEW DC STATEHOOD PUSH THAT WOULD REMAKE NATIONAL POLITICSHolmes Norton said D.C. should be no different than the 37 others states that Congress admitted to the union without a constitutional amendment. But D.C. residents are taxed without representation, and cannot consent to the laws under which they, as American citizens, must live."
Biden administration pays travel costs for adult sponsors to pick up migrant children
The Biden administration is paying the travel costs for adult sponsors to go to migrant shelters and pick up migrant children – as the administration scrambles to cope with the surge in unaccompanied children (UACs) coming to the southern border. An HHS spokesperson said the transport of children to sponsors is a "normal part" of the UAC program’s operations. It has been estimated that the U.S. is spending at least $60 million a week to house unaccompanied children. Among those were 18,890 unaccompanied children – a 100% increase from the already high numbers encountered in February, and the highest number recorded. But critics have accused the Biden administration of creating the crisis with its policies.
States pursuing laws to curb Zuckerberg spending on elections
Conservatives have contended the money primarily went to heavily Democratic areas in battleground states in an effort to tilt the balance. States should note that private funding for public matters is not unusual, said Tiana Epps-Johnson, executive director of the Center For Tech and Civic Life. "Private funding is used to supplement a variety of government services where there are funding shortfalls, including schools and libraries," Epps-Johnson told Fox News in a statement. Last year, with generous private funding, CTCL announced the COVID-19 Response grant program," the statement said. But if you’re a blue jurisdiction, we’re going to give you $10 million or $12 million or $15 million.
Was QAnon used by foreign adversaries?
CNN's John Avlon looks into how China and Russia used the QAnon conspiracy theory against the American people, according to a recent report.
Russia orders troops back to base after buildup near Ukraine
The currencies of both Russia and Ukraine rose sharply after the announcement, signalling relief among investors just hours after Russia also ended war games in Crimea, the peninsula it occupied and annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The Ukrainian president's spokeswoman said this month that Russia had more than 40,000 troops deployed on Ukraine's eastern border and over 40,000 in Crimea. Hours earlier, Shoigu had attended manoeuvres in Crimea, which Moscow said involved 10,000 troops and more than 40 warships. The troop buildup near Ukraine was one of several issues that have raised tensions between Russia and the West. In Moscow, the Kremlin said Putin was aware of an invitation from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to meet to discuss the crisis.
Survey: Religion May Be Key To Fighting Vaccine Hesitancy
A new survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Interfaith Youth Core found that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy remains prevalent in some American communities—but a faith-based approach could prove crucial in the fight to combat it. The survey sampled over 5,600 adults across the U.S. between March 8 and 30. The approaches that the surveyed people were asked to consider included a respondent’s religious leader or fellow religious community member receiving the vaccine, a religious leader encouraging the community to get vaccinated, a religious community holding an informational forum on the vaccine, a nearby congregation serving as vaccination site or their religious community providing help to arrange vaccine appointments. As of Monday, all adults in America are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But the survey also found that a pro-vaccination campaign could have a huge impact in the community.
Czechs expel more Russian embassy staff over bombing claims
The Czechs made the decision after Russia rebuffed a request to readmit 20 Czech embassy staffers it had expelled, leading Prague to argue it couldn’t run its embassy in Moscow. As a result, the Czechs expelled 18 Russian diplomats, saying they had been identified as spies. Moscow retaliated by throwing the 20 Czech diplomats and embassy staff out of the country, leaving the Czech embassy in Moscow paralyzed. The number of Russians set for expulsion will reduce Russia’s Prague embassy staff to the size of the Czech embassy staff in Moscow, which now consists of five diplomats and 19 administrative and technical workers. The Russian embassy in Prague currently houses 27 diplomats and 67 administrative and technical staff.
EU Confidential #197: Germany’s candidates — Super League shambles — Data breach battles
The candidates vying to be Germany’s next chancellor, Europe’s Super League football flop and battles over people’s personal data all feature in this week’s episode. A resurgent Green party in Germany chose Annalena Baerbock as their candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor. On the not-so-Super League, POLITICO’s Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz, Ali Walker and Simon Van Dorpe discuss the fierce popular and political backlash against the project, which soon fell apart. And finally, recent data leaks from social media platforms Facebook, LinkedIn and Clubhouse collectively revealed the information of around a billion users. What does the controversy say about Europe’s efforts to protect its citizens’ personal information and the EU’s flagship General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
Greta Thunberg: U.S. fossil fuel tax incentives a 'disgrace'
Swedish climate advocate Greta Thunberg urged a House subcommittee on Thursday to end tax breaks for fossil fuel producers, saying their existence was a "disgrace," and she accused lawmakers who have failed to remove them as "proof that we have not understood the climate emergency." "How long do you honestly believe that people in power like you will get away with it? How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis, the global aspect of equity and historic emissions without being held accountable?” she testified virtually to the House Oversight Environment Subcommittee hearing. “You get away with it now, but sooner or later people are going to realize what you have been doing this time. You still have time to do the right thing and to save your legacies, but that window of time is not going to last for long,” she said.
House set to vote on Washington DC statehood bill
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., discusses the House's planned vote on a a bill that would make Washington, D.C., the nation’s 51st state. The bill is backed by President Biden and top Democrats but faces long odds in the Senate.
Senator sees bipartisan way forward on infrastructure
Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., discusses the bipartisan effort to boost science and tech innovation in the U.S., a way forward on infrastructure and police reform.
Nearly 1,500 Reported Arrested At Alexei Navalny Rallies In Russia
MOSCOW (AP) — Police arrested nearly 1,500 people Wednesday during a day of demonstrations throughout Russia calling for freedom for imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose health reportedly is in severe decline after three weeks of hunger striking, according to a group that monitors political detentions. Some of the people arrested were seized before the protests even began, including to top Navalny associates in Moscow. during the opposition rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. In Moscow, Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh and Lyubov Sobol, one of his most prominent associates, were detained by police in the morning. Denis Kaminev via AP People light their cell phones during a protest in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
Democrats push to end ICE partnerships amid calls for police reform
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., will introduce new legislation Thursday to end partnerships between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local authorities to enforce federal immigration laws. The PROTECT Immigration Act seeks to repeal the controversial 287(g) program, which allows state and local law enforcement departments to enter into an agreement with ICE to help with immigration law enforcement functions. At least 32 law enforcement agencies in 16 states are currently engaged in these agreements, according to Booker's office. "This would represent a critical step in disentangling federal immigration enforcement from state and local law enforcement, and improve the enforcement of our nation’s federal immigration laws," he told Mayorkas. This is particularly evident in jurisdictions where 287(g) agreements exist, according to the Center For Migration Studies, a nonpartisan think tank.
Supreme Court won't impose new limits on juvenile life sentences
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declined Thursday to impose new restrictions on sentencing juvenile offenders to life in prison without the possibility of parole. By a 6-3 vote, the court upheld a life sentence for a Mississippi man, Brett Jones, who was 15 when he used a knife to kill his grandfather during an argument. Nine years ago, the Supreme Court said mandatory life sentences for juveniles convicted of homicide violated the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment because such punishments failed to take into account a youthful offender's immaturity. But the ruling allowed life sentences if the judge or jury had discretion to impose a lesser punishment. Jones argued that the earlier rulings required the sentencer to determine whether a juvenile offender was "permanently incorrigible," but Thursday's decision said no such finding is necessary.
Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 4.22.21
* A group of seven House Republicans, led by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), announced yesterday that they would no longer accept campaign contributions from major tech companies or their top executives. * In a nearly unanimous vote yesterday, Missouri's Republican-led state House voted to expel state Rep. Rick Roeber (R), over child-abuse allegations. This is unrelated to the criminal charges filed against a different Republican state representative in Missouri, Tricia Derges, who's been accused of, among other things, fraud. Newhouse was one of the 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 attack. One of the notable exceptions was Rep. Ro Khanna, who's rumored to be eyeing the 2022 race himself.
GOP senator probably regrets testing Stacey Abrams on Georgia law
The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee held an important hearing this week: "Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote." But it was former state Sen. Stacey Abrams (D-Ga.) whom Republicans seemed especially eager to tangle with. ), for example, apparently thought he could trip up Abrams with a question about her own state's new voter-suppression law. At which point, Abrams returned to her indictment of the Georgia law:"It eliminates over 300 hours of drop box availability. I suppose the senator assumed that Abrams was all show, indifferent to substantive details, and when pressed for specific information, she'd crumble into a post-policy mess.
Biden to join NATO leaders at June 14 summit in Brussels
President Joe Biden speaks Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the White House in Washington, after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Joe Biden speaks Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the White House in Washington, after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders of NATO member countries plan to discuss tense ties with Russia and China, the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the future of the 30-nation military alliance at a summit in Belgium on June 14. The meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels will be a face-to-face opportunity for Biden to rebuild relations with leaders from Europe and Canada that became strained under former President Donald Trump. “This is a unique opportunity to reinforce NATO as the enduring embodiment of the bond between Europe and North America,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday in a statement.
'Fireworks' as witnesses, leaders clash at Senate voting rights hearing
Craig Melvin is joined by Jane Timms and Leigh Ann Caldwell to discuss Thursday's contentious Senate Judiciary Hearing on Voting Rights, and voting rights bills currently being legislated in states around the country.
Woman pleads guilty to hate crimes for running down children
Franklin, entered the pleas Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in a Des Moines federal court to two counts of violating the U.S. Franklin, entered the pleas Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in a Des Moines federal court to two counts of violating the U.S. She pleaded guilty Monday to two state counts of attempted murder in the same Dec. 9, 2019, attacks, the Des Moines Register reported. On the state counts, Franklin faces up to 25 years on each attempted murder count. It wasn’t clear if other state counts, including hate crimes, would be dropped as part as her guilty plea in state court, the Register reported.
Czechs expel more Russians in dispute over 2014 depot blast
Car of Russia's ambassador to Prague, Aleksandr Zmeyevsky is parked in front of the Foreign Ministry in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)Car of Russia's ambassador to Prague, Aleksandr Zmeyevsky is parked in front of the Foreign Ministry in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said Russia won’t be allowed to have more diplomats in Prague than the Czechs currently have at their embassy in Moscow. The Czech government protested what it called Russia’s “inappropriate reaction,” saying the move had paralyzed the Czech Embassy in Moscow. Neighboring Slovakia became the first NATO ally to expel Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity with the Czechs on Thursday.
EPA funds help South Carolina upgrade diesel school buses
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — As congressional Democrats introduce legislation to electrify the nation’s school bus fleet, South Carolina is getting nearly half a million in federal funds to upgrade some of the state’s older diesel school buses. A $480,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is being used to replace 24 buses from 10 districts across South Carolina, officials with the state Department of Education said Thursday. The bill introduced Wednesday would authorize federal grant money over 10 years, with 40% of it devoted to replacing school buses that serve mostly nonwhite, poorer communities. It would cover the expense of purchasing electric school buses, building charging stations and providing workforce training. School buses typically carry nearly 25 million children each day.
Q&A: Documentary Unravels Twisted Knots Of QAnon Movement
Hoback followed the growth of the QAnon movement for three years and unravels the twisted knots of the conspiracy theory in a six-part series on HBO. Well, I don't think Jan. 6 happened because of Q, but I also don't think it would have happened without Q. The documentary builds a powerful case that Ron is Q. Ron denies this, but in the documentary, he seems to relish the idea of being suspected. What happens to Q followers and the movement? But I think Q, as we knew it, will not remain.
Russia orders troop pullback, still keeps weapons near Ukraine
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s defense minister on Thursday ordered troops back to their permanent bases following massive drills amid tensions with Ukraine, but said that they should leave their weapons behind in western Russia for another exercise later this year. The Russian troop buildup near Ukraine that came amid increasing violations of a cease-fire in Ukraine’s east has raised concerns in the West, which urged the Kremlin to pull its forces back. The Russian military hasn’t reported the number of additional troops that have been moved to Crimea and parts of southwestern Russia near Ukraine, and it wasn’t immediately clear from Shoigu’s statement if all of them will now be pulled back. The U.S. and NATO has said that the Russian buildup near Ukraine was the largest since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and threw its support behind separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea this week, arguing that they fully conform with the international law.
House Dems set to pass D.C. statehood, bill faces tough odds in Senate
WASHINGTON (AP) — Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C., face a milestone moment in their decades-long movement to reshape the American political map. A tiny sliver of land including the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall would remain as a federal district. Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. Now, with the 2020 elections leaving Democrats in control of both chambers and the White House, Republican senators may resort to a filibuster to stymie the statehood bill. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Will Derek Chauvin appeal guilty verdict in George Floyd murder?
Former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter, but may file for an appeal (AP)Derek Chauvin ’s lawyers will most likely appeal his conviction, experts say, but they have little chance of success. The former police officer was declared guilty on Tuesday of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd . The similarities between Mr Floyd and Mr Wright – both Black men killed by a white police officer – were immediately obvious. Judge Cahill refused, arguing that the case was already global news and jurors would know about it anywhere. For an appeal, the defence could now argue that this ruined any chances of an impartial verdict.
Joe Manchin lives on a boat in Washington — and protesters are reportedly headed there
AP Photo/Jeff AmyThere’s a growing rift between corporate America and the GOP – two groups that have long been bedfellows. A tight relationship loosens up The close relationship between corporate America and the Republican Party dates back to the 1970s. For example, in 2015 many companies including Apple and Walmart denounced so-called religious freedom laws like one passed in Indiana that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ customers. Boycotts by several companies, including PayPal and the NCAA, led to a partial repeal in 2017. Who’s leaving whom But corporate America isn’t necessarily moving away from the Republican Party and toward the Democrats.
U.S. Senate panel advances bill to aid Ukraine, pressure Nord Stream 2
If the goal is to radically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in a way that mitigates climate change some decades down the road, then creating a jobs program for Democratic activists is not a meaningful proposal. Unlike Xi, Biden has to take into account domestic disagreement, both about the content of climate policy and the priority that should be given to the issue. New Deal nostalgia and the quasi-religious approach to climate change cultivated by progressive activists is not going to get the job done — in fact, it is going to make things worse. It is unlikely that he will ever do as much practical good on climate change as Elon Musk or George Mitchell. At the top of his to-do list is supplanting the United States as a world leader by exploiting discord in Washington and between the United States and its allies.
Supreme Court OKs life in prison without parole for some juveniles convicted of murder
But the sentencing decision remains in the hands of the judge who heard the case, he said. “Our holding today does not preclude the states from imposing additional sentencing limits in cases involving defendants under 18 convicted of murder,” he said. “States may categorically prohibit life without parole for all offenders under 18. Kennedy had repeatedly spoken out against harsh punishments for juvenile offenders, and he wrote the court’s ruling that ended capital punishment for them, as well as those that limited the circumstances for imposing life prison terms on those under 18. Sotomayor said Thursday’s ruling means that even if a “juvenile’s crime reflects ‘unfortunate yet transient immaturity’, he can be sentenced to die in prison,” quoting a passage from Kennedy’s earlier opinion.
N.H. nurse agrees not to practice in state after allegedly breaking patient’s fingers in assisted living facility
New Boston police, the statement said, arrested Waller on April 8 on charges of abuse of a facility patient, second degree assault, and simple assault. A New Hampshire nurse has entered into a preliminary agreement not to practice in the state, as prosecutors pursue criminal charges alleging she broke an assisted living facility patient’s fingers and obstructed medical treatment back in December, authorities said Thursday. Prosecutors had said in a prior statement that Waller committed the alleged assault on Dec. 23 while working at Rose Meadow Farm, a New Boston assisted living facility. An April 8 statement from prosecutors said Waller allegedly “broke a resident’s fingers as she was prying them off the resident’s call bell. The charges further allege that Ms. Waller then prevented the resident from being examined by outside medical professionals.”Waller’s been licensed to practice nursing since 1987, authorities said.
Fake COVID vaccine cards targeted by California attorney general
California’s acting attorney general is among the officials sounding the alarm about fake COVID vaccine cards being sold online. Matthew Rodriquez is among 42 signatories of a letter sent this week by the National Association of Attorneys General to OfferUp, a marketplace site similar to Craigslist. The letter comes 10 days after a similar one that the attorneys general association sent to Twitter, eBay and Shopify about fake cards marketed on their platforms. A spokesperson for OfferUp said Wednesday that the site’s administrators “actively remove” posts offering fake vaccine cards, usually taking them down within an hour. The latest letter was signed by the attorneys general of 39 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
DC statehood faces a crossroads with congressional vote
WASHINGTON — Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C., face a milestone moment in their decades-long movement to reshape the American political map. A tiny sliver of land including the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall would remain as a federal district. For lifelong statehood proponents like Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s long-serving and nonvoting delegate in the House, the vote will be a culmination of a life’s work. Connolly argued that the federal district was a theoretical concept when first conceived, not a community with a higher population than two U.S. states. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is,” said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
Wisconsin Center COVID-19 vaccination site to end May 28, Milwaukee health commissioner says
The Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee will cease to be a COVID-19 vaccination site on May 28, when funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency sunsets, the city's health commissioner said Thursday. The Wisconsin Center has been the city's central vaccination hub, in addition to two community sites and temporary vaccination locations across the city. FEMA arrived in mid-March to assist at the site, and weeks later officials announced it would become a federal community vaccination site. It has been open to eligible Wisconsin residents, not solely Milwaukee or Milwaukee County residents. City officials believe they will be able to handle the volume of vaccinations at the two health center sites, she said.
China, Russia join US vowing emission cuts at summit
His commitment to cut U.S. fossil fuel emissions up to 52 percent by 2030 will come at the launch Thursday of an all-virtual climate summit for 40 world leaders. President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. “Meeting this moment is about more than preserving our planet,” Biden declared, speaking from a TV-style set for a virtual summit of 40 world leaders. The pandemic made gathering world leaders for the climate summit too risky. The format meant a cavalcade of short speeches by world leaders, some scripted, some apparently more impromptu.
Czechs expel more Russians in dispute over 2014 depot blast
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic on Thursday ordered more Russian diplomats to leave the country, further escalating a dispute between the two nations over the alleged involvement of Russian spies in a massive ammunition depot explosion in 2014. Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said Russia won't be allowed to have more diplomats in Prague than the Czechs currently have at their embassy in Moscow. All others have to leave by the end of May, he said. He estimated about 60 Russians will have to go. But the Czech Republic is a self-confident country and will act accordingly.”He said the Czechs had to response to the activities of Russian agents on Czech territory.
Wyoming governor approves federal rental assistance program
Mark Gordon has authorized the use of $200 million in coronavirus relief aid to launch a federal rental assistance program in Wyoming. The Republican governor signed legislation on Wednesday authorizing the program and its funding, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. The program is not new, but it has been reorganized under the Department of Family Services. The Wyoming Community Development Authority was overseeing the previous rental assistance program paid for by federal pandemic aid. The Department of Family Services is hoping the new iteration of the program will be more successful.
Biden to join NATO leaders at June 14 summit in Brussels
BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders of NATO member countries plan to discuss tense ties with Russia and China, the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the future of the 30-nation military alliance at a summit in Belgium on June 14. The meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels will be a face-to-face opportunity for Biden to rebuild relations with leaders from Europe and Canada that became strained under former President Donald Trump. “This is a unique opportunity to reinforce NATO as the enduring embodiment of the bond between Europe and North America,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday in a statement. NATO allies activated the organization’s collective defense clause for the first and only time after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 to rally to the defense of the United States. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Comedian says he was racially profiled; police deny wrong
The Clayton County Police Department denies any wrongdoing, although it did not say why its officers chose to speak to Andre. Andre chose to speak with investigators during the initial encounter,” the department said in a statement released to local news outlets. “During the encounter, Mr. Andre voluntarily provided the investigators information as to his travel plans. Mr. Andre also voluntarily consented to a search of his luggage but the investigators chose not to do so. Investigators identified that there was no reason to continue a conversation and therefore terminated the encounter.”
Russia orders troop pullback, but keeps weapons near Ukraine
The Russian troop buildup near Ukraine that came amid increasing violations of a cease-fire in Ukraine’s east has raised concerns in the West, which urged the Kremlin to pull its forces back. The U.S. and NATO have said that the Russian buildup near Ukraine was the largest since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and threw its support behind separatists in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland called Donbas. Ukraine’s president said the Russian troops’ pullback will help ease tensions and thanked international partners for their support. If Zelenskyy wants to discuss normalizing ties with Russia, he’s welcome to come to Moscow, the Russian leader said. Russia also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea this week, arguing that they fully conform with the international law.
Kentucky Derby steward finally tells all about controversial Maximum Security case
Before sending the signal formally disqualifying Maximum Security from the 2019 Kentucky Derby, the state’s chief steward spun her red swivel chair around to face her fellow officials. “I thought I had a passion for it, and I knew the music business as a professional is really, really cutthroat and really, really difficult. “I received mail at my house, at my home address, and some things were threatening: ‘You ruined the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby media guide lists only five claims of foul and one race-related disqualification prior to the 2019 race. (After trainer Jason Servis was indicted in 2020 in a federal case involving performance-enhancing drugs, Maximum Security was moved to Baffert’s barn.)
Kentucky State Fair board plans to make this year's event look a lot like it did before COVID
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky State Fair Board voted unanimously Thursday to plan this year's celebration to look more like that of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. The vote came during a meeting of the body Thursday morning and it follows a recommendation from the Kentucky State Fair Committee passed Monday. Under the recommendation, the 2021 Kentucky State Fair dates are Aug. 19 to Aug. 29. In 2020, attendance at the state fair was limited to fair workers and credentialed participants in World's Championship Horse Show, Future Farmers of America or 4H. But in a normal year, the Kentucky State Fair brings in more than 600,000 visitors.
Joe Manchin lives on a boat in Washington — and protesters are reportedly headed there
Protesters evidently want all hands on deck in the push to make Washington, D.C. a state, and they're now headed to Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) nautical home. Advocates for D.C. statehood are planning a protest on Thursday, Politico reported, and they'll be gathering at Manchin's house ... boat. "Yes," Politico writes for those unfamiliar, "[Manchin] lives on a boat docked in the harbor when he's in Washington." "I wasn't crazy on buying any real estate in Washington, not at all," Manchin told Time. The Washingtonian may have summed it up by writing, "Manchin lives on a boat because he doesn't like living here."
Rausings targeted in protest against Berlin bookshop eviction
A UK-based Swedish multibillionaire family known for their philanthropic donations to literature, libraries and other arts, have become the target of angry protests in Berlin over the eviction of a community bookshop from a counter-culture neighbourhood. Tax justice researchers believe Victoria Immo is a shell company that hides the investment’s real beneficiaries, members of the Swedish Rausing family, heirs to the Tetra Pak fortune. “But I am 99.9% certain that they are.”Thorsten Willenbrock, owner of the bookshop Kisch & Co, said he had wanted to discuss a lease extension for the store. Is it you Lisbet?” Other placards carried the names of other members of the Swedish family. Kisch & Co’s owner, Thorsten Willenbrock, said he could not condemn his shop’s supporters for targeting the Rausing family in their protests.
Thousands take to streets in Russia calling for Alexei Navalny’s release – video
Tens of thousands of Russians took part in rallies calling for the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Pro-Navalny demonstrations had been called in more than 100 cities in response to reports of his declining health during a hunger strike in prison. At least 1,500 people were arrested, nearly half in St Petersburg
Post service accused of monitoring American social media posts under controversial ‘iCOP’ surveillance project
The US Postal Service (USPS) is reportedly running a “covert” programme to monitor the social media posts of Americans for “inflammatory” content ahead of planned protests. The law enforcement arm of the USPS, the US Postal Inspection Service, is monitoring “inflammatory” social media posts and passing them over to other government agencies as part of the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), according to a Yahoo News report. Analysts reportedly looked through posts on several social media, sites including Facebook, Parler and Telegram before flagging messages deemed as “inflammatory” to the Department of Homeland Security. “iCOP analysts are currently monitoring these social media channels for any potential threats stemming from the scheduled protests and will disseminate intelligence updates as needed,” the USPS explained in the memo. In a statement to Yahoo, the USPS said that “the US Postal Inspection Service is the primary law enforcement, crime prevention, and security arm of the US Postal Service.
Biden cranks up U.S. ambition as summit raises climate hopes
Putting the United States back at the forefront on climate, Biden told a virtual Earth Day summit that the world’s largest economy will cut emissions blamed for climate change by 50 to 52% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. The United States isn’t waiting,” Biden told the opening of a two-day summit of 40 leaders including the presidents of rivals China and Russia. The White Rebels and Extinction Rebellion DC block 17th Street after dumping cow manure outside the White House to protest President Biden’s climate plan in Washington on Thursday. Addressing the virtual summit, President Xi Jinping reiterated his promise last year to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate at the White House in Washington on Thursday.
Nevada's Republican secretary of state finds no 'evidentiary support' of voter fraud
Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske found no 'evidentiary support' for GOP's voter fraud claims. Here she speaks at a press conference Oct. 2016Nevada's Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske revealed Wednesday she found no evidence to support the state GOP's claim of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 general election. Nevada is one of the state's Trump's team and allies most vehemently denounced as engaging in some sort of voter fraud. The state also determined it wasn't cost effective to track down those who live and out of state and voted in the Nevada election. Cegavske was censured earlier this month by the Nevada Republican Party.
Biden to recognize massacre of Armenians as genocide
Sources cautioned that given the importance of bilateral ties with Turkey, Biden may still choose not to use the term at the last minute. Armenians killed by Turks, during the Armenian Genocide 1915Protesters rally outside the Turkish Consulate in commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 24, 2017. 'Today, we remember the atrocities faced by the Armenian people in the Metz Yeghern - the Armenian Genocide. ARMENIAN GENOCIDE DENIED BY TURKEY FOR 100 YEARS April 2021 marka the 106th anniversary of the massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks. The term genocide will bring unwelcome comparisons to the Holocaust that the Turkish government has long sought to avoid.
Russia orders end to huge military drills near Ukraine
Shoigu, who had arrived in Crimea earlier in the day to oversee military drills, said Moscow closely watched NATO movements and would remain vigilant. "The enemy violates the ceasefire on purpose and does not want to stick to existing agreements," the Ukrainian military said. The West and Ukraine have accused Russia of sending troops and arms across the border but Moscow has denied the claim. The EU estimated this week the number of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border at more than 100,000. "NATO military activity is significantly increasing in this region," Shoigu said, ordering troops to be on alert in case of "unfavourable development" of Western drills.
Buttigieg says climate summit an opportunity for US to regain moral leadership on crisis
Washington (CNN) Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg argued on Thursday that President Joe Biden's goal to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions is vital to reasserting US leadership in fighting the climate crisis. During his virtual climate summit attended by 40 other world leaders Thursday, Biden announced an ambitious goal of reducing the United States' greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% below its 2005 emissions levels by 2030. The US is the world's second-biggest polluter behind China, which has said it will continue to increase carbon emissions through at least the end of the decade. Although the Biden administration has not outlined a plan for how it will achieve this goal, the rhetoric marks a significantly different approach than that of former President Donald Trump, who denied climate change science and whose administration rolled back several environmental policies. On CNN Thursday, Buttigieg called it "disastrous" that the Trump administration left the United States' "seat at the table empty" on the issue.
House passes bill that would make D.C. the 51st state
The House of Representatives voted 216-208 on Thursday to pass a bill that would grant statehood to Washington, D.C. The big picture: It's the second year in a row that the Democratic-controlled House has voted to recognize D.C. as the 51st state. 51, the Washington, D.C. The new state would be called "Washington, Douglas Commonwealth" in honor of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Go deeper: D.C. statehood explained (USA Today)
Czechs to Cut Russian Diplomat Numbers Amid Spat
The Russian foreign ministry threatened retaliation. Prague currently has a total of 24 embassy staff in Russia, which in turn has 94 staff in Prague. "Russia's reaction was absolutely disproportionate, the diplomats didn't do anything wrong," Kulhanek said Thursday, pointing out that Prague had earlier expelled only 18 Russian diplomats over the spying suspicions. But the Russian foreign ministry, which summoned the Czech ambassador to Moscow for Thursday afternoon, reacted angrily. "Prague decided to take the road to destroy the relation and won't have to wait long for our answer," Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.
House approves bill to make DC a state
The House in a party-line vote on Thursday approved legislation to make Washington, D.C., the 51st state in the nation, sending the bill to the Senate. ADVERTISEMENTThe 216-208 House vote on H.R. Republicans have opposed giving D.C. statehood, in part because it would lead to two more Democratic senators and a Democratic House member given the district population's political leanings. Washington, D.C., has three electoral votes, but its House delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton Eleanor Holmes NortonHouse Democrats eye passing DC statehood bill for second time House committee approves DC statehood bill House committee expected to pass DC statehood bill on Wednesday MORE (D), cannot vote on legislation. While Democrats have a slim, tie-breaking advantage in the now-50-50 upper chamber, major roadblocks to D.C. statehood remain, most notably the filibuster.
House Democrats pass D.C. statehood — launching bill into uncharted territory
“We have a moment before us that has never existed for the statehood movement,” said Josh Burch, co-founder of Neighbors United for DC Statehood. “We can pat ourselves on the back and celebrate the House vote, and we should. “This Congress, with Democrats controlling the House, the Senate and the White House, D.C. statehood is within reach for the first time in history,” she said Thursday morning. Republican senators from less populous states have worried that D.C. statehood would “dilute” their states’ power, as Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.) AdvertisementStory continues below advertisement“When he left the Senate, one of the things we talked about was the D.C. statehood legislation.
Russia to pull back troops from Ukraine border
Russia will on Friday begin returning troops to permanent bases inside the country, pulling them back from near the border with Ukraine, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported. Thursday’s announcement comes after weeks of tensions between Moscow, Kyiv and the latter’s Western allies over a major Russian military build-up near its western border with Ukraine and in annexed Crimea, which reportedly involved tens of thousands of troops. Russia has argued that the build-up was defensive, while Ukraine – backed by Germany and other Western powers – has accused Moscow of attempting to provoke hostilities. “In this regard, I have decided to complete the inspections in the southern and western military districts,” he added. Russia declares Crimea drills overDefence Minister Shoigu said the troops would return to their bases by May 1.
Lincoln Project targets Trump with Mar-a-Lago advert
The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans-turned-Donald-Trump-critics, has targeted the former president in a TV advert that will air in Palm Beach – where Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is based. The ad further goes on telling Mr Trump that "now everyone is saying you're old, impotent, [and] an embarrassment." When calling him impotent, the group was likely claiming Mr Trump lacked political power now that he’s out of office, not that his male fertility was at risk. The Lincoln Project, which formed in 2020 ahead of the presidential election to rally against Mr Trump, told the Palm Beach Post that the group decided to air the ad in Palm Beach because they knew Mr Trump would likely see the commercials. This was the second direct attack the Lincoln Project has launched in Palm Beach, Florida.
Chemical weapons watchdog strips Syria’s rights over poison gas attacks
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog voted Wednesday to take the unprecedented step of stripping Syria of its rights at the organization after a probe blamed Damascus for poison gas attacks. Syria will have its own voting rights revoked at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and will be banned from holding any offices at the Netherlands-based agency. Syria and its ally Russia have consistently denied that Damascus has used chemical weapons during the ten-year civil war, arguing that the watchdog has become politicized by the West. ‘Rights and privileges’Syria’s rights will remain suspended until member states decide that Damascus has fully declared all its chemical weapons and weapons-making facilities, the motion says. But it has been repeatedly accused of chemical weapons attacks since then.
Former Swedish LGBT activist convicted of raping and sexually assualting migrants
A former Swedish LGBT activist has been convicted of raping four migrants during his work. The 56-year-old man was a member of Sweden's largest LGBT organisation, RFSL, where he allegedly helped migrants obtain asylum on the grounds of their sexual orientation. In April 2020, he was accused of raping four men and exposing two of them to sexual harassment in his office. The court found that the migrants were in a "particularly vulnerable situation" when they approached the consultant, who had abused his power. The LGBT group acknowledged they had "important work" ahead to regain the community's trust and reiterated their condemnation of "all forms of abuse".
Czechs expel more Russians in dispute over 2014 depot blast
The Czech Republic has ordered more Russian diplomats to leave the countryPRAGUE -- The Czech Republic on Thursday ordered more Russian diplomats to leave the country, further escalating a dispute between the two nations over the alleged involvement of Russian spies in a massive ammunition depot explosion in 2014. But the Czech Republic is a self-confident country and will act accordingly.”He said the Czechs had to respond to the activities of Russian agents on Czech territory. We will respond quickly,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. The Czech government protested what it called Russia’s “inappropriate reaction,” saying the move had paralyzed the Czech Embassy in Moscow. Neighboring Slovakia became the first NATO ally to expel Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity with the Czechs on Thursday.
Belgian ambassador to South Korea apologises after wife slaps shop worker
"I didn't know who the woman was when I was assaulted, but she looked confident and didn't seem to be sorry," said the second employee, who complained of a swollen check from the slap, was quoted by South Korean media as saying.
Some Republicans say they don’t want to attend Biden’s first address to Congress
President Biden will finally deliver his first address to Congress as commander-in-chief next week — and a growing number of Republicans appear ready to miss it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Joe Biden to address a joint session of Congress on April 28, 2021. Asked by Punchbowl News on Wednesday whether they had any interest in attending Biden’s address, a considerable number said no or declined to answer. “I don’t think I’ll probably attend.”“I don’t know the answer to that,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace is not planning to attend President Joe Biden’s address to Congress.
Syrian missile lands near Israel’s top-secret nuclear reactor
A Syrian surface-to-air missile landed near Israel’s top-secret nuclear reactor on Thursday — triggering warning sirens in the Negev Desert and an Israeli strike on the country, according to reports. An IDF spokesman identified the missile as an SA-5 fired against Israeli military aircraft – but overflew its target and fell in the Dimona area, Reuters reported. Syria claimed it fired the missile in response to what it claims was an Israeli Air Force bombing near Damascus, the Jerusalem Post reported. A partial view of the Dimona nuclear power plant in the southern Israeli Negev desert. A road sign pointing toward the Dimona nuclear power plant in the southern Israeli Negev desert.
Will Americans be able to trust the results of the 2020 Census?
But keeping to the original deadline also ensured that Trump would still be in office to receive the apportionment data. “But they won’t say it if they don’t believe it.”The news has not been all bad for the 2020 count. Bill O’Hare, president of O’Hare Data and Demographic Services, said he is more optimistic than some about the 2020 count. He co-wrote an analysis this month showing that the self-response rate, a good indicator of census quality, was almost the same this time as in 2010. “I think these are factors that will affect the quality,” O’Hare said, adding that it might mean the 2020 count doesn’t measure up to the 2010 count.
Power Up: Biden's climate agenda goes big but is fuzzy on details
Biden plans to formalize the new goal in a submission to the United Nations, the White House said.”Story continues below advertisement“Every country has to come to the table. … The stakes could not be higher,” former secretary of state John F. Kerry, Biden’s special envoy for climate, told Brady in an interview on Wednesday. Gina McCarthy, will “lead negotiations with Congress for permanent new climate change laws that could withstand the next change of administration,” the Biden's senior climate change adviser in the White House,will “lead negotiations with Congress for permanent new climate change laws that could withstand the next change of administration,” the New York Times's Coral Davenport reports. Many of the ambitious climate plans Biden proposed in his infrastructure plan, which aim to redirect the nation's energy trajectory from fossil fuels, are a tough sell in a divided Congress. Postal Service may soon get a makeover, as Biden’s three nominees to the governing board get a Senate confirmation hearing.
Burning Man still considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for 2021 event
Organizers of the popular counter-culture festival Burning Man are considering requiring attendees to prove they have been vaccinated for the coronavirus before allowing them to attend the annual event this year. The 2020 Burning Man festival was called off due to concerns over the pandemic. Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell said in a video message posted on the group’s website on April 8 that "vaccines will be required to come to Burning Man." BURNING MAN 2017: PHOTOS FROM THE FESTIVALShe acknowledged last weekend in an updated statement on the group's website that she "misspoke." Goodell said organizers also have not officially decided whether to require or provide testing at the event.
Left-wing group dumps cow poop at White House entrance, demands Biden take climate action
Climate activists dissatisfied with President Biden's climate plan are not-so-subtly expressing their displeasure, as they are literally calling "bull----" while dumping cow manure in front of the White House. "Biden is punting the crisis to future generations with targets that rely on unproven technologies sucking carbon out of the atmosphere. If he cared he'd set targets that expire while he's still in office. HOUSE REPUBLICANS INTRODUCE CLIMATE INITIATIVE AS DEMS CONTINUE GREEN NEW DEAL PUSHFox News reached out to the White House for comment but they did not immediately respond. Demonstrators could be heard chanting "Bull----" and "No more climate crisis" while marching down the street with wheelbarrows full of dung.
NY Times ignores 18 deaths, nearly $2 billion dollars in damage when bashing GOP bills targeting rioters
The New York Times ignored 18 deaths, countless injuries and nearly $2 billion in property damage nationwide in an article slamming Republican bills designed to stop what the liberal newspaper considered mostly "peaceful" protests. Protests and riots following the 2020 killing of Floyd resulted in at least 18 deaths, $350 million worth of property damage in the Minneapolis area and nearly $2 billion nationwide. However, the Times didn’t highlight deaths or significant property damage when downplaying the protests as mostly peaceful. Ron] DeSantis, are labeling them ‘anti-riot’ bills, conflating the right to peaceful protest with the rioting and looting that sometimes resulted from such protests," the Times reported. The Times knocked a Florida law for increasing the penalties of someone caught toppling a monument by noting that "Confederate ones" are included.
Russia orders soldiers to begin return to bases after drills near Ukraine
Russian military troops take part in a military drill on Sernovodsky polygon close to the Chechnya border, some 260 km from south Russian city of Stavropol, on March 19, 2015. Russia ordered its top army command to begin returning troops to their permanent bases inside the country from Friday, saying it had successfully completed a "snap inspection" of forces in its south and west, near the border with Ukraine, the RIA news agency reported. The announcement prompted the rouble to rise sharply, following weeks of tensions with the West over a major Russian military buildup near Ukraine. The EU's top diplomat said on Monday that Russia has massed some 100,000 troops near the border. "In this regard, I have decided to complete the inspections in the southern and western military districts," he said.
House to vote on DC statehood bill that faces long odds in the Senate
51- the Washington, D.C. But it nevertheless faces daunting odds in the Senate, so long as the legislative filibuster remains in place. 51, passed through the House in last year's Congress, marking the first time that either chamber had approved a bid for D.C. statehood. "D.C. statehood does not require a constitutional amendment," Norton added, responding to another complaint about the statehood bill. "There are no provisions in the Constitution about a filibuster," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said in an interview published Wednesday in the Washingtonian about the statehood bill.
China's Xi calls for international collaboration to reduce global carbon emissions at U.S.-led summit
BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping called Thursday for countries to work together, while respecting their different responsibilities on reducing carbon emissions. Xi made the remarks at a U.S.-led climate summit. Reducing carbon emissions is one of the few areas China and the U.S. have said they could cooperate on. It also aligns with Xi's announcement last year that the Asian nation aims to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030. "China looks forward to working with the international community, including the United States, to jointly advance global environmental governance," Xi said.
White House to use celebrities, athletes in ad campaign to combat Covid vaccine hesitancy
The Biden administration on Thursday is launching a massive campaign to persuade more Americans to take the Covid-19 vaccines, administration officials told NBC News. The campaign, called "We Can Do This: Live," will target young people through social media and will include virtual events where celebrities and athletes answer Americans' lingering questions about the vaccines, according to NBC News. The goal, according to a detailed release of the campaign obtained by NBC News, is to reach Americans, particularly young people, "directly in the places where they already consume content online, including social media, podcasts, YouTube, and more." Some young people appear resistant to getting vaccinated. A recent poll from STAT News-Harris found that 21% of Generation Z, or young adults aged 18 to 24, said they would not get vaccinated against Covid and another 34% said they would "wait a while and see" before getting vaccinated.
Opinion: A Trump policy institute? Heaven help us
(CNN) As a brand extension, the recently announced launch of the America First Policy Institute couldn't be better. A handful of Trump loyalists still draw federal salaries because the government provides small staffs for former presidents. It's worth noting that Team Trump promised the same thing during his administration, but didn't get very far. Perhaps as they set to work, the institute's chairs and directors could come up with the health care plan promised by Trump and never delivered. Then there are all those jobs Trump promised to create in manufacturing plants and coal mines.
How Greta Thunberg has inspired young climate change activists around the world
Two years after Greta Thunberg entered the spotlight in the fight against climate change, she is set to testify on Capitol Hill during a House Environmental Subcommittee hearing. NBC News’ Kelly Cobiella spoke to young activists who are inspired by Thunberg and are working towards a common goal of meaningful action against climate change.
Kristin Smart's body once buried in suspect's backyard, court documents say
Ruben Flores, 80, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of accessory after the murder for hiding Smart's body after his son allegedly killed her. The court document was filed before bail arguments Monday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court when the father and son were arraigned. Peuvrelle, who said Ruben Flores has helped cover up the crime for nearly a quarter-century, would continue to do so if freed. “Due to the evidence gleaned from the excavation, it is reasonable to believe Ruben Flores currently knows the location of Kristin Smart’s remains," Peuvrelle said. San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office personnel dig in an area in the backyard of the home of Ruben Flores, in Arroyo Grande, Calif., March 16, 2021.
U.S. Supreme Court rejects new curbs on juvenile sentences
A general view of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2020. The ruling, authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, marked the end of the court's recent run of decisions that put limits on life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders. Kavanaugh said it was the responsibility of states - not courts - to "make those broad moral and policy judgments" about juvenile sentencing reform. In a scathing dissenting opinion, liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the court effectively gutted previous rulings that imposed new restrictions on juvenile sentencing. In a 2012 ruling, the Supreme Court had decided that mandatory life sentences without parole in homicide cases involving juvenile offenders represented cruel and unusual punishment.
Russia orders soldiers to begin return to bases after drills near Ukraine
REUTERS/StringerRussia ordered its top army command to begin returning troops to their permanent bases inside the country from Friday, saying it had successfully completed a "snap inspection"of forces in its south and west, near the border with Ukraine, the RIA news agency reported. The announcement prompted the rouble to rise sharply, following weeks of tensions with the West over a major Russian military buildup near Ukraine. The EU's top diplomat said on Monday that Russia has massed some 100,000 troops near the border. "In this regard, I have decided to complete the inspections in the southern and western military districts," he said. From March to June, more than 28,000 forces from 26 nations will conduct drills across more than 30 training areas in a dozen countries.
Russian troops to pull back from Ukrainian border
A Ukrainian serviceman stands at his position on the frontline with Russian-backed seperatists near on April 20 | Aleksey Filippova/AFP via Getty ImagesRussian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu said Thursday that his country will begin pulling troops back from its border with Ukraine, Bloomberg reported. The withdrawal is set to begin on Friday and will be completed by May 1. The military buildup along Russia’s western edge, which had been expected to reach 120,000 troops, has led to mounting concern in both Ukraine and the West. In a public address on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for talks to resolve the situation. During his announcement of the troop withdrawal, the Russian defense minister said that the goals of the military operation had been fulfilled.
Clyburn defends Pelosi, Waters over Chauvin trial rhetoric
Floyd, of course, did not willingly sacrifice his life: Chauvin used his knee to pin down Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes on the pavement of a south Minneapolis intersection, even after Floyd lost consciousness. Two autopsies, one conducted by the county medical examiner and the other by independent pathologists hired by Floyd’s family, both concluded the death was a homicide. Maybe against his will, but he did.”“I was standing next to her when she said it, and I realized what she meant,” Clyburn said. “Maxine has read all of that, and she’s internalized some of that, and that’s what she was saying. And people ran with the word rather than the meaning behind what she was saying,” Clyburn said.
Biden’s top scientist met twice with Jeffrey Epstein. It’s now complicating his confirmation.
There are also several photographs of the meeting showing Epstein with scientists, including two of Epstein and Lander. “I’ve had no relationship with Epstein.”The White House on Wednesday acknowledged that Lander had met Epstein twice. The White House did not respond to follow-up questions about the second meeting. A spokesperson for Lander told The New York Times in 2019 that the boast wasn’t true. (Two other scientists whom Epstein claimed to have sponsored also said Epstein had never supported their work.)
Senate confirms Vanita Gupta as Associate Attorney General
The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm the nomination of Vanita Gupta for associate attorney general despite nearly unified opposition from Republicans.
Pelosi offers concessions on bipartisan Jan. 6 Capitol attack commission
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has offered concessions to try to reach agreement with Republicans to create a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The original proposal for the commission would have given Democrats seven appointments while Republicans would have had four. The final outstanding issue is the scope of the commission, the source said. The people who attacked the Capitol were supporters of then-President Donald Trump and members of far-right groups and militias. Pelosi said that the information collected during those hearings will serve as a key resource for the commission.
How young farmers are navigating climate change on their farms
And considering that the last time was so long ago, a lot of young farmers had no idea what to expect." As erratic climate changes have become more the norm than the exception, young farmers across the country are feeling their effects and trying to adapt, but some say they fear the future could bring more difficulties. While the effects are far-reaching, farmers feel them firsthand, because agriculture and climate change are so intricately intertwined. "Farming is already pretty economically tenuous, and it becomes even more so with the volatility in frost dates and crop loss," said Zeiger, a member of the National Young Farmers Coalition. She said there also needs to be an emphasis on lifting up the next generation of young farmers and more diverse farmers so they can start their operations in a sustainable way.
Amazon planning new fulfillment center, promising 1,000 jobs
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Amazon is planning to build a new distribution center in suburban Richmond that state officials expect will create 1,000 new jobs. The company will construct a 650,000-square-foot facility near the Richmond Raceway in Henrico County that will employ robotics technology, Gov. “This new robotics fulfillment center in Henrico County is the latest milestone in the growing partnership between Amazon and Virginia, and reinforces our standing as both a technology hub and a leader in supply chain management,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports it is being built on vacant property north of the raceway that was once used for overflow parking. ADVERTISEMENTAmazon is eligible to receive at least two types of publicly-funded financial incentives for the project, according to the news release, which did not provide a specific amount.
Noem asks athletic commission to rescind vaccine requirement
Kristi Noem is asking the South Dakota Athletic Commission to immediately rescind its requirement that sports participants provide proof they are vaccinated for COVID-19. Noem said her request is under the authority of her latest executive order banning government-instituted vaccine passports, the Argus Leader reported. It also prohibits local governments from requiring private businesses to show proof of vaccines in order to do business with local government. South Dakota has resisted government mandates regarding the coronavirus and while Noem said she encourages vaccinations, she said the state will not require them. The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Boulder shooting suspect charged with using large magazine
The Colorado lawmakers banned the sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds in response to the 2012 mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. ADVERTISEMENTBoulder investigators have said Alissa legally purchased the Ruger AR-556 pistol used in the attack, which resembles an AR-15 rifle with a slightly shorter stock. He bought it six days before the shooting after passing a background check. The suspect has not been asked to enter a plea yet and the public defenders who represent him are prohibited from talking to the media about the case under office policy. Boulder County’s district attorney, Michael Dougherty, planned to speak with reporters Thursday about the investigation and the next steps in Alissa’s prosecution.
Database would track officer complaints, disciplinary action
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama could soon have a database that would track disciplinary actions and excessive force complaints against law enforcement officers, a measure aimed at weeding out “bad apples” in the profession. The Alabama Legislature last week approved a bill that would create a state database to track law enforcement officers’ employment history, disciplinary actions, use of force complaints and reassignments for cause. But it’s just like any other profession, you have great actors and you have bad actors. “It would make it more difficult for someone who has got a checkered past to hop from law enforcement agency to law enforcement agency. Former President Donald Trump in June signed an executive order to encourage better police practices and establish a database to track officers with excessive use-of-force complaints.
New Hampshire advances some police, racial justice reforms
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Nearly a year after George Floyd’s killing, efforts to enact police and racial justice reforms in New Hampshire are moving forward, with some exceptions. Another bill inspired by last summer’s massive demonstrations against racial injustice passed the House and is now in the Senate. The Legislature also is considering legislation targeting the state’s secret list of police officers whose credibility may be called into question during a trial. It would ban teaching that the state or U.S. are fundamentally racist or sexist in public schools or state-funded programs. “Putting this language into statute would be a black eye for New Hampshire.
At ‘moment of peril,’ Biden opens global summit on climate
President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. “Meeting this moment is about more than preserving our planet,” Biden declared, speaking from a TV-style set for a virtual summit of 40 world leaders. The pandemic made gathering world leaders for the climate summit too risky. The format meant a cavalcade of short speeches by world leaders, some scripted, some apparently more impromptu.
Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Publisher Suspends Shipping Of Blake Bailey Book
Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Publisher Suspends Shipping Of Blake Bailey BookEnlarge this image toggle caption W.W. Norton W.W. NortonW.W. Norton is suspending publication of a new Philip Roth biography in light of allegations of sexual misconduct by its author Blake Bailey. In an email, W.W. Norton told NPR: "These allegations are serious. In light of them, we have decided to pause the shipping and promotion of Philip Roth: The Biography, pending any further information that may emerge." Blake Bailey is an award-winning author. His new biography of Philip Roth has received rave reviews.
'He was guilty.' Extra juror in favor of Chauvin conviction
Then came the verdict: Derek Chauvin was guilty on all counts, including murder, for killing George Floyd last May. “So much is being thrown at us as law enforcement officials,” Adams said. “I think officers understand that going outside the norms leads to potential issues,” he said. Nine current and retired members of the Minneapolis Police Department testified against Chauvin at trial, including the police chief. That testimony, Adams said, showed the public that Chauvin was not representative of the Minneapolis police.
Russia orders troops back to base after massive military drills in Crimea
After watching the drills, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared the maneuvers over and ordered the military to pull the troops taking part in the maneuvers in Crimea and western Russia back to their bases. “The troops have shown their defense capability, and I decided to complete the drills in the South and Western military districts.”Shoigu said the troops should return to their bases by May 1, but he also ordered that heavy weapons remain deployed to western Russia for another massive military exercise later this year. The U.S. and NATO have said that the buildup near Ukraine was the largest since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and threw its support behind separatists in eastern Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry said the maneuvers in Crimea involved more than 60 ships, over 10,000 troops, about 200 aircraft and about 1,200 military vehicles. Russia also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea this week, arguing that they fully conform with international law.
New task force in Allen will find ways to make city more inclusive
The Allen City Council unanimously approved a new task force to address diversity, equity and inclusion issues within the city. Twelve Allen residents will serve on the ad hoc committee through Nov. 23, when it will deliver a report to the city council about how to make city services and programs more equitable and inclusive. Councilmember Lauren Doherty noted during an April 13 council meeting how excited she is for the task force to launch. Doherty encouraged the task force to dig deep into its research. “This is a difficult task, and I want you to find the places where we can have room to grow.”
Police chiefs hail Derek Chauvin verdict as a key step to healing
Not long after a jury convicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of killing George Floyd, police chiefs across the U.S. started speaking up. It was a major departure from years past, when even the highest levels would close rank around an officer following an on-duty killing. Activist Isaac Wallner said Chauvin’s conviction suggested the country may be starting to take Black communities’ cries of police abuse seriously. The verdict was especially profound and complicated for Black officers, who see the struggles of policing and race in both their work and personal lives. This story has been corrected to delete the reference to Shon Barnes being the first Black police chief in Madison, Wisconsin; Barnes is the third.
Police chiefs hail Chauvin verdict as a key step to healing
By MICHAEL R. SISAK and JAKE BLEIBERGNot long after a jury convicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of killing George Floyd, police chiefs across the U.S. started speaking up. It was a major departure from years past, when even the highest levels would close rank around an officer following an on-duty killing. Activist Isaac Wallner said Chauvin’s conviction suggested the country may be starting to take Black communities’ cries of police abuse seriously. The verdict was especially profound and complicated for Black officers, who see the struggles of policing and race in both their work and personal lives. ___This story has been corrected to delete the reference to Shon Barnes being the first Black police chief in Madison, Wisconsin; Barnes is the third.
Connecticut Democrats’ tax plan increases capital gains taxes for the wealthy, allows restaurants to keep part of sales taxes on food
“The governor, through his proposed budget, has made it clear that he intends to avoid tax increases so as to not hamper Connecticut’s economic recovery,’' the budget office said. “Connecticut is turning the corner in regards to our state’s finances and attractiveness to both businesses and individuals. The tax proposal contained in this bill would send the wrong signal that our state is unable to build on the progress we have made together.’'
House panel issues subpoena to former Michigan health director
Lansing — A Michigan House committee on Thursday issued a subpoena to former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon to compel testimony about his reasons for parting ways with Gov. The subpoena seeks Gordon's testimony about his January separation and the separation agreement. The subpoena ensures the committee does its due diligence to "provide answers to the people of Michigan," said Rep. Steve Johnson, chairman for the House committee. Gordon told Johnson in a letter that "reasonable people" disagreed on decisions related to the state's pandemic response. The panel on Thursday also unanimously reported a bill that would trigger reporting requirements if a separation agreement was above a certain dollar amount.
Police chiefs hail Chauvin verdict as a key step to healing
Michael R. Sisak and Jake BleibergAssociated PressNot long after a jury convicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of killing George Floyd, police chiefs across the U.S. started speaking up. It was a major departure from years past, when even the highest levels would close rank around an officer following an on-duty killing. “As an officer of the law, I believe that today justice has prevailed. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified against Chauvin, breaking the “blue wall of silence” that has long shrouded accountability around police wrongdoing. The verdict was especially profound and complicated for Black officers, who see the struggles of policing and race in both their work and personal lives.
DC statehood faces a crossroads with congressional vote
Ashraf KhalilAssociated PressWashington — Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C., face a milestone moment in their decades-long movement to reshape the American political map. A tiny sliver of land including the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall would remain a federal district. For lifelong statehood proponents like Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington's long-serving and nonvoting delegate in the House, the vote will be a culmination of a life's work. Although every state other than the original 13 was admitted to the union via congressional vote, statehood opponents argue that D.C. is a special case that requires special steps. “People have started to see D.C. statehood as the racial justice issue that it is," said Perry, who is also on the board of the pro-statehood group D.C. Vote.
House panel issues subpoena to former Michigan health director
Lansing — A Michigan House committee on Thursday issued a subpoena to former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon to compel testimony about his reasons for parting ways with Gov. The subpoena seeks Gordon's testimony about his January separation and the separation agreement. "Robert is proud of his work during this unprecedented time and grateful to have served the Governor and the State of Michigan," said Kenneth Baer, a spokesman for Gordon. Gordon told House Oversight Committee Chairman Steve Johnson in a letter that "reasonable people" disagreed on decisions related to the state's pandemic response. The panel on Thursday also unanimously reported a bill that would trigger reporting requirements if a separation agreement was above a certain dollar amount.
Czechs expel more Russians, escalating spat over 2014 blast
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic on Thursday ordered more Russian diplomats to leave the country, further escalating a fierce tug-of-war between the two nations over the alleged involvement of Russian spies in a massive ammunition depot explosion in 2014. Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said Russia won't be allowed to have more diplomats in Prague than the Czechs currently have at their embassy in Moscow. The Czech government protested what they called Russia’s “inappropriate reaction,” saying it paralyzed the Czech Embassy in Moscow. Kulhanek had given the Russian government a Thursday noon deadline to allow the return of the 20 Czech diplomats. He warned that if the demand was not met, he would reduce the staff of the Russian Embassy in Prague to equal the number of staff members remaining at the Czech Embassy.
Russia orders troop pullback, but keeps weapons near Ukraine
Last week, Russia has announced that it would close broad areas of the Black Sea near Crimea to foreign navy ships and state vessels until November, a move that drew Ukrainian protests and raised Western concerns. Russia also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea this week, arguing that they fully conform with the international law. Moscow has rejected Ukrainian and Western concerns about the buildup, arguing that it’s free to deploy its forces anywhere on the Russian territory and charging that they don’t threaten anyone. Amid the tensions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday signed a law allowing the call-up of reservists for military service without announcing a mobilization. The new law will allow to quickly equip the military with reservists, "significantly increasing their combat effectiveness during military aggression,” Zelenskyy’s office said in a statement.
The Latest: Putin seeks global cooperation on climate change
Saying the United States and other big economies “have to get this done,” President Joe Biden opened a global climate summit aimed at getting world leaders to dig deeper on emissions cuts. Read more:— What to Watch: In Biden climate show, look for cajoling, conflict, pathos———HERE'S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:9:50 a.m.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has welcomed the United States’ new commitment to halve emissions as a “game-changing” announcement. Johnson will be hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this year. As host of COP-26, Johnson said Thursday at President Joe Biden’s climate summit he wanted to see “similar ambitions” around the world. To do it we need scientists in all of our countries to work together to produce the technological solutions that humanity is going to need.”
Missile from Syria lands in Israel, triggers Israel strike
Israeli media later described the Syrian missile as an “errant” projectile, not a deliberate attack deep inside Israel. Syria’s state news agency SANA said the exchange began with an Israeli air strike on Dumeir, a suburb of the capital of Damascus. That could suggest the Syrian missile had targeted Israeli warplanes but missed and flew off errantly. The Israeli military later said in a statement that an initial investigation indicated that the Syrian missile was not intercepted. The exchange between Israel and Syria comes against the backdrop of growing tensions between Israel and Iran, a key ally of Syria.
Pelosi floats new proposal for bipartisan Jan. 6 commission
.......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is renewing her push for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, floating a new proposal to Republicans that would evenly split the panel’s membership between the two parties. Pelosi and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy haven’t even been able to agree on whether the Republicans have been sent the proposal. Pelosi said in her letter Friday that ” we have once again sent a proposal for such a Commission to the Republicans,” but a spokesman for McCarthy said Wednesday that neither the Republican leader nor his staff have received Pelosi’s latest proposal. Pelosi has said repeatedly that she will not concede to the Republican demands on the scope. “It’s not about examining Black Lives Matter,” Pelosi said last week.
‘It’s a slap in the face’: LA activists protest mayor’s police budget increase
The system isn’t for us,” said Stephanie Luna, the aunt of Anthony Vargas, a 21-year-old killed by LA sheriff’s deputies in 2018. In the face of intense pressure, LA’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, last June agreed to some reductions in LAPD funding. The mayor’s office has cited an uptick in homicides and said the city needed to hire more officers to replace retirees. Advocates at the rally pointed at numerous reports of excessive force, policy violations and physical violence by LAPD officers at last year’s uprisings. “Nothing material has changed with policing in Los Angeles over the last 12 months,” added Kenneth Mejia, a housing justice activist and LA city controller candidate, who has published analyses of the mayor’s proposed budget.
‘It was a torture chamber’: Ugandans abducted in vicious crackdown
Many suffered systematic torture, detention in harsh conditions in often secret prisons and the denial of access to relatives or lawyers. Some victims appear to have done no more than vote for political parties seeking to topple Uganda’s veteran president, 76-year-old Yoweri Museveni. The US and UK have given many billions of dollars of development and security assistance to Uganda in recent years. During the 1990s, Museveni was one of a new generation of African leaders seen as committed to reform. Though poverty levels have reduced steeply in recent decades, unemployment has soared, especially among tens of millions of young Ugandans.
Biden Set to Raise Taxes on Rich to Fund Child Care and Education
WASHINGTON — The next phase of President Biden’s $4 trillion push to overhaul the American economy will raise taxes on millionaire investors to fund education and other spending plans, but it will not take steps to expand health coverage or reduce prescription drug prices, according to people familiar with the proposal. Administration officials had planned to include a health care expansion of up to $700 billion, offset by efforts to reduce government spending on prescription drugs. Its details remain a work in progress and could change in the days before the announcement. But after weeks of work, administration officials have closed in on the final version of what will be the second half of Mr. Biden’s sweeping economic agenda, which also includes the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan the president described last month. That plan focused largely on physical infrastructure spending, like repairing bridges and water pipes and building electric vehicle charging stations, and was funded by tax increases on corporations.
Fight to vote: Arizona county’s ‘ludicrous’ election audit
Republicans in the Arizona state senate are set to begin an unprecedented audit of the presidential vote in Maricopa county, the most populous of the state, this week. First, they said, Maricopa county has already performed two audits of the election and found no irregularities in the vote. Second, the effort is being led by a Florida-based firm with a CEO who voiced support for election conspiracies after the election. Third, the audit will probably only breathe new life into Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 race in Arizona. And a spokesman for the audit told a reporter for the Arizona Mirror this week that there would be significant restrictions in place for reporters who covered the event.
Four killed in Taliban bomb attack at Pakistan hotel hosting Chinese ambassador
It’s unclear if the Chinese delegation in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, were the targets of Wednesday’s bombing. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, which appeared to be their largest attack in the country for some time. Imran Khan, Pakistan's prime minister, said: "I am deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives in the condemnable and cowardly terrorist attack in Quetta yesterday. The Pakistani Taliban killed thousands during an insurgent campaign a decade ago, but were then weakened by internal rifts and offensives by Pakistan's army. Wednesday’s attack was a "big and troubling development,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Washington-based Wilson Centre.
Russia says it is withdrawing its large deployment of troops near Ukraine's border
Russia announced on Thursday that it will withdraw troops near Ukraine and annexed Crimea, deeming its military exercises over. The enormous deployment, including dozens of navy ships, hundreds of warplanes and thousands of troops, has been heavily criticised by Western powers. According to NATO and the United States, the build-up of forces grew to its largest since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and lent support to separatists in Ukraine's east. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba encouraged the West on Tuesday to strengthen sanctions against Russia as he expressed concerns of the continued build-up of troops. The Russian Defence Ministry said the military drills in Crimea had involved 60 ships, more than 10,000 troops, 200 aircraft and 1,200 military vehicles.
Turkey doesn't accept international law over eastern Mediterranean, Greece's FM tells Euronews
Turkey doesn't accept international rules when it comes to exploratory drilling for gas in the eastern Mediterranean, Greece's foreign minister has told Euronews. "Turkey should accept and abide by international law and accept and abide by the Convention on [the] Law of the Sea. Something abides with international law [or] does not abide with international." But that common ground has to have a solid basis and that solid basis in international law and international law of the sea. There's not any clause in any international convention or international law that allows fighter planes from one state to fly over the territory of another state," he said.
Andrew Cuomo impeachment hotline receives 200 tips about his conduct amid sexual harassment claims
Andrew Cuomo say they have received more than 200 tips about his conduct. New York State Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine (D) said the huge number of tips were received via a hotline set up by law firm Davis Polk to help the wide-ranging investigation. Cuomo is facing a separate investigation about the sexual harassment allegations from the office of Attorney General Letitia James. 'On the book, some people volunteered to review the book,' Cuomo said in a teleconference call on Monday. Cuomo was widely criticized for writing the second memoir at a time when the pandemic was far from over.
Earth Day: Draghi thanks Biden, says we can win challenge with US
(ANSA) - ROME, APR 22 - Premier Mario Draghi said at the climate summit on Earth Day Thursday "above all I want to thank President Biden" and his was a "total change" in climate policy, adding that "we have confidence that together we can win this challenge". Biden is set to double the US's emissions target and say millions of jobs can be created by fighting the climate crisis, according to a US official.
UK defence secretary: 'We're very worried and sad by the loss of the president of Chad'
Wallace also touted Franco-British defence projects and underlined that such cooperation will be key for both countries in meeting challenges from Russia and China, as well as non-conventional threats. AdvertisingSpeaking to FRANCE 24's Armen Georgian, the British defence secretary highlighted the achievements of joint Franco-British defence projects: 'We've had loads of programmes over the last decade. Asked about aerospace projects, Wallace insisted these would continue despite Brexit: "Most projects over the last 30 to 40 years have been driven by the customers. We need a force that's ready and deployable; a force that's capable of beating our adversaries; and a force that is ready to work with alliances." In Africa, for example, it could be Britain on its own, or it could be Britain with an African partner, or it could be Britain, France and the United Nations.
Technical glitch interrupts Macron speech to climate summit
French President Emmanuel Macron delivered his full speech to the Earth Day Climate Summit, but only after a technical hiccup interrupted his remarks as they were being delivered by video conference callAdvertising Read moreWashington (AFP)The perils of virtual high-stakes diplomacy hit the world stage on Thursday when a technical mixup saw hosts United States cut off France's Emmanuel Macron mid-speech during the global climate summit. Blinken, in an aside, said "they may be getting Macron because that was a tape of Macron." Eventually Putin delivered his remarks, telling the summit that Russia was committed to fulfilling its obligations to fight climate change. Afterward came an apology of sorts, with Blinken telling listeners that "we had some technical difficulties." Macron's speech was then replayed in its entirety, although there were still some glitches with delayed translator's remarks.
Syrian missile explodes near Israeli nuclear reactor, Israel retaliates
Share this Story: Syrian missile explodes near Israeli nuclear reactor, Israel retaliatesSyrian missile explodes near Israeli nuclear reactor, Israel retaliates The missile did not hit the reactor, exploding some 30 km away Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty ImagesArticle content A Syrian missile exploded in southern Israel on Thursday, the Israeli military said, in an incident that triggered warning sirens near the secretive Dimona nuclear reactor and an Israeli strike in Syria. An Israeli military spokesman identified the projectile as an SA-5 surface-to-air missile fired by Syrian forces against Israeli aircraft. Try refreshing your browser, or Syrian missile explodes near Israeli nuclear reactor, Israel retaliates Back to video The missile did not hit the reactor, exploding some 30 km away, the spokesman added. A Syrian military defector said the Israeli strikes targeted locations near the town of Dumair, some 40 km (25 miles) northeast of the capital, where Iranian-backed militias have a presence. Addressing the likelihood of a Syrian anti-aircraft missile overshooting its target and flying a long distance into Israel, Uzi Rubin, an Israeli missile expert, said the scenario was “consistent with the characteristics” of an SA-5.
House votes to limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi killing
The House voted 350-71 Wednesday evening to pass legislation that would limit U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia as a consequence of the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi forces. Flashback: Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) reintroduced the bill in February, noting its intention is to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the killing of Khashoggi. The Protection of Saudi Dissidents Act will do that," Connolly said a the time. The big picture: The "Protection of Saudi Dissidents Act of 2021" would restrict the sale and export of arms unless the White House "certifies to the Congress that the Saudi government is not violating the human rights of dissidents or detainees." The bill would require the White House to report to Congress about the repression of dissidents in Saudi Arabia.
GOP Group Puts Rep. Kevin McCarthy On Blast In Fox News Ad: 'Clean Up Your Own House'
A conservative organization is calling out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for hypocrisy after he tried to censure Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) this week. McCarthy accused Waters of using “violent rhetoric” when she told protesters to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” if former police officer Derek Chauvin wasn’t found guilty in the George Floyd murder case. But as the new video from the Republican Accountability Project shows, McCarthy has ignored far more violent rhetoric from inside his own conference. The ad also includes some violent rhetoric from former President Donald Trump, who McCarthy continues to support. McCarthy, Gohmert and Cawthorn are among the 13 names in the group’s online “Hall of Shame.”The organization has also vowed to recruit and support candidates to challenge them in primaries “to ensure that as few of them as possible return to Congress in 2022.”
Biden's self-inflicted crisis
In March alone, more than 172,000 migrants were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — the highest amount in over 20 years. Let’s be clear: No one is to blame except President Biden and Vice President Harris. Even Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin have called this administration’s situation a “crisis” long before the leader of the free world admitted it this past weekend. Now, I wonder how much Vice President Harris, who has been put in charge of handling this crisis, could learn from taking a single trip to see this catastrophe. The path starts with President Biden and Vice President Harris stepping up to the plate to address this catastrophe and seeing it firsthand.
Supreme Court rejects challenge to juvenile life sentences
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a juvenile offender can be sentenced to life without parole even while not having a separate factual finding that the defendant is incapable of rehabilitation, or what the law refers to as “permanently incorrigible.”The conservative majority court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines, with Justice Brett Kavanaugh Brett Michael KavanaughFeehery: The left-wing hysteria machine Biden's court-packing theater could tame the Supreme Court's conservatives Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting MORE writing for the majority and the court's three liberals dissenting. The opinion affirms the sentence of defendant Brett Jones, who received a life sentence without parole for murdering his grandfather with a kitchen knife during a domestic dispute. Jones, who was then 15, claimed to have acted in self-defense.
The Takeaway: Two tracks lead to Tehran: one through Vienna, another through Baghdad
Hot take on Vienna … and the other Iran talks:Rouhani notes 60-70% progress in Vienna. Let’s start in Vienna, where talks are underway for the return of both the United States and Iran to compliance with Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). And then there are the "other" Iran talks, the ones brokered by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi between Iranian and Saudi officials last week. Five quick takes on Egypt, Nile Dam talks, Russia-Iran, Turkey, Iraq1. Last week, Lavrov labeled the European Union’s recent human rights sanctions on Iran “unacceptable” and warned they could undermine the fragile Vienna talks.
Woman shackled by police while in labor settles with New York City
New York (CNN) An African American woman who says her wrists and ankles were shackled by police for hours while she was in active labor at a hospital has settled with the city of New York and its police department. I felt like a failure to my unborn because that wasn't something that was planned for neither of us," she told CNN. Her attorneys told CNN she did not, at any time, resist arrest or present a flight risk. She kept timing it for me," the woman told CNN. Months after the ordeal, the misdemeanor assault charge that brought her into custody was dismissed and sealed, her attorneys told CNN.
Czechs expel more Russians, escalating spat over 2014 blast
Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said Russia won't be allowed to have more diplomats in Prague than the Czechs currently have at their embassy in Moscow. The Czech government protested what they called Russia’s “inappropriate reaction,” saying it paralyzed the Czech Embassy in Moscow. Kulhanek had given the Russian government a Thursday noon deadline to allow the return of the 20 Czech diplomats. He warned that if the demand was not met, he would reduce the staff of the Russian Embassy in Prague to equal the number of staff members remaining at the Czech Embassy. “This kind of tone is unacceptable while talking to Russia,” Zakharova said.
Sinema, Kelly ask Biden for feds to pay for deployment of Arizona National Guard at border
Doug Ducey announced he was sending 250 National Guard troops to the border, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly wrote to President Joe Biden asking the federal government to reimburse the state for the action. The Arizona Democrats, who supported the Republican governor’s decision to dispatch more guards, also asked Biden to increase the number of Homeland Security personnel to help process migrants and secure the border. Experts say the increase is the result of a mix of factors, including a bottleneck of asylum seekers mostly from Central America. In their letter, Sinema and Kelly noted there are an estimated 500 National Guard troops already deployed to the Yuma and Tucson sectors.
Arizona Senate's audit of Maricopa County 2020 presidential election ballots starts
More:Arizona Senate's plan for counting 2.1M ballots impossible and biased, election consultants sayThe Senate’s plans for managing and funding the audit have raised concerns, too. Related reading:Head of firm hired for Arizona election audit pushed fraud theoriesWho will provide security? Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies were present as the county delivered the ballots, and the county used specialized racks to transport the voting machines. Election audit experts have said that hand-counting this many races on this many ballots will take much longer than 20 days if done right. Representatives from all major political parties did a hand count of county ballots after the election.
US takes new aim at ransomware after costly year for attacks
The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is taking new aim at ransomware after a year that officials say was the costliest on record for the crippling cyberattacks. Ransomware attacks have impeded hospital operations, led to the temporary closure of school classes and caused other chaos. The Justice Department has brought indictments related to ransomware attacks, including a 2018 case against two Iranian nationals whose many victims included the cities of Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey, and resulted in losses of $30 million. The task force will include representatives from the Justice Department's criminal and national security divisions, among others. The Wall Street Journal was first to report creation of the task force.
Eric Church triples his ambition on new album 'Heart & Soul'
Church debuted "Heart & Soul" across three days this month. And working with Church gives songwriters a release to "go places that you love," said "Heart & Soul" co-writer Casey Beathard. 'Stream of conscious'Church didn't set out for North Carolina with plans to pen songs thematically defined by "Heart" and "Soul." The middle release, "&," features six outlier songs that Church released exclusively Wednesday to his fan club, known as the Church Choir. Return to the roadMusic, of course, plays more than a character in a Church song.
Biden’s USPS nominees face confirmation hearing as Democrats consider paths to oust DeJoy
Meanwhile, 50 House Democrats have called on Biden to fire the entire board and start over with nine new governors. Ron Stroman, a Democrat, is the recently retired deputy postmaster general and led the Biden transition’s Postal Service review team. Upon them rests the hopes of the White House, congressional Democrats and mailing industry executives up in arms about DeJoy’s cost-cutting agenda, which advanced with board support. Many lawmakers, aides say, are dubious of working with DeJoy to reimagine the Postal Service and are just as skeptical about the board. “I was the first to call for the postal board to go because rebuilding USPS starts with removing and replacing the failed leadership at the top,” Pascrell said.
House Democrats expect to pass D.C. statehood — and launch bill into uncharted territory
Now, with overwhelming backing from House Democrats and full-throated presidential approval, Democrats expect to pass Norton’s Washington, D.C. “We have a moment before us that has never existed for the statehood movement,” said Burch, co-founder of Neighbors United for DC Statehood. released a memo calling D.C. statehood unconstitutional, questioning the city’s financial health and seizing on crime statistics and scandals involving former city officials to argue the District does not deserve statehood. AdvertisementRepublican senators from less populous states have worried statehood for D.C. would “dilute” their state’s power, as Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.) Story continues below advertisement“When he left the Senate, one of the things we talked about was the D.C. statehood legislation.
North Dakota Gov. Burgum vetoes transgender sports ban, following similar veto by South Dakota's Noem
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would ban transgender girls from playing in girls' sports following a similar move earlier this year by South Dakota Gov. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the North Dakota House, which could have the votes to override Burgum's veto if it chooses, KX News reported. These regulations require transgender girls to undergo testosterone suppression treatment...for a full calendar year before they are eligible to compete." The North Dakota bill that Burgum vetoed addressed K-12 sports specifically.
St. Louis couple who aimed guns at protesters want grand jury to take a new look at their case
A message left with Gardner’s office wasn’t immediately returned. The couple said protesters broke down an iron gate and ignored a "No Trespassing" sign. Mark McCloskey emerged from his home armed with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey came out with a semiautomatic handgun. A police probable cause statement said protesters feared "being injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s finger being on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor." The indictment states that a semiautomatic pistol was altered in a way that "obstructed the prosecution of Patricia McCloskey" on the weapons charge.
Ex-NFL player turned Army Ranger on LeBron James' anti-cop tweet: 'Tragedy' to see sports politicized
A former New England Patriots player turned Army Ranger reacted to LeBron James’ recent anti-cop tweet on Thursday and cautioned against the increasing politicization of sports and the military. TED CRUZ RIPS 'GROSSLY IRRESPONSIBLE' LEBRON JAMES AFTER NBA STAR TWEETS 'YOU'RE NEXT' AT COLUMBUS COPBequette said that it was a "tragedy" to see politics injected into sports and the military, two institutions that the former NFL player believes "transcend" race, class, and background. Bequette also expressed concern that the politicization of the military could derail the armed forces' goal of fighting and winning wars. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPJames reacted to news of a police-involved shooting in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday. In a now-deleted tweet, James shared an image of the officer in question and wrote: "YOU’RE NEXT" with the hashtag "ACCOUNTABILITY".
Russia orders soldiers to begin return to bases after drills near Ukraine
Russia ordered its top army command to begin returning troops to their permanent bases inside the country from Friday, saying it had successfully completed a "snap inspection" of forces in its south and west, near the border with Ukraine, the RIA news agency reported. The announcement prompted the ruble to rise sharply, following weeks of tensions with the West over a major Russian military buildup near Ukraine. The EU's top diplomat said on Monday that Russia has massed some 100,000 troops near the border. "I believe the objectives of the snap inspection have been fully achieved. "In this regard, I have decided to complete the inspections in the southern and western military districts," he said.
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey on infrastructure debate, Biden's emission cut pledge
Share Share Article via Facebook Share Article via Twitter Share Article via LinkedIn Share Article via EmailGOP Sen. Pat Toomey on infrastructure debate, Biden's emission cut pledge"This is no way to enact major changes in policy, to intimidate banks into not providing credit to disfavored industries," Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) told CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday about President Joe Biden's pledge to half greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. "We need to have a debate in this country about how much of a cost we want to bear to further reduce CO2 emissions."
Biden hits 100-day vaccine goal as case counts in Michigan, U.S. show signs of slowing
The president had originally aimed for 100 million shots in 100 days, a goal that drew criticism for being too conservative. U.S. vaccine shots administered The United States is averaging 3 million reported shots per day over the past week, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. That figure has held above 3 million for more than two weeks straight, but is down slightly from a peak of 3.4 million reported shots per day on April 13. The recent decline may be at least partially due to the ongoing halt in use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine. U.S. share of the population vaccinated More than 40% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 26% is fully vaccinated.
UK launches leak inquiry into Boris Johnson tax texts to businessman
LONDON — The U.K. government has launched an inquiry into how texts between Boris Johnson and billionaire inventor James Dyson leaked to the media. The BBC revealed on Wednesday that the businessman had texted the U.K. prime minister last March to seek assurances his staff would not face a change in tax status if they came to Britain to help make ventilators in response to the COVID pandemic. Johnson responded: “I will fix it.”The messages have plunged the government into a fresh lobbying row, and come amid the Greensill scandal which saw former Prime Minister David Cameron lobby ministers on behalf of a now-defunct finance firm. The inquiry will be restricted to finding the source of leaks of private communications between Johnson and Dyson. Downing Street will also, the spokesman said, “shortly” publish correspondence between the two men after Johnson told MPs he would be happy to share details.
D.C. statehood hits a snag in the Senate
D.C. statehood hits a snag in the Senate Presented byWIth Burgess Everett, Andrew Desiderio, Nicholas Wu and Sarah Ferris. STATE OF DC STATEHOOD -- TROUBLED: The House is voting today on a bill that would grant D.C. statehood -- legislation that Republicans oppose and that Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) Here is a snapshot of four Senate Dems who aren’t yet on board:1-Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who co-sponsored D.C. statehood legislation the last go around: "I supported D.C. statehood so I haven't really studied this bill enough to know whether I'm going to sponsor it or not." DEFEAT: Marianne and I had a bet on whether Senate Republicans greenlight earmarks or not. She previously served as senior policy advisor and legislative counsel to Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.).
Following Chauvin's conviction, many on the right slam jurors
It stood to reason that some on the right would be critical of Derek Chauvin's conviction in Minnesota this week, but I didn't fully expect so many conservatives to slam the members of the jury in his case. Ron DeSantis implied that the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial could have happened because "the jury is scared of what a mob may do." The Florida Republican appeared on Fox News the night of the verdict and heard Laura Ingraham raise the prospect of jurors voting guilty because of fear of possible violence. Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis argued, for example, that jurors must've been "influenced" by leftist "social-justice warriors." But for the American mainstream, it seems far more reasonable to express gratitude to the jurors for their willingness to do their duty under difficult circumstances.
Under newly passed bill, Trump's Muslim ban would've been prohibited
It was an ugly applause line that his base eagerly embraced, which turned into a campaign promise the Republican was eager to keep. On only his seventh day in the White House -- late on a Friday afternoon -- Trump signed his original Muslim ban, sparking international outrage, bureaucratic chaos, family hardships, and a series of messy legal fights. The Republican is obviously no longer in office, but the stain from his Muslim ban lingers. A grand total of one House Republican voted for the legislation -- Pennsylvania's Brian Fitzpatrick -- joining literally every member of the House Democratic conference. After all, at its core, the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act was about strengthening Congress' role, restricting the White House from having unilateral authority to arbitrarily ban citizens of other countries based on presidential whims.
Biden got 200 million shots in arms, but what's next may be harder
Then Biden set a revised goal of 200 million doses administered in those first 100 days. And we hope to be able to be of some help and value to countries around the world,” Biden said yesterday. And a more vaccinated world leads to a stronger global economy and improved ties with other countries. It showsMcAuliffe 47%, Justin Fairfax 8%, Jennifer McClellan 6%, Jennifer Carroll Foy 5%, Lee Carter 1%, with 27% undecided. Biden is preparing to declare that atrocities against Armenia in the World War I era were, in fact, genocide.
Officers charged with issuing dozens of bogus citations
HIALEAH, Fla. (AP) — Two Florida police motorcycle officers are facing charges that they issued dozens of bogus tickets to drivers they never pulled over. Hialeah officers Ernesto Arias Martinez, 23, and Armando Perez, 40, are facing multiple counts of official misconduct after their arrests Wednesday, the Miami Herald reports. An internal affairs investigation found the two had issued dozens of bogus tickets to at least nine drivers in early 2020, court records show. Sosa had never been pulled over, but remembered driving past two Hialeah motorcycle officers recently. “We ask that our community not judge all our dedicated officers by the alleged actions of two.”
Police department apologizes for post critical of Floyd
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police department is apologizing after a social media post critical of George Floyd was shared on the department’s official Facebook page. The since-deleted post appeared shortly after a Minnesota jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in Floyd’s death last May. It stressed the post didn’t represent the opinion of the department. ADVERTISEMENTPolice Chief Jeffrey Cardoza said later the post was shared by one of a few officers who has access to the department account.
At Climate Summit, Biden Stresses U.S. Commitment And Economic Opportunity
At Climate Summit, Biden Stresses U.S. Commitment And Economic OpportunityEnlarge this image toggle caption Evan Vucci/AP Evan Vucci/APEmphasizing U.S. commitments on climate change and the economic opportunity in confronting global warming, President Biden kicked off the first international summit of world leaders during his presidency on Thursday. Biden and Vice President Harris began the summit with remarks from the White House's East Room. Pope Francis, an outspoken advocate for more aggressive global climate action, has a featured speaking role. "We are not having any side zoom room bilateral discussions happening," said another White House official.
How PJ Harvey's 'Uh Huh Her' Taught Me To Carve My Own Path
How PJ Harvey's 'Uh Huh Her' Taught Me To Carve My Own PathEnlarge this image toggle caption Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR/Getty Images Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr/NPR/Getty ImagesNPR Music's Turning the Tables is a project envisioned to challenge sexist and exclusionary conversations about musical greatness. But when we got cable a couple of years later, I discovered PJ Harvey's "This Is Love" on MTV2 and the latter verdict flipped 180. In 2004, Harvey's sixth album, Uh Huh Her, became her first release that I experienced as a fan. My trusted critical organ, NME, gave Uh Huh Her 5/10. But I'd give that mantle to Uh Huh Her: after setting me down one path, Harvey showed the brazen pleasure in careening off it.
Opinion: Biden is thinking big on jobs. On the Pentagon, he should think smaller.
With this latest increase, we could end up spending several times as much to make all those problems worse. Through the Trump years, the annual military budget expanded by more than $60 billion after adjusting for inflation. We’re spending more on the military now (in inflation-adjusted terms) than we were at the height of the Korean War, Vietnam War, or Cold War. In one case last year, the Pentagon nearly spent $1 billion budgeted for COVID-19 protective equipment on jet parts and body armor instead. Increasing the budget for the polluting, destabilizing, and profligate Pentagon undermines our ability to create true security by creating jobs, rebuilding infrastructure, ending racism and stopping climate change.
About My Business: How to Embrace Success And Sustainability with Green Girl Leah
Like at the top of all these different sustainability companies or the top environmental nonprofits, there were no Black people. The biggest hurdle is really trying to talk to the [white] environmental community about why this is important. LEAH “GREEN GIRL LEAH” THOMASLT: I have a nuanced perspective. So I think there’s a couple things that need to happen. Tying in some of these sustainability initiatives might actually help them get more followers for their business’ Instagram.
More than 1,400 protesters arrested at rallies supporting Alexei Navalny
Rallies were held in dozens of cities across Russia on Wednesday in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is now in his third week of a hunger strike. OVD-Info, a monitoring group, said 1,496 protesters were arrested, including 662 in St. Petersburg. Navalny, who survived a nerve agent attack last year, was arrested in January after returning to Russia from Germany. Russia's human rights commissioner on Tuesday said four doctors have visited Navalny, and he has no serious health problems. Navalny's wife, Yulia, attended the Moscow rally, where supporters chanted, "Freedom to Navalny!"
Column: Bob Johnson, Orange County civil rights pioneer, dies at 88
After all, who requests a meeting with a reporter to talk about history — specifically, Orange County history, a subject as obscure and unloved as the study of carpet? Who dug up the signed membership papers of Sam Jernigan and Jesse Elliott, two Orange County Klan members in the 1920s who went on to become O.C. He was a longtime board member of the Fair Housing Council of OC and a founder of the Orange County Community Housing Corporation, which builds apartments and homes for low-income people. “His legacy in Orange County is clear. “Bob’s way of doing everything was moderation, but he was made of steel.”Throughout his life, Johnson challenged his fellow whites to believe that racism existed.
Philip Roth’s Biographer Is Accused of Sexual Assault
Reviews of his highly anticipated Philip Roth biography appeared before the book came out, with major stories in magazines and literary publications. Roth hand-picked him to write the biography after meeting with him in 2012; he terminated an earlier agreement with another biographer in 2009. In an email reviewed by the Times, Bailey apologized to Peyton for his behavior days after the encounter, and asked her not to speak to others about it. Several literary critics seized on the fact that in the biography, Bailey brushed off Roth’s mistreatment of women. Writer Mary Karr, in a tweet, remarked that she had just participated in an event with Bailey to discuss the Roth biography.
Opinion: California must accelerate its climate leadership
In a ground-breaking paper several of the world’s leading climate scientists have detailed the alarming acceleration of the climate crisis and provided policy solutions to transport California from a fiery climate hell to an equitable climate-safe future. Authored by respected scientists such as Dan Kammen at UC Berkeley and Veerabhadran Ramanathan at Scripps Institute, the paper makes clear why California’s current climate targets are outdated. The report also maintains California must cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2030, doubling the state’s current commitment of 40%. A new economic impact report on the 2018 fires in California estimated their cost at $150 billion. However, another study shows that $80 billion invested in climate measures in California would generate about 727,000 new jobs.
Bill that would harshen penalties during protests draws backlash after Chauvin verdict
He said he has no qualms with people exercising their First Amendment right to protest, but that protests must remain peaceful. “HB 2309 is not going to do what the bill’s sponsor thinks it is going to do. “We are here to tell you we need HB 2309 to be vetoed. That’s what we’re marching for.”Smith lambasted the bill as a racist tool designed to silence minority voices begging for change and equality. Where HB 2309 is nowHB 2309 is currently in the Senate where it has passed both the Judiciary and Rules committees.
Biden to make ambitious US climate pledge to open summit
His commitment to cut U.S. fossil fuel emissions up to 52 percent by 2030 will come at the launch Thursday of an all-virtual climate summit for 40 world leaders. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)In this Jan. 27, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden signs an executive order on climate change, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. Biden, a Democrat, campaigned partly on a pledge to confront climate change. There is no money in sight,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said earlier this month, after a visit from Biden climate envoy John Kerry. And at home, political divisions exposed by Trump’s presidency have left the United States weaker than it was at the 2015 Paris accord.
Police investigate shooting on Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas police are investigating the shooting of an individual on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfayeLas Vegas police are investigating the shooting of an individual on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday. Police Lt. Jeff Swanbeck said at 2:22 a.m. the person was shot on the sidewalk of Las Vegas Boulevard South just north of Flamingo Road. Few details about what led up to the shooting were released. “This appears to be an isolated incident and there is no active threat to the public at this time.”This is a developing story.
It 'defies logic': Rep. Wenstrup wants new investigation into congressional baseball shooting
During the hearing with Director Wray, Wenstrup detailed the shooter’s actions, saying he had been living in his van near the baseball field and that social media posts showed he hated Republicans and hated then-President Donald Trump. Wenstrup requested a new investigation into the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism, as well as an investigation into how the FBI determined it was a suicide by cop. In a letter to Wray sent the same day as the hearing, April 15, Wenstrup reiterated his stance. “This conclusion defies logic and contradicts the publicly known facts about the perpetrator and the attack,” Wenstrup wrote. “I am extremely frustrated that the FBI failed to conduct thorough interviews during the initial investigation.
Italy investigates no-work hospital employee who got 650K
The prime suspect is also under investigation for alleged fraud and aggravated extortion. Italy’s financial police said in a statement that he allegedly had someone threaten a hospital superior in 2005 to keep him on the payroll. Police say the suspect was officially hired in 2005 in the fire safety department of the Pugliese-Ciaccio public hospital in Catanzaro and earned 538,000 euros salary over the following 15 years. They say they cross-referenced work schedules, cell phone records and testimony from fellow hospital workers to determine he never worked. Accused along with the prime suspect are six other hospital workers and administrators.
German 'emergency brake' plan clears last legislative hurdle
BERLIN (AP) — A plan by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to mandate uniform restrictions in areas where the coronavirus is spreading too quickly cleared its final legislative hurdle on Thursday as it was passed by parliament's upper house. The upper house, where Germany's 16 state governments are represented, could have held up the plan by seeking renegotiations but let it pass. The bill was approved by parliament's lower house on Wednesday. “Summer is not so far away, and ... making the decisive difference with vaccination,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said. “But for that, we need action now to break this wave (of infections), and this bill serves that end.”
German minister denies responsibility in Wirecard scandal
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's finance minister denied any responsibility on his or the government's part for the scandal surrounding collapsed payment systems provider Wirecard, as he testified before lawmakers on Thursday. Wirecard filed for protection from creditors through insolvency proceedings in June after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion) supposedly held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably didn’t exist. Some lawmakers have accused authorities — from financial supervisors to prosecutors and auditors — of looking the other way, despite reports of irregularities at Wirecard dating back at least five years. “The federal government does not bear responsibility for this large-scale fraud,” Scholz told lawmakers, news agency dpa reported. He added that people at the company apparently had “acted with a great deal of criminal energy” and that wrongdoing was not uncovered for 11 years because auditors didn't detect any irregularities.
Virginia men who tortured goats sentenced to three years. Animals owner will serve a year.
The attorneys for the three men referred to Morgan’s case several times Tuesday in requesting leniency for their clients. Because of the way the law is written, Morgan could not be convicted of a felony involving her own goats even though she authorized and encouraged the slaughter. “The entire reason we are here is because of a fourth defendant who isn’t here today,” said Christopher Reyes, Compton’s attorney. Ilijevich said his client, Compton, had been using methamphetamines for five straight days and has no recollection of the incident. Judge Ricardo Rigual said he regularly sees people in court with serious drug problems and said that doesn’t account for that kind of behavior.
‘Most compelling’ UFO vid shows mystery craft split in two at 120mph as 55 scientists demand Senate release secret data
SCU investigators said the object appears to be of "unknown origin" after spending 1000 hours researching the UAP. Mr Lace told The US Sun: "The SCU finds the 2013 Aguadilla UAP footage to offer the most compelling evidence of unusual UAP flight characteristics." 'BEST WE'VE EVER SEEN'The three-minute video shows the object crossing Puerto Rico before flying back and appearing to submerge into the Atlantic Ocean. And perhaps most bizarrely, at one stage in the footage the object appears to split in two. They urge the two Republicans to get behind efforts to release footage more footage of the infamous 2004 "Tic Tac" video from the USS Nimitz.
Fury as Treasury destroys Equitable Life compensation records
Victims of the Equitable Life scandal have seen their chances of justice collapse after HM Treasury admitted it has destroyed all records relating to compensation claims. Policyholders and MPs have been campaigning for the Treasury to provide more compensation to victims. However, officials today told the Public Accounts Committee of MPs it had wiped records, despite promising not to do so. However, in January 2019, John Glen, MP and economic secretary to the Treasury, told Parliament records would be retained as long as it was legal to do so, with no plans to destroy them. Mr Weir said: “ We have consistently written to check they have been keeping the records and they assured us they had.”
Watch: Why Myanmar stands on the brink of collapse - and what the UK must do to help
More than 700 people have been killed in Myanmar by the regime since the military coup on February 1, and there's no sign the violence will stop. The International Crisis Group has warned the UN Security Council that the country is on the brink of collapse and becoming a failed state, says The Telegraph’s Asia correspondent Nicola Smith. As ASEAN leaders prepare to hold talks on the mounting Myanmar crisis in a summit this weekend, the spotlight is now on the international community for their response to the crisis. Watch the video to hear from Nicola Smith about why the country is so close to collapse and why the UK must help its citizens. For more videos from The Telegraph, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Richard Freeman: Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor to appeal against doping sanction
Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman is to launch an appeal after being found guilty of ordering testosterone for doping purposes. Freeman admitted 18 of 22 charges relating to the ordering of Testogel to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 as well as poor record-keeping and inappropriate treatment of non-riders. The appeal is likely to focus on Sutton’s evidence and the tribunal’s conclusion that he was a credible and consistent witness. “You described him as intemperate but neglected to deal with the fact that he threatened Dr Freeman at least three times in this room and threatened me once. Freeman is also facing two UK Anti-Doping charges regarding the ordering of the testosterone.
Biden opens climate summit with plea for help: ‘This is the decisive decade’
President Joe Biden opened the US climate summit on Thursday with a plea for action and unity from all nations of the world. “This is the decisive decade,” Mr Biden said via video-link. Mr Biden thanked world leaders for attending and said that their leadership showed “people of every nation”, particularly young people, that they were willing to meet the crisis head on. Not only our federal government but our cities and our states, all across our country, small businesses, large businesses, large corporations, American workers in every field,” Mr Biden said. Mr Biden has promised to set America on a path to net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
Stacey Abrams goes viral for obliterating GOP lawmaker with voting law response
Prominent Georgia Democrat and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams has gone viral on social media for her measured response to a Republican lawmaker on why a new Georgia voting law is racist. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday heard testimony from Ms Abrams, during which Sen John Kennedy asked Ms Abrams whether she believes specific voting laws are “racist” or not. Ms Abrams, who has been widely credited with encouraging and facilitating unprecedented Black voter participation in her state in 2020, has condemned the new voter legislation. I get the idea.”Social media users were quick to praise Ms Abrams for her handling of the situation and her repeated rebuffs against the Republican lawmaker. Democrats and voting rights groups have condemned the passage of the bill as they say the law will disproportionately disenfranchise voters of colour.
Marjorie Taylor Greene confronts AOC on the House floor and demands a debate on the Green New Deal
Marjorie Taylor Greene confronted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the House floor Wednesday and posted a picture of the interaction to push again for a debate with the progressive congresswoman on her Green New Deal. 'I'm glad I ran into you today @AOC to plan our debate about the Green New Deal,' Rep. Greene posted on Twitter Wednesday evening. Last Wednesday she tweeted: '@AOC I'd like to challenge you to a debate on the Green New Deal economic policy.' 'A debate between AOC and I on the Green New Deal economic policy would be informative for the American People.' AOC was mocked for claiming during the relaunch of her controversial Green New Deal that climate change is a product of racial injustice.
Biden vows to slash US carbon emissions in HALF by 2030 in virtual climate summit
The cost of inaction is mounting,' he said in his speech kicking off his Climate Summit. In his remarks, Biden stressed the importance of working together but also emphasized combatting climate change can create jobs and boost economies. In his remarks to the summit, Chin's President Xi Jinping reiterated his country's pledge to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. Xi said developed countries, responsible for greater historical carbon emissions, should bear more responsibility for making changes at home and helping developing countries finance their transition to low-carbon economies. He called for world leaders to build a global coalition for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 - 'every country, every region, every city, every company and every industry.'
Minneapolis police to face US federal probe after Chauvin conviction
Minneapolis police to face US federal probe after Chauvin convictionThe US Justice Department on Wednesday launched a sweeping civil investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis following a jury's verdict that former city police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd.
Biden calls climate action a 'moral imperative', pledges to halve CO2 emissions by 2030
President Joe Biden on April 22, 2021 ramped up US ambitions on slashing greenhouse gas emissions, pledging to halve them by 2030. Saying the United States and other big economies “have to get this done,” President Joe Biden opened a global climate summit Thursday aimed at getting world leaders to dig deeper on emissions cuts. The United States pledged to cut in half the amount of climate-wrecking coal and petroleum fumes it is pumping out. His commitment to cut U.S. fossil fuel emissions up to 52% by 2030 marks a return by the U.S. to global climate efforts after four years of withdrawal under President Donald Trump. The world’s top two climate offenders, China and the United States, are feuding over nonclimate issues.
Gov't committee to screen new prosecutor general candidates next week
The justice ministry said Thursday it will convene a special committee next week to review a list of recommended candidates to be the next prosecutor general. The prosector general candidate recommendation committee will gather on April 29 to review the eligibility of the candidates the ministry received since April 15. The nine-member committee headed by former Justice Minister Park Sang-ki is expected to produce a shortlist of three to four candidates to recommend to the justice minister. Per state protocol, the justice minister then takes the candidate shortlist into account and recommends a single candidate to the president. Yoon Seok-youl, the former prosecutor general, resigned in early March before his term ended in defiance of the government and the ruling party's strong drive to reform the prosecution service.
Russia to Withdraw Troops From Ukraine Border, Crimea
“The troops demonstrated the ability to reliably defend the country.”Speaking during snap readiness exercises in annexed Crimea, Shoigu ordered the general staff of the armed forces, military chiefs and the airborne troops to begin returning to their home bases from the Russian-Ukrainian border and Crimea starting April 23. Russia will begin withdrawing its military forces from the Ukrainian border starting Friday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Thursday, after the buildup had raised alarms in the West of renewed clashes. Facing accusations of massing more than 100,000 troops in the region, Russia’s military said it had blocked flights and closed off navigation in parts of the Black Sea and Crimea for drills. Shoigu ordered ground forces to return to their bases in Vladikavkaz and Novosibirsk, as well as airborne units to Pskov, Ivanovo and the Krasnodar region, by May 1. The minister ordered military chiefs to “analyze the snap inspections in all levels of management and draw up a plan to eliminate shortcomings,” according to Interfax.
GOP sees immigration as path to regain power
Yet they also indicate Biden’s handling of the border is a weakness, creating an opportunity in the eyes of the GOP. Senate Minority Whip John Thune John Randolph ThuneSenate GOP keeps symbolic earmark ban Senate GOP crafts outlines for infrastructure counter proposal On The Money: Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl | Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term | Left-leaning group raises concerns about SALT cap repeal MORE (R-S.D.) “Despite the national party rhetoric, individual senators are still very interested in talking about aspects of immigration. “We want as broad as a reform as we can get.”Durbin said Wednesday that he prefers moving immigration reform through regular order, instead of using the budget rules to bypass Republicans. Such legislation would be less likely to get such GOP support in 2020, given the political punishment Rubio suffered after helping to craft the 2013 immigration bill.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signs bill to protect drivers who hit protesters while fleeing from riots
Kevin Stitt has signed a controversial bill that would grant immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while driving away from a riot. Stitt on Wednesday signed House Bill 1674 from Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, and Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman,The bill is just one of a handful of Republican-backed proposals introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature this year aimed at cracking down on protests. “This is an important protection for citizens who are just trying to get out of a bad situation," West said. At least two protesters were escorted out of the building by members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, who guard the Capitol.
The fight for DC statehood gets its best chance yet
This week, proponents of statehood will likely get one step closer to their best chance to changing that reality. That could indicate the majority of Americans don’t have a strong opinion on DC statehood one way or the other, so how pollsters frame the question matters a great deal. And even that amount of local control is somewhat constrained:Prior to the Home Rule Act, Congress set DC’s laws. How DC statehood would work, briefly explainedHR 51, the Washington, DC, Admission Act, would create the state of Washington, DC, but instead of DC referring to “District of Columbia,” it would come to be known as Douglass Commonwealth, in honor of Frederick Douglass. For now, the biggest obstacle to DC statehood is the US Senate.
Report: Many GOPers Plan To Skip Biden’s First Speech To Congress If Invited
A lot of Republicans reportedly won’t attend President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress next week if invited. “I don’t think I’ll probably attend,” Senate Republican Conference Vice Chair Joni Earnst (R-IA) said, according to Punchbowl. However, a handful of Republicans said they do want to attend Biden’s speech, including Trump loyalists like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). “I think the whole House should be there,” Jordan told Punchbowl. Biden is slated to give his remarks next Wednesday, right before his 100th day in office.
‘Holy Smokes’: Capitol Police IG Says There’s No Oversight Over The Force’s Board
The board has authority over almost all of the security decisions made at the Capitol, but received little attention until the January 6 disaster. Calls for its reform have become a bipartisan unifier as lawmakers look to improve Capitol security. During a hearing before the House Administration Committee on Wednesday, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) asked Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton which “entity” has oversight over the board. She was noncommittal, saying they were taking a comprehensive look at all the elements of Capitol security. The revelation is just another reason we know so little after the historic security failure at the Capitol.
Russia to pull troops back from near Ukraine
"The troops have demonstrated their ability to provide a credible defence for the country," he said, adding that he had instructed the commanders of units from the 58th and 41st armies as well as several airborne divisions to start returning to their "permanent bases" on Friday and to complete the operation by 1 May.
Officers charged with issuing dozens of bogus citations
Two Florida police motorcycle officers are facing charges that they issued dozens of bogus tickets to drivers they never pulled overHIALEAH, Fla. -- Two Florida police motorcycle officers are facing charges that they issued dozens of bogus tickets to drivers they never pulled over. Hialeah officers Ernesto Arias Martinez, 23, and Armando Perez, 40, are facing multiple counts of official misconduct after their arrests Wednesday, the Miami Herald reports. An internal affairs investigation found the two had issued dozens of bogus tickets to at least nine drivers in early 2020, court records show. Sosa had never been pulled over, but remembered driving past two Hialeah motorcycle officers recently. “We ask that our community not judge all our dedicated officers by the alleged actions of two."
In Shocking Turn of Events, Tucker Carlson and Marjorie Taylor Greene Aren’t Happy With Chauvin Verdict
After weeks of grueling, emotional testimony, a jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd, an all-too-rare showing of accountability to which the nation reacted with palpable, if fleeting, relief. The case against Chauvin was particularly damning given the killing was captured in broad daylight on a 17-year-old bystander’s cell phone, without which the former officer may have gotten off. Yet despite the indisputable evidence, as well as testimony from fellow police officers who decried Chauvin’s use of force, Fox News host Tucker Carlson had a different message for viewers, as he argued Tuesday’s conviction “was never in doubt” following “nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by BLM” to achieve the guilty verdict. Republicans who excused former President Donald Trump’s role in the deadly Capitol attack distorted Waters’ call for activists to “get more confrontational” in the case of an acquittal, claiming the California Democrat was inciting violence and threatening the jury. Get your tickets to Vanity Fair’s Cocktail Hour, Live!
After Derek Chauvin’s Conviction, What’s Next for Police Reform?
Just before the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial was handed down in a Minneapolis courtroom, a police officer in Columbus, Ohio shot and killed a Black 16-year-old named Ma’Khia Bryant. This is not alright, it’s not okay, and it can’t continue on.”Floyd’s murder last May prompted a national reckoning over systemic racism and policing. That last part is crucial: the Chauvin conviction can’t be the end of the movement that intensified last summer. As CNN’s Van Jones suggested Tuesday, that could include bans on choke-holds and the establishment of a registry for convicted cops. Even the reforms backed by many Democrats stop short of defunding or doing away with the current policing system, as many activists demand.
“A Lot of Training Is Focused on ‘Us Versus Them’”: How the White Nationalist Rot Has Seeped Into the U.S. Military
In the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol attack by supporters of Donald Trump, The Washington Post uncovered an alarming pattern. Of the nearly 380 rioters who have been federally charged, at least 44 are current or former military members, according to service records. The relationship between the U.S. military and extremism has been well documented. In 2017, a number of former service members were reportedly linked to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, did acknowledge that extremist groups can be “waiting on the other side to recruit” veterans once they leave the military.
In His First 100 Days, President Joe Biden Has Fully Embraced His Role as Consoler-in-Chief
Then, a cellphone went off. It was President Joe Biden, calling George Floyd’s brother Philonise to offer both congratulations and comfort. As Philonise and other members of the Floyd family, including George’s seven-year-old daughter Gianna, huddled around the phone, which was put on speaker, someone reflexively asked the president how he was doing. “Feeling better now,” Biden responded. Nothing can ever bring back their brother, their father, back.
Derek Chauvin faces three charges. Here’s how his sentencing could unfold.
If the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin finds him guilty on any of the three charges he faces, it will certainly be a dramatic televised moment when the verdict is read. Mr. Chauvin, who has been out on bail since last fall, might also be able to go home after a guilty verdict, as he awaits sentencing. It would be up to the judge to either order Mr. Chauvin to jail immediately, or let him remain out on bail, should he be found guilty. Mr. Chauvin is charged with two counts of murder — second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder — and the sentencing guidelines for each, for a defendant like Mr. Chauvin with no criminal history, is 12.5 years. Mr. Chauvin is also charged with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, but under the guidelines he would most likely be sentenced to four years.
Governor Newsom Signs Legislative Package Providing Urgent Relief to Californians Experiencing Pandemic Hardship
This is the people of California saying that we will not leave behind those who are hurting most, whether they are individuals or small businesses. Provides $600 in one-time relief to households receiving the California EITC for 2020. In addition, the following provision is included in today’s action:Restoration of ReductionsRestoration of the previously enacted reductions, effective July 1st, for the University of California, California State University, the Judicial Branch, Child Support Services and for moderate-income housing. The Governor signed the following bills into law today:AB 81 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – COVID-19 relief. SB 87 by Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) – California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program: income tax: gross income: exclusion: small business grants.
Officials: Biden preparing to recognize Armenian genocide at hands of Ottoman Turks
Lawmakers and Armenian-American activists are lobbying Biden to make the announcement on or before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, which will be marked Saturday. "The shameful silence of the United States Government on the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide has gone on for too long, and it must end," the lawmakers wrote. Biden as a candidate marked the remembrance day last year by pledging that if elected he would recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915 to 1923, saying "silence is complicity." The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal first reported that Biden is preparing to acknowledge the genocide. He noted that the sting of former President Barack Obama not following through on his 2008 campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian genocide still lingers for many in the Armenian diaspora.
'Normalization of hate:' White nationalist language of America First Caucus sets off new alarms on racism
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's sorry for 'wrong and offensive' comments Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene apologized for previous incendiary social media post regarding conspiracy theories. What Greene is sayingRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. Nick Dyer, Greene's spokesperson, told CNN in an email Friday that the America First Caucus platform would be announced "very soon." Why the House removing Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees is significant The House has voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from House committees. She referred to it as "a catcall to the KKK" in a text message to a USA TODAY reporter on Saturday.
Massachusetts police dept. apologizes for anti-George Floyd message on Facebook after Chauvin verdict
On Wednesday, the department apologized for the message, claiming that an officer had intended to post it on his personal account. “It is with regret that the Fall River Police Department’s Facebook page was accessed by personnel who inadvertently re-posted an opinion that was meant for their own personal account,” the department wrote on Facebook. “I understand why people are upset,” Cardoza said in an interview with the Fall River Reporter. In March, a Michigan officer who posted a racist meme of Floyd on Facebook resigned. That’s when the officer got his personal and professional Facebook accounts mixed up, the chief said.
Activist Greta Thunberg to testify to U.S. Congress on fossil fuel subsidies
Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during a demonstration of the Fridays for Future movement in Lausanne, Switzerland January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File PhotoSwedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will testify Thursday to a U.S. congressional hearing on fossil fuel subsidies, which the committee’s progressive chairman is pressuring President Joe Biden to end. "We appreciate that President Biden ran on ending fossil fuel subsidies. Biden has called for replacing fossil fuel subsidies with incentives for clean energy production as part of his $2.3 trillion plan to overhaul U.S. infrastructure. read moreBut the president's plan has not specified which tax breaks for fossil fuel companies would be targeted.
NATO backs Czechs, condemns Russia for subversive behavior
The move from NATO’s political decision-making body came days after Prague expelled 18 Russian diplomats, claiming it had “clear evidence” Moscow’s intelligence agents had been behind a deadly 2014 blast in the country. In addition to the 18 expulsions, the Czechs are now “considering further substantial measures,” the Council said. Russia expelled 20 Czech diplomats earlier this week in response to Prague’s allegations. “Allies express deep concern over the destabilising actions Russia continues to carry out across the Euro-Atlantic area, including on Alliance territory, and stand in full solidarity with the Czech Republic,” the Council said. “Russia must desist from activities that threaten security and stability in Europe and run counter to Russia’s international obligations.”
Biden announces 200M vaccinations in his first 100 days
President Biden announced on Wednesday that the U.S. has reached the goal of 200 million vaccinations in 100 days. The Morning Joe panel discusses the effort to get the country to that number.
COVID-19 Vaccinations Taper As Biden Urges Paid Leave
More than 216 million doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered, and more than 134 million Americans ? 51.5% of adults ? have now had their shots, far outstripping Biden’s initial goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office. On some days in recent weeks, 4 million Americans got jabbed in a single 24-hour period. Alex Wong via Getty Images President Joe Biden said this week the U.S. had distributed 200 million shots of the COVID-19 vaccines. “I’m calling on every employer large and small in every state to give employees the time off they need, with pay, to get vaccinated,” Biden said. The CDC notes that about 62 million vaccine doses have been delivered to states, but not used yet.
By GOP standards, Biden admin vaccine progress is 'impressive'
As we've discussed, Joe Biden entered the presidency realizing that under-promising and over-delivering was a far smarter approach. To that end, the Democrat began his term vowing to administer 100 million COVID vaccination shots in his first 100 days in office. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) told Fox News in January, "If the Biden administration wants to impress us ... double the goal. Today, we hit 200 million shots on the 92nd day in office. Two hundred million shots in 100 days -- in under 100 days, actually.
Kristin Smart's body once buried in suspect's backyard, court documents say
Ruben Flores, 80, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of accessory after the murder for hiding Smart's body after his son allegedly killed her. Paul Flores, a fellow freshman at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, was the last person seen with Smart on May 25, 1996. The court document was filed before bail arguments Monday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court when the father and son were arraigned. Peuvrelle, who said Ruben Flores has helped cover up the crime for nearly a quarter-century, would continue to do so if freed. “Due to the evidence gleaned from the excavation, it is reasonable to believe Ruben Flores currently knows the location of Kristin Smart’s remains," Peuvrelle said.
Fate of Polish judge hangs in balance as panel deliberates
Tuleya, who is a judge at the Warsaw District Court, was stripped of his immunity by the Disciplinary Chamber and faces criminal charges. The panel’s members deliberated for many hours on Wednesday as protests took place outside the Supreme Court, where police encircled the building and detained some protesters. “Judge Igor Tuleya did not commit any crime. ADVERTISEMENTThe European Union does not recognize the Disciplinary Chamber examining Tuleya’s case as legally valid under EU law. “An illegal Disciplinary Chamber might send a Polish judge Igor Tuleya to jail for doing his job,” Guy Verhofstadt, a leading member of the European Parliament, said Wednesday on Facebook.
Fossil fuels play a role in Biden's climate fight: White House advisor
The Biden administration pledged Thursday to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least half of 2005 levels in the next nine years. In this April 19, 2021, photo, President Joe Biden speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)But McCarthy made it clear that carbon free, doesn’t necessarily mean a break from fossil fuels. Put simply, carbon capture technology involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions from industrial processes and burying them deep underground. Investing in carbon capture and storage techLast month, Exxon Mobil (XOM) announced a $3 billion investment in low-carbon technology including carbon capture.
Czechs to Russia: Let our diplomats back or more of yours go
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic demanded on Wednesday that Russia should allow its expelled diplomats to return to Moscow, threatening that otherwise more Russian diplomats would be asked to leave Prague. The Czech request could further escalate a diplomatic conflict with Russia over the alleged involvement of Russian spies in a massive ammunition depot explosion. It came after Russia ordered 20 Czech diplomats to leave the country on Sunday, in retaliation for the Czech government’s expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats it identified as spies from the GRU and the SVR, Russia’s military and foreign intelligence services. But for the Czechs, the Russian move “paralyzed" their Moscow embassy. “Czech-Russian relations have entered an extraordinary difficult phase and I, as a foreign minister, am not happy about it,” he said.
An Early Promise Broken: Inside Biden's Reversal on Refugees
On Friday, White House officials informed reporters of the new policy. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, blamed the episode on “messaging” mistakes. But Biden had yet to do that, and flights for refugees, officials warned, would soon be canceled. Within a few hours, officials in the White House knew they had a problem on their hands. “I don’t think anyone can know exactly what the pace is going to be.”By Friday evening, the White House was in full damage-control mode.
Estate Planning Changes During the COVID Pandemic
The pandemic has revealed some new reasons why -- and how -- people should create or update their estate plans and healthcare documents. Have Key Documents in PlaceMany people focus on tax planning, but they should not ignore their estate paperwork. “So, you better get documents in place.”In addition, he said those documents need to be in place for elderly parents or relatives grandparents. Intubation, Experimental Medical TreatmentsThere are at least four healthcare-related estate planning documents that you need. “This is something that's never been addressed in any legal documents,” Shenkman said.
State lawmakers, sensing opportunity to undo Roe vs. Wade, propose a flood of abortion bills
And both sides in the abortion debate are advancing laws that look ahead to a potential post-Roe nation, in which access to the procedure would vary from state to state. “What’s happening this year is a continuation” of the flurry of strict abortion bills in 2019, said Kristin Ford, national communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice America. “I don’t read minds and I don’t place bets on Supreme Court cases,” said Katie Glenn, government affairs counsel at Americans United for Life. The decision conflicts with decisions in other federal districts, teeing up an opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in. Lawmakers introduced the amendment in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that said access to abortion was “a fundamental right” in the Kansas Constitution.
O.C. sheriff’s deputy says ‘it’s stupid’ when called to enforce mask rules at Gelson’s
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will begin a personnel investigation into the incident, said spokeswoman Carrie Braun. Transparent California, a public pay database, shows that a deputy named Patrick Medeiros works for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. As they were leaving, the maskless sheriff’s deputy arrived. Orange County Sheriff was called by Gelson’s when a group of anti-mask protesters held a shopping event in their store. I share... pic.twitter.com/jq5OnuWlbX — OC Sheriff Don Barnes (@OCSheriffBarnes) May 28, 2020AdvertisementShortly after Floyd’s killing in May, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes released a statement condemning Chauvin and three other officers present.
When and where to vote in your city for the May 1 election, including early voting
Early voting for the May 1 election begins Monday, April 19. Polling locations will be open during early voting and on Election Day. Registered voters can cast their vote at any location in their county during early voting and on Election Day in Dallas, Collin and Tarrant counties. In other counties, voters have to visit specific locations that you can find on your county’s elections site. To find out about the candidates and read their responses to questions, visit The Dallas Morning News’ Voter Guide.
Since Jan. 6 riot, Cruz has spent more campaign cash on private security than almost any in Congress
WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz has spent more than almost any other member of Congress on private security since Election Day, drawing $126,000 from his campaign account for security systems and personnel. Lawmakers in both parties have tapped campaign funds to beef up security as passions ran high – nationwide and across the spectrum. Rep. Colin Allred, a Dallas Democrat elected to a second term last fall, has spent $11,900 on security since late January. Since Jan. 29 she’s spent $58,500 on security, including protection from three former Secret Service agents. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat in his ninth term, has spent $18,600 on security since 2017, mostly for equipment.
Who’s on the ballot in your city for the May 1 municipal elections
Depending on the community, these elections will decide who will hold seats on the city council, local school board or as mayor. Additionally, some communities have special elections as well as bond elections. To find out about the candidates and read their responses to questions, visit The Dallas Morning News’ Voter Guide. Enter your address to view your sample ballot and the information your candidates submitted. Click the link for your city below, and click this link to find out what you need to know about mail-in ballots and what to bring to the polls.
'There’s not an offseason': Native Americans lead efforts to get Oklahoma voters registered
Oklahoma Votes, an organization at the University of Oklahoma, has helped register over 1,000 voters in the last two years. It also targeted Native voters by attending tribal events, like powwows and stomp dances, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobilization of Native voters helped President Joe Biden win Arizona during November’s election. Oklahoma Votes’ virtual forum was only one of the many events the group has organized over the last year. Rock The Native Vote also hosted virtual events, including a town hall for Oklahoma City Council candidates.
Russia holds major drills in Crimea amid Ukraine tensions
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned Tuesday that the Russian buildup across the border is continuing and is “expected to reach a combined force of over 120,000 troops” in about a week and urged the West to beef up sanctions against Moscow. Moscow has rejected Ukrainian and Western concerns about the buildup, arguing that it’s free to deploy its forces anywhere on the Russian territory and charging that they don’t threaten anyone. Amid the tensions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday signed a law allowing the call-up of reservists for military service without announcing a mobilization. The new law will allow to quickly equip the military with reservists, "significantly increasing their combat effectiveness during military aggression,” Zelenskyy’s office said in a statement. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Relief after verdict in Floyd killing, but what comes next?
Deepti Hajela and Jocelyn NoveckAssociated PressNEW YORK — When the verdicts came in — Guilty, Guilty, Guilty — Lucia Edmonds let out the breath she hadn't even realized she'd been holding. The relief that the 91-year-old Black woman felt flooding over her when white former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for killing George Floyd was hard-earned, coming after a lifetime of seeing other cases end differently. “I was prepared for the fact that it might not be a guilty verdict because it’s happened so many times before," the Washington, D.C., resident said. About the Chauvin verdict, she said, “I hope this means there is a shift in this country, but it’s too early for me to make that assumption." The guilty verdict, he said, was a relief, and he believes police officers will realize they can’t get away with violence against Black Americans.
Police chiefs hail Chauvin verdict as a key step to healing
.......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........Not long after a jury convicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of killing George Floyd, police chiefs across the U.S. started speaking up. It was a major departure from years past, when even the highest levels would close rank around an officer following an on-duty killing. “As an officer of the law, I believe that today justice has prevailed. Activist Isaac Wallner said Chauvin’s conviction suggested the country may be starting to take Black communities’ cries of police abuse seriously. The verdict was especially profound and complicated for Black officers, who see the struggles of policing and race in both their work and personal lives.
DC statehood faces a crossroads with congressional vote
Zack Smith, a legal fellow at the Heritage Institute, a conservative think tank, testified before Congress last month that since D.C.'s creation and limitations are are enshrined in Article I of the Constitution, its status can only be changed through a constitutional amendment. “You're basically looking at a lot of litigation,” Smith told The Associated Press. "Every legislative act of this new state would be called into question. D.C. has long chafed under its relationship with Congress, which has the power to essentially veto or alter any local laws. Its population is larger than that of Wyoming or Vermont and its estimated 712,000 residents pay federal taxes, vote for president and serve in the armed forces, but they have no voting representation in Congress.
In COVID-plagued Michigan, warning signs that vaccinations are stalling
A quarter of the available shots went unused, says Jennifer Michaluk, a county health department official. Local health officials said they have also had to combat a torrent of misinformation on social media about the virus and the efficacy of the vaccines. Trump won more than 60% of November's vote in 49 Michigan counties. "We remind Trump got vaccinated," said Mark Hamed, who serves as medical director for eight Michigan counties, all of which voted for Trump with at least 63% of the vote. Cheatham and other public health officials say the resistance is largely rooted in fears over the vaccines' safety, which can be disproved with a robust education campaign in the coming weeks.
Biden opening summit with ambitious new US climate pledge
The Biden administration’s pledge would require by far the most ambitious U.S. climate effort ever undertaken, nearly doubling the reductions that the Obama administration had committed to in the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord . “The United States is not waiting, the costs of delay are too great, and our nation is resolved to act now,” the Biden administration said in a statement. The world’s top two climate offenders, China and the United States, are feuding over non-climate issues . There is no money in sight,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said earlier this month, after a visit from Biden climate envoy John Kerry . And at home, political divisions exposed by Trump’s presidency have left the United States weaker than it was at the 2015 Paris accord.
‘This is it. If we don’t amp up, we’re goners’: the last chance to confront the climate crisis?
Biden has staffed his administration with the climate A-team, from Gina McCarthy as domestic climate czar to John Kerry as international climate envoy. And perhaps most important of all, he sees the climate crisis as an opportunity to reinvent the US economy and create millions of new jobs. Joe Biden delivers remarks on his administration’s response to the climate crisis in January. Catherine Coleman Flowers, who was on a taskforce that helped shape Biden’s climate policy during his campaign, grew up and works in Lowndes county, Alabama. If political leaders don’t take the climate crisis seriously now, with all they know, with all they have been through already, will they ever?
George Floyd: a landmark moment for justice in America? – video
The murder trial of Derek Chauvin drew the attention of the world to Minneapolis, the focal point of the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd. In some parts of the city people have reclaimed the streets, while others are under military occupation. With the area reeling from yet another recent police killing, Oliver Laughland and Tom Silverstone spent time with activists, lawyers, witnesses and members of the Floyd family to see how this landmark moment in American racial justice is shaping the city
Climate Change Summit 2021: US pledges to halve emissions by 2030
Joe Biden is announcing a new target to cut US greenhouse gas pollution by at least half by 2030 as he convenes a summit of world leaders aimed at driving greater climate action. The US president's new target aims to achieve a 50 to 52 per cent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, a move that the White House said would create millions of jobs, cut energy costs and boost nature. The move comes at the start of a virtual climate summit convened by Mr Biden, where Boris Johnson will tell fellow world leaders that 2021 must be the year that countries "get serious" about stopping climate change. The Prime Minister this week announced a "world-leading" target for the UK to cut emissions by 78 per cent on 1990 levels by 2035, which builds on plans to cut pollution by 68 per cent by 2030, the most ambitious among leading economies. Follow the latest below.
Nicola Sturgeon's hopes of SNP Holyrood majority on a knife edge
When undecided voters were excluded, it said 47 per cent of voters would back separation, while 53 per cent were opposed. The poll found 46 per cent support in the constituency vote and 38 per cent backing in the regional list vote, which allocates seats using a complicated form of proportional representation. It predicted the Scottish Conservatives will achieve 25 per cent of the constituency vote and 23 per cent of the regional list. But Sir John Curtice, the country's leading psephologist, said: "The Conservatives' claim that voting for them on the list vote is the best way of stopping an SNP majority may be having an impact on Labour's list support." Keith Brown, the SNP's deputy leader, said: "These polls show this election - the most important in Scotland's history - on a knife-edge, and reinforces that only by voting SNP on May 6 can people guarantee a majority SNP government, led by Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister."
Putin's warning to the West: Russia releases video of huge military drills in Crimea
AdvertisementRussia staged huge military drills involving 10,000 troops, 40 warships, over 200 warplanes, and about 1,200 vehicles in Crimea today after Vladimir Putin warned the West not to 'dare cross any red lines' amid soaring tensions with Ukraine. The exercise comes amid increasing violations of a ceasefire in Ukraine's east and a massive Russian troops build-up on the border with Ukraine that raised Western concerns. The defence minister said: 'I believe that the goals of the surprise military exercises have been fully achieved. Thousands of troops were deployed to the Crimean peninsula in preparation for massive military drills on ThursdayTroops were seen heavily armed during the huge military drills in the Crimean peninsula on Thursday. On Tuesday Putin staged dramatic naval drills in the Black Sea involving more than 20 warships and 50 fighter jets
Biden cranks up US ambition as summit lifts climate hopes
President Joe Biden will ramp up US ambitions on slashing greenhouse gas emissions, putting the United States back at the forefront with a summit he hopes brings the world closer to limiting climate change. In a virtual Earth Day summit, Biden will announce that the world's largest economy will cut emissions blamed for climate change by 50 to 52 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, officials said. Comparisons between major economies are difficult as the United States takes 2005 as its baseline while the Europeans use 1990, the date set in the landmark Kyoto Protocol. But the United States is still largely on track to meet Obama's goals thanks to commitments by states, especially California, and a sharp drop in industrial production during the Covid-19 pandemic. But much of Trump's Republican Party remains adamantly opposed to action on climate, drawing a question mark on whether Biden can guarantee US commitment in the long run.
Kremlin downplays pro-Navalny rallies after nearly 1,800 detained
Police officers detain a protester during a rally in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, in central Saint PetersburgAdvertising Read moreMoscow (AFP)The Kremlin on Thursday downplayed opposition protests in support of jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny that saw nearly 1,800 people detained across Russia. The opposition staged unauthorised demonstrations in dozens of Russian cities, with the largest rallies in Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday that he saw "no reason" to comment on the protests. She was given a 10-day stint behind bars for calling on people to join unauthorised rallies. State human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said Thursday that Navalny's detention conditions and medical support comply with Russian law and international standards.
Kremlin Downplays Pro-Navalny Rallies After Nearly 1,800 Detained
The Kremlin on Thursday downplayed opposition protests in support of jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny that saw nearly 1,800 people detained across Russia. The opposition staged unauthorized demonstrations in dozens of Russian cities, with the largest rallies in Moscow. In a statement, the group called for the "immediate" release of Navalny and those detained at the demonstrations. Wednesday's rallies did not match in size those held in the winter when Navalny was arrested after returning to Russia from Germany. Tens of thousands took to the streets despite freezing temperatures while more than 11,000 people were detained.
Russia Launches Mass Multi-Forces Military Drills in Crimea
The Russian military has launched mass multiple-forces drills in annexed Crimea, the Defense Ministry said Thursday as Russia’s troop buildup near Ukraine raises alarm in the West. Russia’s navy, aerospace forces, airborne troops and air defense forces are expected to perform air strikes, deploy cruise missiles and use drones during the snap readiness maneuvers. “More than 10,000 troops, 1,200 weapons units, and more than 40 warships and 20 support vessels are involved in the active phase,” Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency quoted the military as saying. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has arrived in Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014 and has begun militarizing in the years since, to oversee the snap drills.
Russia to Withdraw Troops From Ukraine Border
Russia will begin withdrawing its military forces from the Ukrainian border starting Friday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Thursday, after the buildup had raised alarms in the West of renewed clashes. Speaking during snap readiness exercises in annexed Crimea, Shoigu ordered the general staff of the armed forces, military chiefs and the airborne troops to begin returning to their home bases from the Russian-Ukrainian border and Crimea starting April 23. “I believe that the goals of the snap inspection have been fully achieved,” Interfax quoted Shoigu as saying. “The troops demonstrated the ability to reliably defend the country.”“In this regard, I have decided to complete the Southern and Western military district reviews,” he added. Facing accusations of massing more than 100,000 troops in the region, Russia’s military said it had blocked flights and closed off navigation in parts of the Black Sea and Crimea for drills.
UN rapporteurs send letter to S. Korea voicing concerns over anti-Pyongyang leafleting ban
U.N. special rapporteurs voiced concerns that South Korea's anti-leafleting law could restrict freedom of expression in a letter sent to the government calling for further clarification, the U.N. website showed Thursday.Tomas Ojea Quintana, special rapporteur on North Korea's human rights situation, along with three other rapporteurs, made the appeal in a "communications" letter dated Monday, urging the South Korean government to provide additional information about the compliance of the anti-leafleting ban with international human rights law. "We are concerned that this legislative amendment, due to its vague wording, may be interpreted broadly, and that its application may lead to the disproportionate penalisation of some forms of political expression and legitimate activities of some civil society actors in the ROK," they wrote, using the acronym for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.The rapporteurs expressed concerns that the anti-leafleting ban may "negatively impact the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression" and the "legitimate activities" of nongovernmental organizations in Seoul.Critics say the amendment to the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act, which went into effect last month, could undercut efforts to send information into the reclusive North.South Korea has stressed that the leafleting ban is necessary to protect the lives and safety of residents living in the border areas as such leaflets could provoke the North to take bellicose action.The law prohibits the launching of anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border, with violators subject to a maximum prison term of three years or a fine of 30 million won (US$27,400).
White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy says US needs to be humble going into Earth Day summit
White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy said the United States needs to be humble going into this week's Earth Day summit after four years away from global climate negotiations while President Donald Trump was in office. President Joe Biden has said he plans to push other world leaders to amp up their commitments to reducing carbon dioxide emissions to combat climate change. She said the federal government can lead the way by prioritizing climate solutions that will build momentum for those efforts. And I think climate change is exactly that type of issue," she said. And I think President Biden's plan is going to deliver the momentum we need to really get across the finish line."
Barrett’s Big Book Deal Called Bad Optics for Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett ’s reported $2 million book deal is drawing criticism from legal experts who say its size and timing create bad optics for a court that is already in the political crosshairs. The advance, first reported by Politico, would be the largest ever for a Supreme Court justice, topping the $1.5 million Justice Clarence Thomas received for his 2007 memoir and the $1.175 million advance Justice Sonia Sotomayor got for hers, published in 2013. This book would emerge unusually soon for a justice who joined the court only six months ago and has just two majority opinions to her name. ‘Perverse Incentives’Another judicial ethics scholar, Stephen Gillers of New York University Law School, said he doesn’t see Barrett’s deal as problematic. “On the one hand, she will be marketing her book to conservative buyers.
Lawmakers told Russia likely behind suspected directed-energy attacks on US troops: report
The Pentagon has reportedly briefed top lawmakers that Russia likely carried out a series of suspected directed-energy attacks against U.S. troops. The sources told Politico that the probe includes one fall 2020 incident in Syria in which several U.S. troops developed flu-like symptoms, with lawmakers also briefed on other suspected injuries sustained by troops. ADVERTISEMENTIt was not clear exactly how many troops were injured in the suspected attacks, nor how severe they were. A Pentagon spokesperson told Politico that it was not aware of directed-energy attacks against U.S. troops in Syria, and declined to comment on the Department of Defense’s communications with lawmakers. The investigation is reportedly part of a broader look into directed-energy attacks against U.S. officials, and also comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Russia.
Biden to announce US will aim to cut carbon emissions by as much as 52% by 2030 at virtual climate summit
"Achieving that target is something we can do in multiple ways," a senior administration official said a day ahead of the announcement. It's hoped that other countries will follow the US' lead with additional announcements of new goals to tackle the crisis, the administration official said. The former President repeatedly denied the scientific reality of the climate crisis and his administration systematically rolled back environmental policies. He has said his proposal would create hundreds of thousands of jobs while tackling the climate crisis, reducing emissions and building a "modern, resilient and fully clean grid." "The 2030 target is a target we believe we can meet," the senior administration official said.
Joe Biden’s broadband infrastructure plan is a lot tougher to do than it looks.
Many school districts across the country had to deploy Wi-Fi-equipped buses so students living in areas with spotty broadband could participate in distanced learning. “Americans pay too much for internet service. The president is also calling for more transparency in internet service pricing and, when it comes to laying down new cables, the prioritization of municipal and other not-for-profit networks over major players like Comcast and Verizon. Fiber can also help to “future-proof” this infrastructure, a priority for the Biden plan to ensure that these networks won’t need major upgrades too often. The pandemic may just have increased the urgency of expanding internet access just enough, though, to pave the way for a new approach.
Russia arrests over 1,700 at rallies for hunger-striking Navalny
Police rounded up more than 1,700 protesters on Wednesday as Russians in dozens of cities took part in rallies organised by allies of hunger-striking Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny over his failing health in jail. Police said 6,000 people protested illegally in Moscow, while Navalny's YouTube channel said turnout in the capital was up to 10 times higher. I see Navalny as one of them," said Ilya, a 19-year-old student in the far eastern city of Vladivostok. The state prison service has said his condition is satisfactory. Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the Russian government to provide Navalny with medical care and called for sanctions.
Syrian anti-aircraft missile lands near Israeli nuclear site
Israeli army hits Syrian missile batteries after the explosion in the vicinity of the Dimona nuclear site in the country’s south. There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage in the incident that triggered warning sirens in the area near the secretive Dimona nuclear reactor. The Israeli military said the nuclear site was not hit by the blast. An Israeli military spokesman said the Syrian missile had been fired at Israeli aircraft during an earlier strike and had overflown its target and reached the Dimona area. The errant Syrian missile was an SA-5, one of several fired at Israeli air force planes, according to the spokesman.
The GOP Climate Push That Mostly Leaves Out Climate
On April 19, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced the beginning of a week-long campaign to promote the Republican “alternative” climate agenda. The GOP lists its PARIS Act under its “Innovation” bucket, and there isn’t much information about how such a move would address climate change. Rather than reducing greenhouse gas emissions, all of the Republican bills aim to protect and expand gas drilling. Another set of bills launched as part of the GOP’s climate campaign target “streamlining” the permitting process for energy infrastructure. “I’d like to hope that there is also a shift in actual legitimate concern,” on climate policy, she said.
Russia orders troops back after massive drills in Crimea
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s defense minister on Thursday ordered troops back to their permanent bases following massive drills in Crimea that involved dozens of navy ships, hundreds of warplanes and thousands of troops in a show of force amid tensions with Ukraine. After watching the drills, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu declared the maneuvers over and ordered the military to pull the troops taking part in maneuvers in Crimea and western Russia back to their permanent bases. The Russian military hasn’t reported the number of additional troops that have been moved to Crimea and parts of southwestern Russia near Ukraine, and it wasn’t immediately clear from Shoigu’s statement if all of them will now be pulled back. The Russian Defense Ministry said the maneuvers in Crimea involved more than 60 ships, over 10,000 troops, around 200 aircraft and about 1,200 military vehicles. Russia also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea this week, arguing that they fully conform with the international law.
How 1.5 Degrees Became the Key to Climate Progress
That number is 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is enshrined in Article 2 of the 2016 Paris climate accord as the world’s official goal for how much we will let the planet warm. Even though the temperature had risen less than one degree Celsius, we were already seeing extensive Arctic ice melt, for instance. In the years since, the number has dramatically reorganized global thinking around the climate, setting up the possibility that we might improve on the Paris timetable. You’ve taken on the task of helping defend the Arctic ice sheet. This is affecting the very stability of global climate regulators.
Chris Christie Is Considering a 2024 Presidential Bid, Whether Trump Runs or Not: Report
In December, Christie told radio host Hugh Hewitt he "would not" rule out the possibility of running again for the presidencyChris Christie Is Considering a 2024 Presidential Bid, Whether Trump Runs or Not: ReportNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers the State of the State Address on January 14, 2014 in the Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse in Trenton, New JerseyNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers the State of the State Address on January 14, 2014 in the Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse in Trenton, New JerseyChris Christie is mulling a 2024 presidential bid, according to a new report. In December, Christie told radio host Hugh Hewitt he "would not" rule out the possibility of running again for the presidency. For his part, Trump has also repeatedly teased a 2024 run, while Biden has already said he plans to run again for a second term.
Michigan Gov. Responds to Criticism Over Out-of-State Trip to Visit Ailing Dad: ‘Maddening’
Michigan Gov. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Michigan Gov. Last weekend, in Lansing, two maskless protests were held at a local Menards hardware store and on the campus at Michigan State University.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Called George Floyd's Family After Verdict: 'We've Been Watching Every Second'
"Nothing is going to make it all better — but at least, God, now there is some justice," Biden says. Calling them an "incredible family," Biden says he wished he could "put my arms around you." "We've been talking, we've been watching every second of this — the vice president, all of us, Biden says. The video shows Vice President Harris then get on the call to say that she is "so thankful to the entire family." In remarks delivered Tuesday night, Harris urged members of Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
17-Year-Old Iowa Girl Dies After Being Found Unconscious at Hog Facility
Victoria Lerdo had been helping to clean the facility, the Kossuth County Sheriff's Office said17-Year-Old Iowa Girl Dies After Being Found Unconscious at Hog FacilityAn Iowa teenager died after she was discovered unconscious at a rural hog facility this week. Victoria Lerdo, 17, was found unconscious at the Swea City site on Monday night, the Kossuth County Sheriff's Office said in a news release obtained by PEOPLE Wednesday. An ambulance and sheriff's deputies were dispatched at 9:10 p.m. after another worker at the facility discovered Lerdo unconscious on the ground. The sheriff's office said that she had been helping to clean and power wash the hog facility. The Iowa Medical Examiner's Office in Akeny, Iowa, will be conducting an autopsy to determine her cause of death.
DOJ to Investigate 'Potentially Systemic Police Issues' in Minneapolis After Chauvin Verdict
"Yesterday's verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis," Garland said. "Today, I am announcing that the Justice Department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing." The review will be independent and parallel to a previously announced federal criminal investigation into Floyd's death, he said. The new investigation will be conducted by the DOJ's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for Minnesota. The review of police policies, training and supervision "will also examine MPD's systems of accountability, including complaint intake, investigation, review, disposition and discipline," according to the statement.
Kristin Smart's Body Was Allegedly Buried in Yard of Paul Flores' Father, Was 'Recently' Moved
Now for the first time ever, authorities say they believe her body was buried in the yard of the California home of murder suspect Paul Flores' father — and that it was "recently" moved, according to a court document obtained by The Tribune of San Luis Obispo. Kristin Smart Kristin Smart | Credit: FacebookOn April 13, Paul's father, Ruben Flores, 80, was also arrested and charged with being an accessory after the murder for allegedly hiding her body in his yard on White Court in Arroyo Grande. Paul is being held without bail in the San Luis Obispo County jail as he awaits trial, online court records show. Paul Flores has not been charged with any sex crimes. Paul Flores' attorney Robert Sanger told PEOPLE that he doesn't comment on pending cases "and there is also a protective order prohibiting comment."
Nancy Pelosi Clarifies Her Criticized Reaction to Derek Chauvin Verdict: 'George Floyd Should Be Alive'
Nancy Pelosi Clarifies Her Criticized Reaction to Derek Chauvin Verdict: 'George Floyd Should Be Alive'House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly clarified her initial reaction on Tuesday following the guilty verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted of murdering George Floyd. In a much-maligned speech after the verdict was read, Pelosi thanked Floyd for "sacrificing [his] life for justice." University of Illinois history professor Barbara Ransby tweeted: "Did Pelosi just say 'George Floyd, thank u 4 sacrificing your life for justice'? "George Floyd should be alive today. We must make sure other families don't suffer the same racism, violence & pain, and we must enact the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicing Act."
Eric Andre Says He Racially Profiled and Searched by Police at Atlanta Airport: 'This Is Racism'
“You guys flashed your badge and detained me with no probable cause except for racism,” Eric Andre said of the police officers involvedEric Andre Says He Racially Profiled and Searched by Police at Atlanta Airport: 'This Is Racism'Comedian Eric Andre said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that he was racially profiled by police officers at Atlanta Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport. Andre initially believed the search was conducted by the Atlanta Police Department. "I was just racially profiled by two plain clothes Atlanta PD police in @Delta terminal T3 at the Atlanta airport," he tweeted, tagging Atlanta PD. The Atlanta Police Department later released a statement and revealed it was not the department's officers involved in Andre's incident. "This is JIM CROW RACISM @ClaytonCountyPD I DID NOT VOLUNTEER TO A SEARCH," Andre wrote.
Progressives will deliver their own response to Biden's speech to Congress
Progressives will deliver their own response to Biden's speech to CongressAdded: 22.04.2021 9:30 | 16 views | 0 commentsTraditionally, the opposition party gives a rebuttal to the president's address. But this year, a member of Biden's own party will respond, too.
Remember the debt limit? Top Republican revives demand for spending cuts
Remember the debt limit? Top Republican revives demand for spending cutsAdded: 22.04.2021 10:18 | 6 views | 0 commentsSen. Rick Scott's efforts come as President Biden presses for a new infrastructure and jobs bill.
Live updates: Biden casts vaccinations as a patriotic duty, urges Americans to protect themselves, others
Live updates: Biden casts vaccinations as a patriotic duty, urges Americans to protect themselves, othersAdded: 21.04.2021 21:18 | 26 views | 0 commentsThe president's planned remarks come amid a busy week at the White House. On Thursday, Biden is scheduled to host a global summit on climate change.
Vladimir Putin pledges enemies will be 'sorrier than ever before' if Russia attacked
Vladimir Putin pledges enemies will be 'sorrier than ever before' if Russia attackedAdded: 22.04.2021 10:46 | 12 views | 0 commentsRUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin issued a blunt and stark warning to his foes warning any of those responsible for involvement or interference in Russian affairs will be "sorry" for their actions.
Live updates: Biden to convene world leaders for virtual climate summit, seeking to restore U.S. leadership
Live updates: Biden to convene world leaders for virtual climate summit, seeking to restore U.S. leadershipAdded: 22.04.2021 12:17 | 11 views | 0 commentsParticipants are expected to include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among many others.
As the voting-rights fight moves to Texas, defiant Republicans test the resolve of corporations that oppose restrictions
As the voting-rights fight moves to Texas, defiant Republicans test the resolve of corporations that oppose restrictionsAdded: 22.04.2021 11:18 | 14 views | 0 commentsLegislators are promoting measures that would drastically curtail access to the polls and could disproportionately affect voters of color, critics say.
Biden pledged action on racial justice. How will his words translate into action?
Biden pledged action on racial justice. How will his words translate into action? Added: 21.04.2021 23:18 | 25 views | 0 commentsThe president hopes to seize a moment as Lyndon B. Johnson did after Bloody Sunday, but those pressing for change await his plan
Unemployment payments backlog draws hundreds to Kentucky's capital
Added: 18.06.2020 19:02 | 15 views | 0 commentsHundreds of people who lost jobs during the coronavirus crisis but have been unable to get their unemployment insurance checks converged at the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort early Wednesday to seek in-person help.
Former White House aide Bolton says Trump not 'fit' to be president
Former White House aide Bolton says Trump not 'fit' to be presidentAdded: 18.06.2020 19:47 | 5 views | 0 commentsFormer top White House aide John Bolton delivered a damning indictment of his former boss, saying Donald Trump's behavior in office and dealings with foreign leaders showed he was unfit to be president of the United States.
The 35 most outrageous lines from Trump's 'interview' with Sean Hannity
The 35 most outrageous lines from Trump's 'interview' with Sean HannityAdded: 21.04.2021 17:22 | 15 views | 0 commentsOn Monday night, former President Donald Trump sat down with Fox News' Sean Hannity for his first on-camera interview since leaving the White House in January.
Border crisis: Sens. Cornyn, Sinema to introduce bipartisan bill targeting migrant surge
Added: 22.04.2021 9:41 | 9 views | 0 commentsA bipartisan bill aimed at blunting the southern border crisis will reportedly be introduced Thursday by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
Democrats Are Fooling Themselves on Immigration
Democrats Are Fooling Themselves on ImmigrationAdded: 22.04.2021 4:05 | 13 views | 0 commentsVoters didn't always like Trump's tone, but they broadly supported his strategy at the border.
Biden pushing plans as US returns to climate fight
Added: 22.04.2021 11:16 | 8 views | 0 commentsPresident Joe Biden convenes a climate summit with 40 world leaders confronted by Donald Trump's legacy of climate inaction. Responding to public sentiment, many U.S. states, cities and companies have taken action into their own hands.
Biden Buys Into the Left's Great Lie
Added: 22.04.2021 4:05 | 12 views | 0 commentsThe president should be ashamed of himself. Biden's declaration that America is a dystopia mired in irredeemable racism is a leftist lie meant to undermine society.
Miami Open Day Four Recap: Emil Ruusuvuori Upsets Alexander Zverev
Third-seeded Alexander Zverev departed the Miami Open early on Friday, losing to Emil Ruusuvuori in three sets.
Trans sports ban: North Dakota governor vetoes bill banning trans athletes
On Wednesday, North Dakota Gov. "North Dakota today has a level playing field and fairness in girls' sports," Burgum said. "We have every confidence that they will continue to ensure a level playing field for the 27,000 students who participate in North Dakota high school sports." Proponents of the North Dakota bill argue that the ban is a needed step to ensure fairness in girls' sports. “House Bill 1298 was never about leveling the playing field for student athletes," Skarin said.
Self-Employed Would Get a Bigger Slice of Remaining $51 Billion in PPP Under New Bill
The bill, dubbed the PPP Flexibility for Farmers, Ranchers, and the Self-Employed Act, would allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and the self-employed to retroactively apply for more money through the forgivable loan program. This proposed revision to the PPP follows the Biden administration's February 22nd request that the Small Business Administration change the formula these borrowers use to calculate their PPP loans. The bill would also allow some farmers and ranchers to use gross income rather than net income when applying for PPP. "Congress must pass this bill as quickly as possible so eligible small businesses have time to secure the aid they need before PPP closes on May 31." After relaunching on January 11, the PPP has guaranteed more than 4.73 million loans for more than $240 billion.
Chris Christie friends believe he’s running in 2024
Chris Christie is seriously considering running for president in 2024, three people familiar with his thinking tell Axios. Christie could run on a reputation for toughness that appeals to Trump's base minus the former president's recklessness, said one source. Another said he has a mix of combativeness and charisma that Republicans are looking for to take on President Biden and Democrats. On a recent "This Week" appearance, Christie accused Biden of "lying" in his descriptions of infrastructure. The bottom line: Christie has told associates that Trump's decision about running again in 2024 won't affect his own decision-making.
Good Trouble Recap, Season 3 Episode 10: ‘She’s Back’
Good Trouble She’s Back Season 3 Episode 10 Editor’s Rating 5 stars * * * * * « Previous Next Photo: FreeformHoly hell, there is so much happening in this episode, my little Good Trouble fam! Especially because when I say “every single story line,” I mean it: Good Trouble uses its spring finale to push every story line it’s been juggling this season forward. Margaret Cho! over and over as a kid, so when Margaret Cho shows up to watch the rehearsal for their showcase (on Good Trouble, Cho is an alum of this particular diversity workshop), she’s beyond excited. In front of everyone in the group, in front of Ruby, and in front of Margaret Cho, Alice takes a stand.
Reconciliation May Not Solve Democrats’ Immigration Woes
House Democrats are still tinkering with a comprehensive reform bill with the understanding that they can only afford to lose a handful of votes. Her precise ruling was that while the $15 wage would have significant impact on federal revenues and spending (a Byrd Rule requirement), such impact was “incidental” to its basic purpose (a Byrd Rule prohibition). But as was the case with the $15 minimum wage, the Byrd Rule is just part of the problem. Is Joe Manchin on board with the idea of enacting a reform bill over the angry objections of Republicans? Yes, he supports comprehensive reform, as Forbes noted recently:Manchin has repeatedly pointed to a 2013 immigration bill adding 40,000 border patrol agents and creating a pathway to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants as the ideal version of an immigration bill.
Justice Department Launches Probe of Minneapolis Police Practices
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks about the Chauvin verdict at the Department of Justice on April 21, 2021. “It will include a comprehensive review of the Minneapolis Police Department’s policies, training, supervision and use-of-force investigations. The attorney general said the probe will be led by members from the Justice Department’s civil-rights division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the district of Minnesota. Garland said that a public report with the Justice Department’s conclusions will be released if a systemic pattern of misconduct is found. He also indicated that the department could file a civil suit in federal court to order the Minneapolis Police Department to change its practices.
The Most Powerful Weapon for Police Reform Is Back
President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to revive pattern-or-practice investigations – as well as subsequent reform agreements – after the Trump administration suspended the program in 2017. Many police accountability experts say the reform agreements – both consent decrees and settlement agreements – are the most effective way to achieve long-term police reform. “Consent decrees and settlement agreements really offer systemic reforms for entire police departments. Reform agreements have long-term staying power, according to Walker, and there’s no better example of that than the past four years. Had the department undertaken these steps, as the settlement agreement required them to do, they might have been covered.”
How Trans Kids Landed in the Crossfire of the Culture Wars — and the Damage It Could Do
In South Carolina, one bill would make it a felony to provide affirming medical care to minors, punishable by 20 years in prison. Rather than focusing on the purported threat of “biological men in bathrooms,” they turned to trans kids in school sports. Bans on trans medical care, on the other hand, could tangibly change the lives of the vast majority of trans youth in their state. So my goal is that you have to look me in the face, and still say, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna hurt trans kids,’ ” says Bundy. Taking these bills to court once again puts the onus on trans kids, who will have to endure the Trump-packed judicial system.
Republicans say Michigan Gov. Whitmer may be vulnerable in 2022, if they had a candidate
Filing a statement of organization is not enough to get on the 2022 primary ballot as a Republican candidate for governor. The last Michigan governor defeated at the polls was Democratic Gov. To find a Michigan governor voted out after a single term, go back nearly 60 years, to 1962, when Democratic Gov. And unlike whoever emerges as the Republican candidate, Whitmer is not expected to have to spend money and other resources fighting a primary challenger. The March poll of 610 likely voters showed an overall 53% job approval for Whitmer among Michigan voters, similar to what the EPIC-MRA poll showed.
Joe Biden made climate change a priority of his presidency, but progressives want him to go bigger
WASHINGTON – The biggest political challenge to President Joe Biden's efforts to combat climate change and address environmental injustice won't exclusively be the Republicans in Congress who think he's going too far left. Biden signs new climate change orders, says we've 'waited too long' to deal with crisis President Biden signed executive actions tied to combating climate change, including elevating climate change as a national security concern. Staff Video, USA TODAYAnother hurdle for Biden: Joe ManchinIt's not just progressives Biden needs to please. At the start of his term, Biden identified climate change as one of the four "converging crises" of his presidency, alongside the coronavirus pandemic, economic inequality and racial justice. More: Electric cars aren't the climate-change answer Joe Biden is selling youBiden has taken other climate focused actions, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and signing an executive order upon taking office that directed federal agencies to prioritize combatting climate change as well as public and environmental health.
President Biden to call for 50% reduction in US greenhouse gas emissions at climate summit
Biden will announce the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% percent, from a baseline of 2005 emissions, at the start of a virtual climate summit he is hosting with 40 other world leaders on Thursday and Friday. An administration official who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity did not detail how the White House plans to achieve the 50% reduction in emissions. The virtual summit is aimed at renewing America's leadership on climate change and rallying other world leaders to set their own aggressive targets. But Biden's climate change agenda faces obstacles at home and abroad. Biden has pledged to be the most aggressive president on climate change, setting a goal of de-carbonizing the U.S. power sector by 2035 and reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Liz Cheney vs. MAGA
Cheney later praised Trump for having issued a pardon to her father’s former chief of staff, Scooter Libby. Cheney criticized Trump’s policies publicly on occasion but with discretion, and Trump rarely fired back. All that changed when Cheney stood alone among House Republican leaders in refusing to humor Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. That kind of stuff.”Correnti drafted a resolution of censure — one of several against pro-impeachment lawmakers by Republican state committees in various states — that would soon be adopted by the entire state party. Cheney declined to speak to me on the record for this article, as did many other congressional Republicans.
What Teenagers Have Learned From a Tumultuous Time in Politics
For American teenagers, their political coming of age has been a tumultuous one. They’ve seen the boundary-breaking candidacies of women and people of color, and the norm-shattering presidency of Donald Trump. A little more than half the teenagers surveyed were girls. The survey revealed a generation of soon-to-be voters who felt disillusioned by government and politics, and already hardened along political lines — something political scientists said was new for people this young. But it also revealed a significant share of teenagers who felt motivated to become involved themselves, whether out of inspiration or frustration.
From Serial: The Improvement Association
I knew he was the head of the political arm of a black Democratic organization in Bladen called the Bladen County Improvement Association. People were claiming that the Bladen County Improvement Association had been working with McCrae and that they must be cheaters, too. From Serial Productions, I’m Zoe Chace, and this is The Improvement Association, a true story about election fraud. zoe chaceAlmost everyone here is a member of Horace’s organization, the full name of which is the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC. archived recording It’s called the Bladen County Improvement Association, and it’s been operating for at least 30 years.
Investigation suppressed by Trump administration reveals obstacles to hurricane aid for Puerto Rico
And several former senior administration officials in the Office of Management and Budget refused to provide requested information about decision-making related to the Puerto Rico relief funds. The 46-page report presents an incomplete picture of the political influence of the Trump White House on delaying disaster relief for the struggling island. Still, the inspector general found unprecedented procedural hurdles set by the White House budget office — in addition to an extended partial federal government shutdown that also produced delays. While investigators interviewed 20 current and former HUD officials and two Puerto Rico housing officials, they had no access to Carson. “How many poison pills are in here?” Montgomery wrote in an email to other senior HUD officials, according to the report.
Canada judge rules to delay Huawei CFO's extradition hearings
Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer GauthierA Canada judge has agreed to delay Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou's U.S. extradition hearings for three months, according to a ruling read in court on Wednesday, handing her defense team a win. Meng's team had asked for more time to review additional documents that became available after HSBC and Huawei reached a settlement in Hong Kong. Extradition hearings were originally set to wrap up in May. Her reasons will be read out on in court on April 28.
European Parliament to vote on Brexit trade deal Tuesday
The deal has already been ratified by the U.K. | Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesLONDON — The European Parliament will vote to ratify the EU-U.K. Trade and Cooperation agreement on Tuesday. The vote has been added to the agenda of next week’s plenary session, according to Jaume Duch, spokesperson for the Parliament. MEPs will hold a debate and a consent vote accompanied by a resolution on Tuesday, just four days ahead of the end of the temporary application period on April 30. The Parliament’s foreign affairs and trade committees voted in favor of the agreement last week, paving the way for its expected ratification by the plenary. The deal, which has already been ratified by the U.K., conditionally came into force on December 31, 2020.
Dems' ambitions narrow as political reality sets in
), who supports D.C. statehood, conceded that “it’s not the highest priority for me. “If it’s a worthwhile thing to do, of course there’s time,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) of the D.C. statehood bill. Dean is among the House Democrats set to appear at a press conference demanding an end to the filibuster on Thursday. They passed a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill with beefed-up unemployment benefits and child tax credits and have committed to passing another similarly large infrastructure bill. We’re working on a big infrastructure bill and we’re committed to take up [the voting rights and ethics bill] S1 soon.
Pentagon investigated suspected Russian directed-energy attacks on U.S. troops
A spokesperson for the director of national intelligence declined to comment. The investigation is part of a broader effort to look into directed-energy attacks on U.S. officials across multiple agencies in recent years. Directed-energy attacks on U.S. spies and diplomats are well-documented; the CIA recently set up its own task force to look into the issue. But the recent Pentagon effort to look into similar incidents affecting U.S. troops has not previously been reported. Circumstances surrounding these incidents are murky, and U.S. officials have encountered difficulties in attributing the suspected attacks to any particular weapon or country.
POLITICO Playbook: The world’s most interesting Zoom meeting
POLITICO Playbook: The world’s most interesting Zoom meeting Presented by“The U.S. is back!” That’s the message President Joe Biden will send today and Friday, per an administration official, as he hosts a virtual climate summit for 40 world leaders. JOIN US — Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and climate plan includes boosting investment in clean energy and significantly cutting fossil fuel emissions. But on Friday, the White House announced it would leave the ceiling at 15,000. Browner worked in the Obama White House and was EPA administrator in the Clinton administration. Playbook couldn’t happen without our editor Mike Zapler and producers Allie Bice, Eli Okun and Garrett Ross.
Black Democrats urge party to shift its voting rights push
“I certainly think our focus ought to be on [the Lewis bill] and voting rights,” said Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md. '”One big question surrounding a potential shift in focus to the Lewis bill is the timing for its consideration. Those protections were eliminated after the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act's so-called pre-clearance formula in 2013. But some of them privately believe the voting rights-only bill will be an easier lift than H.R. With the GOP in control of the Senate at that time, the voting rights bill never came to the floor.
Syrian missile explodes near Israeli nuclear reactor, Israel retaliates
JERUSALEM — A missile launched from Syria was fired into southern Israel early Thursday, setting off air raid sirens near the country's top-secret nuclear reactor, the Israeli military said. The attack also threatened to complicate U.S.-led attempts to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran. The air raid sirens were sounded in Abu Krinat, a village just a few miles from Dimona, the Negev desert town where Israel's nuclear reactor is located. Israel accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and has opposed U.S.-led efforts to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran. It also says it does not address Iran's long-range missile program and its support for hostile proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.
Maxine Waters' Chauvin trial comments expose Democrats' hypocrisy
Before Cahill's remarks, Waters' comments had not been subject to a tremendous amount of scrutiny in the media — at least, not on their merits. Insider led with Greene's reaction to Waters comments, rather than the comments themselves. "The attacks are part of a long tradition of Republicans distorting Waters' remarks and draw on the racist trope of the angry Black woman," Mother Jones editor Inae Oh alleged. Cahill's warning makes it clear, though, that Waters' comments should have occasioned some critical analysis from her ostensible political allies. This is just the kind of avoidance that Democrats accused Republicans of during the Trump presidency.
Behind the 'Thin Blue Line' flag: America's history of police violence
That week, a “Thin Blue Line” flag was raised defiantly above the Brooklyn Center Police Department building in Minnesota. The Thin Blue Line flag dates back only to 2014. The Thin Blue Line flag dates back only to 2014. The blue line is both a border and an elevation, hanging above the threat that needs to be eliminated. By the morning, protesters with signs and chants had dispersed, leaving the Thin Blue Line flag to fly alone in a hazy sky.
Belarus leader heads to Moscow for talks on closer ties
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to host his Belarusian counterpart on Thursday for talks on closer integration between the two ex-Soviet neighbors. The meeting follows allegations of a failed plot to assassinate Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko, allegedly involving a blockade of the country’s capital, power cuts and cyberattacks. Belarusian and Russian security agencies arrested the alleged coup plotters in Moscow earlier this month. In Wednesday’s state of the nation address, Putin harshly criticized the West for failing to condemn the alleged coup attempt. “The practice of organizing coups and planning political assassinations of top officials goes over the top and crosses all boundaries,” Putin said.
Russia holds major drills in Crimea amid Ukraine tensions
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military on Thursday conducted massive drills in Crimea involving dozens of navy ships, hundreds of warplanes and thousands of troops in a show of force amid tensions with Ukraine. The maneuvers were described as the largest since Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and threw its weight behind separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine. The exercise comes amid increasing violations of a cease-fire in Ukraine’s east and a massive Russian troops buildup on the border with Ukraine that raised Western concerns. Russia also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea this week, arguing that they fully conform with the international law. Amid the tensions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday signed a law allowing the call-up of reservists for military service without announcing a mobilization.
Biden opening summit with ambitious new US climate pledge
The Biden administration’s pledge would require by far the most ambitious U.S. climate effort ever undertaken, nearly doubling the reductions that the Obama administration had committed to in the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord . “The United States is not waiting, the costs of delay are too great, and our nation is resolved to act now,” the Biden administration said in a statement. The world’s top two climate offenders, China and the United States, are feuding over non-climate issues . There is no money in sight,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said earlier this month, after a visit from Biden climate envoy John Kerry . ADVERTISEMENTAnd at home, political divisions exposed by Trump’s presidency have left the United States weaker than it was at the 2015 Paris accord.
Biden Makes New Pledge For U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A 50% Cut
Biden Makes New Pledge For U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A 50% CutEnlarge this image toggle caption Charlie Riedel/AP Charlie Riedel/APPresident Biden will begin a global summit on climate change Thursday morning by announcing that the United States will aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half, based on 2005 levels, by the end of the decade. That aggressive 2030 goal, which the White House is framing as a "50-52 percent reduction," will be formalized in a document called a "nationally determined contribution," or NDC. The White House will lay out more details on its NDC goals, and how, specifically, it plans to achieve them, in future reports to the United Nations. Two key themes emerge when Biden and his top advisers talk about climate change. Nearly every time he speaks about climate change, Biden says something along the lines of, "when I hear the words climate change, I hear another word: jobs."
Swampy Sam Graves raises money at his favorite locale: a high-end Wyoming ski resort
On March 31 this year, federal campaign records show, Graves for Congress — Sam’s campaign committee — paid $21,879.85 to the Four Seasons Hotel in Teton Village, Wyoming. Why would a congressman from Missouri spend more than $20,000 at a luxury ski resort? Story continuesNo one from Missouri donated directly to Graves for Congress on those dates, the records show. But PACs later came through for Graves, the records show, including PACs for pilots, airlines and ironworkers, all keenly interested in transportation policy. In fact, Graves for Congress has spent more than $100,000 over the past three election cycles hosting similar events in Jackson Hole.
Biden news: Bernie Sanders unveils free college plan as Merrick Garland launches police review
Bernie Sanders (Reuters)Bernie Sanders, now chair of the Senate Budget Committee, has introduced a plan to pay for free college tuition by levying taxes on Wall Street, combining two of his signature issues into a highly ambitious policy with huge implications. The answer is absolutely yes.”Her words came as reports suggest that Joe Biden will pledge to halve the US’ carbon emissions by 2030 ahead of an important climate summit on Thursday. The decision would encourage other countries to set more ambitious emissions targets, with 40 world leaders meeting for a two-day virtual conference on the issue. The US’ reported 50 per cent target almost doubles the country’s last commitment, meaning that drastic changes in power and transportation will be required. It would be an important step on the journey to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, something the president has vowed to work towards.
Mexican army: Explosive drone attacks in at least 3 states
He said explosive drones had been used in the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato and Michoacan. Local media reported the drones carried hand grenades, but photos have circulated of drones carrying taped packs of explosive charges. But Vergara wrote that those protesters were simply local residents asking for more security. The Jalisco cartel is also fighting turf wars in Guanajuato and its home state of Jalisco, where explosive drones have also been used. In October 2019, Jalisco cartel gunmen ambushed and killed 14 state police officers in El Aguaje.
Accused Colorado supermarket gunman faces additional attempted murder, weapons charges
Subscribe for free.It was Katyal who last June pitched Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on bringing in experts from the firm. "You're thinking with one eye to the trial itself, and with the other, how’s it going to look on appeal," he said. To win it in the eyes of the American people in the long term is a different thing," he said. "As a prosecutor, your goal is not 'to win a case' — it’s to do justice. And part of doing justice is not just winning the case but understanding how the verdict will be received.
Israel says it struck targets in Syria after missile attack
JERUSALEM — A missile launched from Syria was fired into southern Israel early Thursday, setting off air raid sirens near the country’s top-secret nuclear reactor, the Israeli military said. The incident, marking the most serious violence between Israel and Syria in years, pointed to likely Iranian involvement. It also threatened to complicate U.S.-led attempts to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran. Israel accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and has opposed U.S.-led efforts to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran. It also says it does not address Iran’s long-range missile program and its support for hostile proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.
A brief timeline of U.S. climate pledges made, and discarded
President Biden is announcing an ambitious new pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions roughly in half by 2030 as part of a global climate summit he is hosting this week. 2015: President Obama pledges to cut U.S. emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025 under the landmark Paris climate agreement. 2017: President Trump announces the U.S. will quit the Paris agreement, in a sharp turn toward pro-fossil fuel policies and “America First” isolationism. 2021: President Biden moves to rejoin the Paris agreement on his first day in office. This week his administration is expected to announce a new pledge to cut emissions in half by 2030, establishing one of the world’s most ambitious climate targets.
Biden will commit the US to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030
“The United States is not waiting, the costs of delay are too great, and our nation is resolved to act now," the Biden administration said in a statement. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the summit will play out as a climate telethon-style livestream, limiting opportunities for spontaneous interaction and negotiation. The world's top two climate offenders, China and the United States, are feuding over non-climate issues. There is no money in sight,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said earlier this month, after a visit from Biden climate envoy John Kerry. And at home, political divisions exposed by Trump's presidency have left the United States weaker than it was at the 2015 Paris accord.
Biden opening summit with ambitious new U.S. climate pledge
The Biden administration's pledge would require by far the most ambitious U.S. climate effort ever undertaken, nearly doubling the reductions that the Obama administration had committed to in the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord. "The United States is not waiting, the costs of delay are too great, and our nation is resolved to act now," the Biden administration said in a statement. But Biden administration officials, in previewing the new target, disclosed aspirations and vignettes rather than specific plans, budget lines or legislative proposals for getting there. There is no money in sight," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said earlier this month, after a visit from Biden climate envoy John Kerry. And at home, political divisions exposed by Trump's presidency have left the United States weaker than it was at the 2015 Paris accord.
After Floyd, Congress ready to plunge into policing laws
Tuesday's verdict launches "a new phase of a long struggle to bring justice to America," declared Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., in urging passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. With political pressure mounting on all sides, Biden is urging Congress to plunge back into policing legislation. The House, led by Democrats, has now twice approved a sweeping overhaul, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, that would be the most substantial federally ordered changes to policing in a generation. The GOP's Justice Act would step up compliance by law enforcement in submitting use-of-force reports to a national database. Biden is sure to speak about policing issues in his address to a joint session of Congress next Wednesday.
Biden to pledge halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at climate summit
Washington — President Joe Biden will announce plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030 from 2005 levels during a climate summit with world leaders this week, according to White House officials. There's a long way to go: Greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 were 10% below 2005 levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The administration's opening salvo on global climate discussions will also serve as a litmus test for the country's role on the global stage. China is the leading greenhouse gas emitter in the world today, followed by the U.S., India, Russia and Japan. In January, Biden directed his administration to re-evaluate Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and greenhouse gas emissions standards for the auto sector, which are expected to become more stringent under his leadership.
U.S. Capitol riots: How the mystery man in the Carhartt cap was identified as a Kentuckian
It took federal agents more than three months to find the man they say was in a gray Carhartt cap seen in riot footage pushing through barricades and assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officers on Jan. 6. Because of facial recognition software and his girlfriend's Instagram photos, he's now in custody — the 14th Kentuckian arrested for participation in the U.S. Capitol riots. Stephen Chase Randolph, of Harrodsburg, was charged with assaulting a federal officer and inflicting bodily injury, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder and obstruction of Congress. On Jan. 27, his face and moniker were added to the FBI's "seeking information" list, which featured 10 individuals seen in videos assaulting officers at the riots. Other Kentucky residents charged for assaulting police during the riots include Chad Barrett Jones, Peter Schwartz and Clayton Ray Mullins.
Belarus leader heads to Moscow for talks on closer ties
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to host his Belarusian counterpart on Thursday for talks on closer integration between the two ex-Soviet neighbors. The meeting follows allegations of a failed plot to assassinate Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko, allegedly involving a blockade of the country’s capital, power cuts and cyberattacks. Belarusian and Russian security agencies arrested the alleged coup plotters in Moscow earlier this month. He fueled such speculation over the weekend when he declared that he was preparing to make one of the most important decisions of his more than quarter-century rule. The authoritarian Belarusian leader, who has been in power since 1994, has resisted earlier Russian attempts to forge a closer integration between the two countries and Moscow's push for opening a military base in Belarus, casting them as part of Moscow’s efforts to subdue its neighbor.
Va. House candidate says teachers union president pressured her to drop out, offered a position
… But my face is a poker face. … I’m just listening.”Liquid said Walker also told her she didn’t want what happened to Karen Mallard to happen to her. Mallard, a teacher, was the Democratic nominee who lost a race for the House seat in 2019. And she did not want the same thing to happen to me.”“She said something about my heart,” Liguid recalled. Liguid said she told Walker she appreciated the advice and would think about it.
Civil rights groups skip ceremonial signing of marijuana bill, as Black-led activist group left out
Key civil rights groups involved in the effort to legalize marijuana in Virginia skipped a ceremonial signing of the legislation Wednesday, protesting the Northam administration’s decision to exclude a key advocate from the event. Marijuana Justice led by activist Chelsea Higgs Wise of Richmond was among groups that worked with the legislature on marijuana legalization, and eventually swayed political leaders to accelerate legalization of simple possession to this summer. Ralph Northam and legislative leaders went out to the ACLU of Virginia, Justice Forward Virginia and RISE for Youth, but not Marijuana Justice. In a statement, the ACLU of Virginia praised the signing of the legislation but said it was “deeply disappointed” the event was marred by the exclusion of Higgs Wise. “One of our key values is to create an inclusive space around marijuana legalization, where many communities have a seat at the table.
There’s hope for racial justice in America. But it comes from the people – not the courts
Shortly after it was announced, CNN’s Van Jones called the justice department probe “a very big deal”; former federal civil rights prosecutor Jared Fishman called it “hugely significant”. justice has been served.” Ms Frazier spoke for many people across the globe when she saw justice in the outcome. There is truth in both arguments: Derek Chauvin is and was a vicious arbiter of violence, and that ultimately resulted in his murdering of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin the police officer was not an exception among other police officers, but a standard bearer. Prosecutors made clear that policing was not on trial; Derek Chauvin was.
The Biden administration has ended use of the phrase ‘illegal alien’. It’s about time
Gone are the terms “alien”, “illegal alien” and “assimilation”. Usage of the thankfully now-defunct term “illegal aliens” is probably the worst culprit. That year, she became the first justice to use the term “undocumented immigrant” rather than “illegal alien” in a court decision. In 2013, the Associated Press updated its influential AP Stylebook, abandoning the term “illegal immigrant” as well. “Instead, ‘illegal’ should describe only an action.”There are other fundamental problems with the way the term “illegal alien” is commonly used today.
Arizona Republicans to begin auditing 2020 ballots in effort to undermine election results
But the county has already conducted two separate audits of the 2020 election and found no irregularities. Cyber Ninjas is not accredited by the US Election Assistance Commission to inspect voting machines, the Washington Post reported. Karen Fann, the president of the Arizona senate, did not return a request for comment. “That should scare a lot of people,” said Martin Quezada, a Democrat in the Arizona state senate. Quezada, the Arizona state senator, said it was impossible to separate the audit from the suite of voting restrictions in the Arizona state legislature that would make it harder to vote by mail.
US vows to cut its emissions at least 50% by 2030 ahead of climate summit
Ahead of a virtual gathering of dozens of world leaders in a climate summit called by Joe Biden, which begins on Thursday, the White House said the US will aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 50% and 52% by 2030, based on 2005 levels. “The United States isn’t going to wait, the costs of delay are too great and our nation is resolved to act right now,” the administration official added. The US is scrambling to regain international credibility after Trump pulled the country out of the Paris climate agreement. China, the world’s largest carbon polluter, has expressed some skepticism over the US’ return to the climate fold, but the country’s president, Xi Jinping, will attend Biden’s Earth Day climate summit and the White House is confident America retains its clout. “This new target gives us significant leverage to push for climate action abroad,” said the White House official.
London mayoral candidate arrested after Extinction Rebellion campaigners smash HSBC's windows
A London Mayoral candidate has been arrested at an Extinction Rebellion protest where campaigners smashed HSBC's windows. Valerie Brown, who is standing for the Burning Pink party, was seen being arrested for criminal damage after protesting against the bank's investment in fossil fuels. The 68-year-old tweeted that she was among the women at the protest. She told HSBC: “Investing in #FossilFuels is murder. “We will not stand by whilst you invest in runaway #greed, whilst people’s lives are being shattered by the #fossilfuel industries.”
US President Joe Biden to host 40 world leaders at global climate summit
US President Joe Biden will host 40 world leaders on Thursday for talks on the climate crisis. During the event, Joe Biden is expected to announce a new target in reducing US greenhouse gas emissions - at least a 50% cut by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. Having the US back in the climate talks is "hugely significant," Heather Alberro, professor of environmental politics at Nottingham Trent University, told Euronews. But the US "remains a major economy with a significant carbon footprint," Alberro added, and it is being pushed by "social movements" for an even higher reduction - "at least 70%". During his annual address to the nation on Thursday, the Kremlin leader said tighter controls were needed in fighting carbon emissions.
Israel strikes Syria after attack near secretive nuclear site
Sirens sounded in Abu Qrenat, a Bedouin village not far from the nuclear site, the Israeli military said, before it responded by striking multiple defence batteries across the border. "A surface-to-air missile was fired from Syria to Israel's southern Negev," the Israel Defense Forces tweeted. SANA reported "some material losses" but said Syrian air defence batteries intercepted most of the missiles. Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system has thwarted hundreds of attacks from Syria and the Gaza Strip in the past decade. Israel says Iran is trying to build an atomic bomb, though the Islamic republic says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
Ken Rubin: Broken Trudeau promise of less government secrecy meant nothing much anyway
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Germany Seeking to Buy 30Mln Sputnik Doses from Russia – State Premier
"Germany is negotiating 3 x 10 million doses for June, July, August. Germany is in talks with Russia to buy 30 million doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine once it is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Saxony state premier Michael Kretschmer said on Thursday. Kretschmer posted the tweet after meeting Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko as part of a visit to Moscow ostensibly focusing on cultural relations with Russia. Germany sparked controversy in early April when it said it had started talks with Russia about purchasing doses of the Sputnik vaccine without waiting for coordinated EU action. The southern state of Bavaria and the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have already announced plans to pre-order doses of Sputnik.
How to Speak With Moscow When There's Nothing to Talk About
In fact, the only major issue that cannot be resolved without Moscow is the conflict in Donbass. But here, too, the Americans are not convinced that they have a negotiating partner in Moscow. The Kremlin, Washington believes, is set on freezing the Donbass conflict on a permanent basis, and there is nothing Washington could offer that would be sufficient to move Moscow off of that position. Moscow evidently decided to correct this unfortunate state of affairs by means of escalation, forcing the Americans to question their own analysis. Moscow, obviously, is opposed, and the troop buildup on the border is meant to underscore the possible consequences for all involved.
Church group leader prays for democracy in talks to Myanmar prime minister
South Korean churches have begun raising funds to support Myanmar’s democracy activists, chief of a church group here told the leader of Myanmar’s anti-junta National Unity Government on Wednesday. So Kang-suk, pastor and leader of the United Christian Churches of Korea, one of the country’s biggest associations of Protestant churches, told Mahn Win Khaing Than, prime minister of the NUG, in a video call that he prays for democracy to come swiftly to Myanmar. Pastor So Kang-suk talks with National Unity Government of Myanmar Prime Minister Mahn Win Khaing Than through a video call on Wednesday. Earlier, the UCCK chief also pledged support for a project to build shelters for refugees in Myanmar, dubbed “Korea Safe Zone,” which is being planned by nongovernmental group Myanmar Democracy Network in Korea. Pastor So Kang-suk (center), co-chairman of the United Christian Churches of Korea, poses with Myanmar democracy activists at his office in Seoul on Wednesday.
Joe Biden commits to slashing US greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 - nearly doubling its previous target
The US will commit to halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, Joe Biden is set to announce. It comes as the US president prepares to host other world leaders, including Boris Johnson, at a virtual global climate summit held at the White House on Thursday. "If we actually want to stop climate change, then this must be the year in which we get serious about doing so. "Because the 2020s will be remembered either as the decade in which world leaders united to turn the tide, or as a failure." Sky News broadcasts the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.
Hopes rise for a police reform compromise, but huge political hurdles loom
... Whatever bill the Democrats are pushing forward is probably going to go too far for most moderate Republicans." Reform advocates say qualified immunity effectively offers police impunity to use excessive force in encounters with Black Americans. "Qualified immunity and Section 242 ... those are real key components to the bill, and we have to make sure that that's there," she said. Sticking points on key aspectsAny compromise on qualified immunity would have to pass muster with progressives and civil rights groups, who see it as vital to reversing decades of discrimination and brutality toward Black Americans. "You say this is a reform bill.
Biden pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030
President Joe Biden is pledging to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030, in the latest push by the administration to aggressively combat climate change, the White House announced on Thursday. The U.K. and European Union have committed to slash emissions by 68% and 55%, respectively, by 2030. China, the world's biggest emitter, has vowed to reach peak emissions by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2060. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry speaks while White House national climate advisor Gina McCarthy listens during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, January 27, 2021. If passed, the legislation would be one of the largest federal efforts ever to reduce emissions.
My Pillow countersues voting machine company in dispute over U.S. election
BOSTON -- Pro-Trump businessman Mike Lindell on Monday escalated his legal fight with voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems, responding to its recent defamation case with a countersuit of his own. Lindell's privately owned company, My Pillow Inc., sued Dominion in federal court in Minnesota, alleging a campaign to "silence" and "punish" him for his claims about the election software company. The lawsuit came two months after Dominion brought a US$1.3 billion dollar case against Lindell in federal court in Washington. Lindell used his personal Twitter account, which had nearly half a million followers before being suspended, and media appearances to falsely claim that Dominion's voting machines rigged the election. The new My Pillow lawsuit said Dominion's litigation against him violates his right to free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Exclusive: Poll finds women want pandemic help but 'equity' not driving issue
Fewer than half of all women surveyed said that enforcing gender equity by including provisions in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus assistance package to support women would have "a big impact, or "some impact," on themselves and their family. About three-quarters of all women surveyed favored the idea, including 68% of GOP women. "Democrats tend to be pretty motivated about enforcing gender equity…but independent women and Republican women less so," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. Although it's early, seven in 10 women surveyed said they are either almost certain to vote in 2022 (58%) or will probably vote (12%). Women of color were significantly more likely than white women to have faced challenges with food insecurity, finances and employment.
Biden's Earth Day summit, Daunte Wright's funeral, COVID vaccine: 5 things to know Thursday
EditorsUSA TODAYBiden to honor Earth Day with virtual climate summitPeople across the globe are celebrating our planet's very own holiday Thursday. Overall, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries participate in each Earth Day "to build environmental democracy and advocate for sustainability," according to EarthDay.org. On Wednesday, they renewed their mourning for 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who will be laid to rest Thursday. Wright, a Black man, was killed by police during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 11. The officer accused of killing Wright, Kim Potter, said she accidentally drew her handgun instead of a Taser.
Why do Democrats want 13 Supreme Court justices? Their answer doesn't make much sense.
Christopher J. ScaliaOpinion contributorOf all the questions raised by the Judiciary Act of 2021 — the bill introduced by Democratic lawmakers last week that would expand the Supreme Court to 13 justices — perhaps the most basic is: Why four new justices? Thanks to Congress, the responsibility that Supreme Court justices have for the judicial circuits to which they are assigned is not remotely close to what it was in the 1800s. As Felix Frankfurter (before he became a justice himself) and James Landis explained in "The Business of the Supreme Court: A Study in the Federal Judicial System," “The Supreme Court docket became a record of arrears. These new judges made it possible to also reduce the circuit-riding schedule of Supreme Court justices to every two years. I doubt that the Democratic lawmakers are eager to implement a reform so that these particular justices can better attend to their duties on the Supreme Court.
A Hong Kong journalist exposed police failures. A court found her guilty of a crime.
AdvertisementStory continues below advertisementChoy, a former staff producer and freelancer for public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), was arrested in November and accused of breaching the law for accessing a public database of car registrations. She was seeking to obtain vehicle license plate information — a standard procedure that Hong Kong journalists practiced when fact-checking or reporting investigative stories. The license plate information was used in a documentary for the broadcaster, RTHK, investigating the failure of police to prevent a pro-Beijing mob from attacking anti-government protesters and commuters at a subway station in July 2019. The incident was one of the most consequential of the 2019 protests in Hong Kong and undermined confidence in the police, who showed up only after the mob had left and after dozens were injured. RTHK, the only independent, publicly funded broadcaster on Chinese soil, has become a key part of Beijing’s effort to tighten control in Hong Kong.
Police pulled over a Michigan lawmaker for allegedly driving drunk. He threatened to call the governor.
Inside the Chevy, state police found state Rep. Jewell Jones (D), whose blood alcohol level was allegedly more than double the legal limit. [Gretchen] Whitmer right now,” Jones told the officers on April 6, according a police report obtained by the Detroit Free Press and other local media. AdvertisementJones allegedly threatened the Michigan state troopers by telling them he oversaw their agency’s finances. (The test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.19%, the Free Press reported; a limit of 0.08% is needed to convict someone of drunken driving.) While state House leaders have not made any decisions about whether he will be disciplined, according to the Free Press, Jones appears to be taking it all in stride.
Q & Trey: The Best Job I’ve Ever Had
On a new bonus episode available every Thursday, Trey answers listener questions about politics, ideology, life, and more. This week, Trey gives his thoughts on House Democrats’ attempts to “pack” the Supreme Court, Senator Tim Scott’s likelihood to run for President, his past appearances on Forensic Files, and his plans to have DNI John Ratcliffe on the podcast. Follow Trey on Twitter: @TGowdySC
Kristin Smart case: Judge reduces bail for father accused of helping son hide body
A judge on Wednesday reduced bail for the father accused of helping his son hide the body of college student Kristin Smart, who disappeared in California nearly 25 years ago. The conditions of his release include surrendering his passport, remaining in San Luis Obispo County, and agreeing to wear an electronic monitor. San Luis Obispo County prosecutors added there was "damning evidence that a body had been buried in that location and then recently moved," according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Harold Mesick, Ruben Flores’ attorney, dismissed the evidence, calling it "so minimal as to shock the conscience." "Due to the evidence gleaned from the excavation, it is reasonable to believe Ruben Flores currently knows the location of Kristin Smart’s remains," Peuvrelle said.
Border crisis: Sens. Cornyn, Sinema to introduce bipartisan bill targeting migrant surge
A bipartisan bill aimed at blunting the southern border crisis will reportedly be introduced Thursday by Sens. Separately, Cornyn on Wednesday called for a federal investigation into allegations of child abuse at a migrant facility in San Antonio. Last month, the two senators wrote a joint letter to President Biden, asking him to secure the border. Both Sinema and her Democratic Arizona colleague, Sen. Mark Kelly, said Wednesday they support Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey sending the National Guard to the border.
Protesters across Russia call for Alexey Navalny's release on same day as Putin's annual address
In a statement on Telegram, Navalny's team said they were confident that their "requirements will certainly be met. RIA Novosti reported about 14,400 people took part in "unauthorized protest actions in 29 cities of Russia." On Monday, Russia's Interior Ministry warned people to "refrain from participating in unauthorized actions," citing coronavirus restrictions. Navalny blames the Russian security services for his poisoning last year with the nerve agent Novichok. On Sunday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that in the event Navalny died, Russia would be held accountable and there would be "consequences."
French foreign minister: France to hold Putin responsible if Navalny dies
PARIS – France will hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible if imprisoned Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny dies in custody, according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We will impose the necessary sanctions, and we will hold mister Putin and Russian authorities responsible [if Navalny dies in prison],” Le Drian said on public broadcaster France 2 Thursday morning. “I hope we won’t get there.”Le Drian nevertheless said France and Russia “must continue talking to each other, [Putin] is our neighbor, he is quite cumbersome but he is here.”The French foreign minister also said he doesn’t believe Russia intends to carry out a military assault against Ukraine through its current buildup of around 100,000 Russian forces at the border but he said “the fact of massing so many troops at the border with Donbass presents risks of accidents or incidents and so of conflictuality.”Le Drian also outlined three ways in which he thinks Putin has grown more autocratic. “There’s an internal authoritarian drift, the targeting of Navalny is insufferable … an external provocation and intimidation drift, with what is happening in Ukraine … and attempts at interference by trying to attack our democratic institutions. We saw what happened in the Czech Republic, this is all very worrying and we must be very firm,” Le Drian said.
Maryland officials highlight office to close digital divide
(AP) — Maryland officials are highlighting a new Office of Statewide Broadband to help close the digital divide. State and local officials are holding an availability Thursday to talk about legislation that was recently signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan to create the new office. The office will be focused on a coordinated effort to connect Maryland residents across the state to high-speed, affordable broadband by 2026. The office also will support projects and partnerships to enhance broadband.
Progressives will deliver their own response to President Joe Biden's speech to Congress
WASHINGTON — Unlike in previous years, a progressive group has decided to deliver a formal response to President Joe Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress next week. It's traditional for the opposition party to give a response when the president delivers a State of the Union or other address to Congress. But it's much less common for a member of the president's party to deliver a rebuttal. Biden's speech will look different from the usual address to a joint session of Congress because Covid-19 restrictions will keep the House chamber almost entirely empty. In their first years, addresses are simply speeches to a joint session of Congress.)
Democrats Ask Justice Barrett To Recuse In Case Involving Nonprofit Donor Privacy
Democrats Ask Justice Barrett To Recuse In Case Involving Nonprofit Donor PrivacyEnlarge this image toggle caption Patrick Semansky/AP Patrick Semansky/APDemocratic Members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees are asking U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from participating in a case involving a conservative nonprofit with ties to a group that gave at least $1 million to fund a "national campaign" to win Senate confirmation of her Supreme Court nomination. But after she was confirmed, the court agreed to review the case, and there was no indication of a Barrett recusal. In 2009 the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution's guarantee to due process of law required a West Virginia Supreme Court justice to recuse himself from a case involving a $50 million jury award against a coal company CEO. That decision was the only time the Supreme Court has ruled in a conflict of interest case involving judicial campaign contributions; the vote was 5-to-4. The letter sent to Justice Barrett this week was signed by Democratic Sens.
Democrats pick another Broward senator to replace Thurston in leadership position
With Sen. Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale planning to run in a special election for Congress, Sen. Lauren Book of Plantation was chosen Wednesday to serve as the next leader of Florida Senate Democrats. Book will formally take over as Democratic leader after the November 2022 elections and serve two years in the post. Thurston had been scheduled to become Democratic leader but announced Monday he will run in a special election to try to succeed Congressman Alcee Hastings, who died this month after a battle with cancer. Lighthouse Point Democrat Gary Farmer is the current Senate Democratic leader. Book, who was first elected to the Senate in 2016, chairs the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.
Tucker Carlson appears to endorse Harvey Milk's murderer in college yearbook
Like most other UBI plans, those given the funds can use the money however they please. Stockton was the first city to roll out a UBI program, and the success of its experiment has encouraged more mayors to sign on. Ideas like this may be what has spurred American skepticism of guaranteed income. Roughly 54% of US adults polled responded that they oppose guaranteed income from the federal government. The first major program, launched in Stockton in 2019, actually helped participants find full-time jobs, reduced income volatility and increased security and wellbeing.
Biden under pressure to become first U.S. president to recognize Armenian genocide
Ahead of Saturday’s annual commemoration of the killing of more than a million Armenians a century ago, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are pressing President Biden to become the first U.S. president to acknowledge the events as genocide. Biden is widely expected to make the declaration in a statement Saturday, according to several people familiar with the conversations. “I would expect the president, being a man of his word, will do what he said he would do in the campaign, which is to recognize the genocide,” Menendez said. “Statements that have no legal binding will have no benefit, but they will harm ties,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster Haberturk, according to Reuters. “There’s absolutely no reason for the United States to carry Turkish water on genocide.
Police chiefs hail Chauvin verdict as step toward healing: ‘This moment matters’
Not long after a jury convicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of killing George Floyd, police chiefs across the U.S. started speaking up. It was a major departure from years past, when even the highest levels would close ranks around an officer following an on-duty killing. Advertisement“The work of doing justice for George Floyd doesn’t end today,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said. AdvertisementEven some police unions supported the verdict, but it’s unclear whether that sentiment was universal when the general practice is to defend officers immediately. The verdict was especially profound and complicated for Black officers, who see the struggles of policing and race in both their work and personal lives.
Colorado supermarket shooting suspect charged with over 40 more felonies
Prosecutors in Colorado have filed over 40 more felony charges against a man charged with killing 10 people at a Boulder supermarket last month, including for allegedly using a large-capacity magazine banned by state lawmakers in response to recent mass shootings. The court document with the new charges, filed Wednesday, lists 19 new victims — including 11 law-enforcement officers — whom Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, is accused of trying to kill during the attack. Investigators have said Alissa legally purchased the Ruger AR-556 pistol, which resembles an AR-15 rifle with a slightly shorter stock. He is accused of using it in the shooting after having passed a background check six days earlier. AdvertisementAlissa’s defense has asked for time to evaluate what it called his “mental illness” but has not offered any details about the condition.
Former Boston police commissioner Paul Evans defends handling of 1995 child molestation charges against Patrick Rose
Acting Mayor Kim Janey on Tuesday released 13 pages of a 105-page file on Rose covering allegations that he abused a 12-year-old child in 1995, when Evans was commissioner. But the outcry has not resolved numerous questions about the case, even after Janey — under growing pressure — ordered the release of portions of Rose’s internal affairs file on Tuesday. The documents revealed that Evans was notified in 1996 about an internal affairs charge against Rose for sexually abusing a minor. “The internal affairs file does not contain anything related to the rationale for sustaining the allegation against former officer Rose or what former Commissioner Evans’ role was in the process. That explanation, however, rang hollow to some familiar with the department’s internal procedures.
Editorial: D.C. pols hold firmly to hypocritical oath
Our elected leaders on Capitol Hill have painted themselves into a hyperpartisan corner, and we’re all the worse for it. “We’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” Waters told reporters. It takes guts to call out your own side, whether it’s against Trump’s rhetoric, Waters’ comments or misbehavior from lawmakers. But leadership isn’t a sport, and constantly scoring points off the other side does nothing to advance the country.
Relics seized from smugglers are returning to Afghanistan
But it controls much of the country outside of Kabul amid stalled talks with the government and the looming withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces after two decades of war. “However, what I know is that our security forces are determined to defend our people,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The government is committed to do its part for peace and stability in a way that would bring durable peace." Germany's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that discussions are underway among military planners with the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Kabul for a possible withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan as early as July 4. President Joe Biden has already said the U.S. would remove all its troops by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that prompted the American invasion to dislodge the Taliban in 2001 for allowing al-Qaida to operate from Afghanistan.
Pipeline tells Black Memphis landowners: sell us the rights to your land or get sued
Since February 2020, the Byhalia Pipeline, a joint venture of Valero and Plains All American Pipeline, has been trying to gain control of part of Johnson-Tutwiler’s land, which is along the route of the proposed 49-mile Byhalia Connection oil pipeline. Johnson-Tutwiler and her sister are among at least 10 south-west Memphis families who have already lost or stand to lose some property rights to Byhalia Pipeline. The company has been trying to buy easements, or rights to pieces of property, from Shelby county landowners since 2020. Developers and the federal government have used eminent domain extensively to take land from Black communities, which contributes to Black land loss and the racial wealth gap. Still, a state blocking oil pipeline developers from using eminent domain is not unprecedented.
'An institutional obligation': Churchill Downs and partners launch Derby equity initiative
In an interview with The Courier Journal, Churchill Downs officials said they took community criticisms to heart. On Thursday, KDF launched the Derby Equity & Community Initiative, which involves adding new events and programs have that would have economic impact across the city. Timothy Findley Jr., who helped organize last year's Derby protest, said he has not spoken to Churchill Downs about the initiative but called it a "bland equity movement." You might like:Could smaller crowds for 2021 Kentucky Derby put a damper on Derby Day side hustles? Findley said he'd like to see Churchill Downs create a "strategic pipeline" through which the company can funnel money and resources into impoverished communities.
Queensland police admit to ‘a failure’ following alleged murder of Kelly Wilkinson
The Queensland police service says Gold Coast woman Kelly Wilkinson repeatedly sought their help in relation to domestic violence in the “weeks and months” before her death. Johnston allegedly murdered Wilkinson by setting her on fire, in front of her three children, nine days later on Tuesday. “It’s important that we examine to what extent it is a systemic failure,” Codd said. Kerry Carrington, a criminologist and expert on gendered violence from the Queensland University of Technology, suggested Wilkinson’s death was preventable. “Our entire approach to domestic violence is reactive and not preventative.
EU preparing legal case against AstraZeneca over vaccine shortfalls
EU governments have told the European Commission they support Brussels’ plan to sue AstraZeneca for failing to hit delivery targets of the coronavirus vaccine. Most of the 27 ambassadors gave the long-expected legal action their backing at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. The commission blames shortfalls in AstraZeneca deliveries for the slow pace of its vaccination rollout, which lags far behind the UK, US and Israel. It has also warned that it will block any exports of the Oxford University jab from the EU until the backlog of hundreds of millions of doses is cleared. AstraZeneca has said it will deliver about 70million doses by the end of the first six months of the year but had pledged to deliver 300million.
8 best climate emergency books that help you to understand the crisis
No one wants to be the bearer of more bad news, but while we’ve all been at home, the climate emergency has not stopped. Read more:We’ve rounded up our eight favourite books to help widen your perspective and deepen your knowledge of where we are now, and where we need to go to fix the climate crisis. Buy now £ 9.24 , Wordery.com {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} ‘The End of Nature’ by Bill McKibben, published by Bloomsbury McKibben’s classic work on the environmental crisis makes a passionate plea for a fundamental philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature. Buy now £ 4.79 , Worldofbooks.com {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} ‘All We Can Save’ by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K Wilkinson, published by Penguin This 2020 collection of essays came at just the right point. For more top reads, look to our review of the best books to help you live more sustainablyIndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust.
South Korean president calls Trump failure who ‘beat around the bush’ on North Korea
South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in has criticised Donald Trump’s efforts to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula and said he “failed” in his diplomacy towards North Korea. The South Korean president helped broker two meetings between Mr Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. Mr Moon urged the US to undertake a “mutually trusted road map” with North Korea. Mr Trump indirectly defended his relationship with Mr Kim during a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity. “I have a great relationship with a certain man that’s got great power over North Korea,” Mr Trump said.
Boris Johnson to warn world leaders not to throw away chance to protect the planet
Boris Johnson will warn world leaders not to “throw away the chance to preserve our planet”, as he joins heads of government from around the globe at an Earth Day summit called by the US president. Unless they “get serious” now about global warming, the current generation of leaders will be remembered for failing to protect the Earth against rising temperatures, the prime minister will say. Because the 2020s will be remembered either as the decade in which world leaders united to turn the tide, or as a failure. Mr Johnson has promised to set out the UK’s net-zero strategy ahead of Cop26. The UK government has also committed £11.6bn in international climate finance to support developing countries over the next five years.
Israel intensifying air war in Syria against Iranian encroachment
Israel has dramatically expanded air strikes on suspected Iranian missile and weapons production centers in Syria to repel what it sees as a stealthy military encroachment by its regional arch-enemy, Western and regional intelligence sources say. Boys look out the window of a building damaged by an Israeli air strike near Damascus airport in Syria in November 2019. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, a former director general of Israeli’s strategic affairs ministry and ex-head of the research wing of Israeli military intelligence. “We want to prevent Iran turning Syria into a Iranian base close to Israel that may bring a drastic strategic change in the situation. Some of the suspected Iranian military research and development (R&D) activities have been disrupted by repeated strikes, satellite images sent to Reuters indicate.
Majority saying no to drinking with bosses, clients
A majority of people in Japan are turning down calls from their superiors or clients for drinking together, a private-sector survey showed. The survey showed that 70.3% of respondents said they turn down such calls from their superiors while 60.2% answered they refuse invitations from clients. The survey showed that 14.3% of respondents answered they reject superiors' calls for drinking together in a determined manner and that 56.0% said they say no in an apologetic tone. Asked about feelings toward superiors and clients who frequently ask for drinking together, 37.5% said they are uncomfortable with losing their private time, accounting for the largest portion of all respondents. This was followed by 24.0% of respondents who said they are not uncomfortable with attending drinking parties as part of their jobs.
Majority of Japanese saying no to drinking with bosses, clients amid pandemic
A majority of people in Japan are turning down calls from their superiors or clients for drinking together, a private-sector survey showed. The survey showed that 70.3% of respondents said they turn down such calls from their superiors while 60.2% answered they refuse invitations from clients. Research firms that carried out the survey said the spread of remote work amid the coronavirus pandemic made it easier to decline such invitations. The survey showed that 14.3% of respondents answered they reject superiors’ calls for drinking together in a determined manner and that 56.0% said they say no in an apologetic tone. This was followed by 24.0% of respondents who said they are not uncomfortable with attending drinking parties as part of their jobs.
Despite ‘comfort women’ ruling, Tokyo-Seoul relations expected to remain tense
Wednesday’s court decision reflects Moon’s stance on Japan ties but it is too early to be optimistic, said Junya Nishino, a political science professor who studies Japan-South Korea relations at Keio University. “My impression was that Wednesday’s court decision was in line with Moon’s remarks at the January news conference,” Nishino said. The South Korean Foreign Ministry refrained from directly commenting on the dismissal but admonished Tokyo to demonstrate a spirit of remorse and self-examination. The judicial decision contradicted a key 1965 pact that was concluded to settle all post-colonial compensation issues, covering both comfort women and wartime labor. The ruling unleashed a subsequent tit-for-tat fracas, with Tokyo tightening controls on exports of certain chemicals to South Korea and Seoul threatening to terminate a military-intelligence sharing pact.
‘Final Battle Still Ahead’: Team Navalny Reacts to Rallies
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s depleted team has vowed to press on with its activities despite billing Wednesday’s mass Russia-wide rallies as the “final battle” before authorities drive them underground as an “extremist” organization. “But now the feeling is that we’ll continue,” his co-host and Navalny’s regional network coordinator Leonid Volkov added. Several Navalny aides and allies have been arrested and convicted for participating in the winter rallies. Other aides, including Zhdanov and Volkov, have fled Russia to avoid prosecution and carry on the team’s work. “It’s obvious that the final battle is still ahead of us,” said Volkov.
U.S. Envoy Sullivan Leaves Russia for Consultations Amid Strained Ties
Moscow advised Sullivan last week to return to Washington for consultations after U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration levied sanctions and diplomatic expulsions against Russia in retaliation to alleged malign activities. The envoy had reportedly refused to leave at first, despite the recommendation from President Vladimir Putin’s top foreign policy aide. The United States’ Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan has left Russia for consultations with Washington on the future of U.S.-Russia ties as tensions between the two powers reach new highs, Interfax reported . Sullivan is taking a connecting flight to the U.S. through London due to the lack of direct flights between Russia and the U.S., Interfax reported. In addition to the Biden administration’s sanctions — which were mirrored with tit-for-tat measures from Moscow — bilateral ties have eroded due to Russian troop buildup near the Ukrainian border and U.S. warnings of consequences if hunger-striking Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny dies in jail.
Biden remarks pour cold water on Seoul’s ‘vaccine swap’ idea
NATIONALPresident Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccinations at the White House on Wednesday in Washington. (AP-Yonhap)South Korea’s hopes of procuring COVID-19 vaccines through a swap arrangement with the US are facing a roadblock, as Washington ruled out sending vaccines overseas until it secures adequate supplies at home.US President Joe Biden made the remarks Wednesday, days after Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong revealed at a parliamentary session that Seoul was seriously discussing a “vaccine swap” arrangement with Washington as Korea scrambled to address its vaccine shortage.“We’re looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using. We’ve got to make sure they are safe to be sent,” Biden said at the White House, as he celebrated the country having administered 200 million COVID-19 vaccinations. We don’t have enough to be confident to send it abroad now. In such a deal, Korea would receive surplus vaccines from the US and repay the country later with vaccines produced by Korean pharmaceutical companies.At the time, the government did not pick up on the idea as the vaccine supply was tight globally.
Biden remarks pour cold water on Seoul’s ‘vaccine swap’ idea
South Korea’s hopes of procuring COVID-19 vaccines through a swap arrangement with the US are facing a roadblock, as Washington ruled out sending vaccines overseas until it secures adequate supplies at home.US President Joe Biden made the remarks Wednesday, days after Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong revealed at a parliamentary session that Seoul was seriously discussing a “vaccine swap” arrangement with Washington as Korea scrambled to address its vaccine shortage.“We’re looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using. We’ve got to make sure they are safe to be sent,” Biden said at the White House, as he celebrated the country having administered 200 million COVID-19 vaccinations. “And we hope to be able to be of some help and value to countries around the world.”On the decision to loan some 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to neighboring Canada, Biden said, “We helped a little bit there, we’re going to try and help some more.“But there’s other countries as well that I’m confident we can help, including in Central America, and so it’s in process. We don’t have enough to be confident to send it abroad now. In such a deal, Korea would receive surplus vaccines from the US and repay the country later with vaccines produced by Korean pharmaceutical companies.At the time, the government did not pick up on the idea as the vaccine supply was tight globally.
Idriss Deby: Chad ruler who held on power, died battling rebels
Former soldier who ruled Chad for more than 30 years had fought off several rebellions and was increasingly seen as silencing opponents. On Tuesday, Chad’s armed forces stunned the nation by announcing that Deby had died from wounds suffered while leading soldiers on the front line against rebels advancing from the north towards the capital, N’Djamena. One of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, Deby governed Chad for more than 30 years. His 37-year-old son, four-star General Mahamat Idriss Deby, will now lead a transitional military council for 18 months before fresh elections are held, the army said. Deby leaves behind his wife Hinda Deby Itno, who he married in 2005, and their children, as well as children from previous marriages.
Longton mum pleads with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene to help her son access lifesaving medication
A Dutch cannabis medicine drastically reduced his fits from up to 300 a day to between none and five. “You will be aware that the law was changed in November 2018 to allow access to medical cannabis under prescription. “The law change raised the hopes of other families with children suffering from similarly extreme forms of epilepsy. “One of those children was able to obtain the medicine after suffering around 510 fits a month - Ben suffered 3,600. Joanne added: “Boris Johnson needs to step in until all these issues can be ironed out for our children.
Biden to recognise Armenian mass killing as ‘genocide’: Report
Sources cautioned that given the importance of bilateral ties with Turkey, Biden may still choose not to use the term at the last minute. “Today, we remember the atrocities faced by the Armenian people in the Metz Yeghern — the Armenian Genocide. If elected, I pledge to support a resolution recognising the Armenian Genocide and will make universal human rights a top priority,” he said on Twitter at the time. For decades, measures recognising the Armenian genocide stalled in the US Congress and US presidents have refrained from calling it that, stymied by concerns about relations with Turkey and intense lobbying by Ankara. Any move by Biden to recognise the mass killings as a genocide will further harm already strained ties between the NATO allies, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.
Up From Sweatshops
Up From Sweatshops Up From Sweatshops For decades, economists have promoted low-wage textile industry as the best way for poor countries to build a manufacturing base. Today, a number of East African countries, including Ethiopia and Kenya, are attempting to follow that path. So how are Ethiopian workers faring? The current development efforts in East Africa have been shaped with knowledge of this checkered history. Farmers weren’t getting the credit or machinery they needed, even though their yields would have strengthened the supply of raw materials for their countries’ industrial efforts.
Joe Manchin Mocked Bernie’s $15 Minimum Wage Bill at Lobbyist Event
The organization has been leading the charge to block a federal $15 minimum wage and is also fighting a separate Democratic effort to make it easier for workers to form unions. During his talk, Manchin specifically took aim at Sanders for continuing to push for a $15 minimum wage. “We’ve been having meetings on minimum wage, and I can’t for the life of me understand why they don’t take a win on $11,” he said. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, and the subminimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13. West Virginia has an $8.75 minimum wage, with a $2.62 tipped wage.
Cold as ICE: North Jersey Counties Rake in Millions from the Feds While Holding Immigrant Detainees in Subhuman Conditions
On March 6, 2020, Marcial Morales was sent to the Essex County Jail in Newark, New Jersey to await deportation proceedings. Inside-Outside“Honk 4 ICE Detainees!”: Protesters outside of Bergen County Jail on a March afternoon. In December, police kettled and attacked protesters outside the Bergen jail, and more than a dozen people were arrested. Vergara, who organized a hunger strike at the Hudson jail in December, was kept on suicide watch for a week as retribution. A federal inspection that found conditions at Essex County Jail to be so bad that even the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security condemned it.
Just 3 Democrats Stand in the Way of the PRO Act Coming to the Senate Floor for a Vote
And now just three Democratic senators stand in the way of it coming to the Senate floor for a vote. King’s office was reportedly ?“inundated” with phone calls about the PRO Act in the weeks before he decided to change course, as was Manchin’s. Winning Kelly’s support for the PRO Act is considered especially crucial, since it is widely believed Sinema won’t get on board before he does. Well aware of these obstacles, the coalition to pass the PRO Act is preparing to ramp up the pressure. ?“Our coalition will continue to mobilize the working class in this country to fight for the PRO Act.”
The Saudi Lobby Moves From K Street to Main Street
From Maine to Iowa to Alaska, the Saudi ambassador began a campaign of courting Main Street America. Later in October, the princess would speak to more than 50 local business leaders at the Alaska World Affairs Council. Ambassador Bandar Al-Saud’s road show would only sweep on, right past the election and inauguration of President Joe Biden. Despite appearances, such events weren’t the product of meticulous planning by Saudi diplomats or Ambassador Bandar Al-Saud herself. By enlisting trusted community members across the United States to help peddle the best possible version of the Kingdom, the Saudi lobby has given its brand a homegrown, American-as-apple-pie shine.
Neoliberal State Failure Is Slowing Down Vaccine Distribution
It is indeed capitalism, or more specifically, forty years of neoliberal hollowing out of state capacity, but this is what is responsible for the great vaccine failure, not success. Where there has been success, it is where there has been a partial or temporary reversal of this process of deterioration of state capacity, at least for this sector, or in locations where the fragilization of state capacity never fully took hold. But Trudeau was the sixth successive prime minister to ignore expert warnings over domestic vaccine supply, including three Tories. And yet neoliberal hollowing out of state capacity has affected these two nations as much as any other Western country. Instead, we should look to these countries’ maintenance and even enhancement of state capacity to explain their success.
These Attacks on Maxine Waters Reveal the Grifter Politics of Republican Dog-Whistlers
Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! For more from The Nation, check out our latest issueSubscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! House minority leader Kevin McCarthy claims that “the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln…not nativist dog whistles.”Liar. “This weekend in Minnesota, Maxine Waters broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence,” claimed McCarthy. An interviewer asked, “What should protesters do?”“Well,” said Waters, “we’ve got to stay on the street.
Fritz Mondale and Decency
Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! For more from The Nation, check out our latest issueSubscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Back in 1976, Jimmy Carter’s consigliere, Charlie Kirbo, was delegated to vet the president-elect’s choices for the vice presidency. Every vice president since Mondale has had a desk down the hall from the Oval Office. Democrats probably regretted the elevation of the vice presidency only once, when George W. Bush made Dick Cheney an über vice president.
Pulling Down the World’s Walls: A Conversation With Harsha Walia
What borders do, Walia suggests, is theatrically deflect attention from whatever rot, hatred, or suffering is happening between the walls themselves, obscuring the source of a political shake-up. And while the world’s many walls may not be pulled down soon, Walia’s project clearly aims to do exactly that. HW: I don’t think they are necessarily always contradictory. I don’t think we can have an anti-war movement that isn’t connected with migration. I don’t think we can have an anti-capitalist movement that doesn’t tend with migration.
U.K. Conservative Party government report: ‘Institutional racism’ doesn’t exist
A report commissioned by his government on race declared institutional racism doesn't exist and tried to sanitize the experience of colonial slavery. | Stefan Rousseau / Pool via APLONDON—United Nations experts slammed the recent race report commissioned by Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party government in the U.K., warning that it attempts to “normalize white supremacy.”The U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said it “categorically rejects and condemns” the findings of Johnson’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED). “It’s about time that the government acknowledged the responses to the report and withdrew it. 10 Downing Street office said the U.N. group “misrepresents the findings” of the CRED report.
Selective Service Repeal Act introduced in Congress
| Charles Tasnadi / APThe Selective Service Repeal Act of 2021 (H.R. If passed, it would end draft registration and abolish the Selective Service System altogether. The Selective Service Repeal Act would repeal the Military Selective Service Act in its entirety and eliminate the presidential authority to order registration for a military draft. The same day the Selective Service Repeal Act was introduced in Congress, the Biden administration filed its brief in the Supreme Court asking the court not to consider a case challenging the constitutionality of the current Selective Service registration requirement. Urge them to co-sponsor the Selective Service Repeal Act (H.R.
This Is What Passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Would Mean For America
Image Source: Getty / Elijah NouvelageAfter a year of unrest, on April 20, a Minnesota jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all charges in the murder of George Floyd. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a step toward real reform. Their lives must be valued in our education system, in our healthcare system, in our housing system, in our economic system, in our criminal justice system." "The United States House of Representatives has twice passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act," Bass said in a tweet on the day of the verdict. After generations of police brutality and violence, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would establish a framework in America to prohibit racial profiling, increase measures holding law enforcement accountable for misconduct, and create a more transparent system in which discriminatory policing practices are eliminated.
Why Biden still hasn’t raised the refugee cap
The White House has framed Biden’s failure to act on his promises to increase refugee admissions so far as the result of a scarcity of resources and manpower at refugee agencies that were hollowed out by the previous administration. But it seems as though the arrival of record numbers of unaccompanied children at the southern border and Republicans’ efforts to label it a “Biden border crisis” may have also stymied momentum on refugee issues, which were once a bipartisan priority. Trump succeeded in politicizing the once-bipartisan refugee programPractical concerns weren’t the only factor in Biden’s decision not to immediately increase the refugee cap. Even in previous Republican administrations seeking to curtail immigration, no one ever set the cap on refugee admissions as low as Trump did. Despite the fact that the refugee admissions program and the asylum system are separate, the Biden administration has still used conditions at the border to justify maintaining Trump’s refugee cap, echoing some of the Trump administration’s talking points.
Now that Derek Chauvin has been convicted, here’s what happens next
After a year of protests, anguish, and a weekslong trial, former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murdering George Floyd. Shortly after Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict and verified that each of the jurors supported Chauvin’s three convictions, the judge announced that he would sentence Chauvin in eight weeks. That’s because, while Chauvin was convicted of three separate offenses, he did not commit three separate criminal acts. Because Chauvin has no prior criminal conviction, his “criminal history score” under the state sentencing guidelines is zero. This warning is all the more true today, and it’s especially true in the Chauvin trial, a case that inspired months of protests in cities across the nation.
Delhi High Court Dissolves WhatsApp, Facebook Pleas Against CCI Probe
The Delhi High Court has pronounced a verdict on pleas by Facebook and WhatsApp challenging competition regulator CCI's order directing a probe into the the popular messaging platform's new privacy policy. Justice Navin Chawla rejected Facebook Inc and its subsidiary WhatsApp's challenge, claiming to find no merit in it and refused to revoke the CCI probe. The sigle judge bench of Justice Chawla had earlier reserved its verdict after receiving two separate petitions by Facebook and WhatsApp. #Breaking: Delhi High Court refuses to quash/set aside Competition Commission of India order directing investigation against WhatsApp, Facebook in relation to the messaging platform's privacy policy of 2021. Facebook and WhatsApp had also told the court that private conversations continued to be protected by end-to-end encryption and WhatsApp cannot read what people message each other.
The Trump Administration Paid Millions for Test Tubes — and Got Unusable Mini Soda Bottles
Since May, the Trump administration has paid a fledgling Texas company $7.3 million for test tubes needed in tracking the spread of the coronavirus nationwide. Officials in New York, New Jersey, Texas and New Mexico confirmed they can’t use the Fillakit tubes. Fillakit owner Paul Wexler acknowledged that the tubes are normally used for soda bottles but otherwise declined to comment. In at least one state, the shipment of unusable Fillakit tubes contributed to delays in rolling out widespread testing. Typically, test tubes are individually packaged to guard against contamination.
The Atlantic Daily: Questions About the Future of Policing Remain Unresolved
Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. A jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd. The conviction of the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is a win for justice, our staff writer David A. Graham says. Our contributing writer Ibram X. Kendi explains: “For Black and brown people, this is the terror of American policing. When we do not comply, we die like Daunte Wright did.
There Will Be More Derek Chauvins
Police are rarely fired, let alone criminally convicted, for the use of force. Chauvin’s nonchalance in the video as Floyd begs for his life, and the apparent inaction of the officers around him, represent more than individual indifference to human life. The doctrine of qualified immunity means that officers are very rarely liable in civil court for violations of Americans’ constitutional rights. It might have simply been another in the hundreds of incidents in which officers in Minnesota used neck restraints on suspects. Many Americans want police to “rough up” those considered to be criminals or proximate to criminality—an expectation that has persisted for generations.
The Justice Department Will Investigate Policing In Minneapolis After George Floyd's Murder
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is launching a federal investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday, one day after a jury found former city police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. The verdict in Chauvin’s case “does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis,” Garland said. The Minneapolis Police Department released a statement saying that Chief Medaria Arradondo "welcomes this investigation" and that the department would "cooperate fully." There’s a long history of these types of “pattern or practice” investigations by the Justice Department into police departments accused of civil rights violations, and they ramped up under the Obama administration. Garland's announcement "sends a message that the Department of Justice is going to be doing more of these investigations," Smith said.
Neo-Nazis And White Supremacists Are Coding Their Language On Telegram To Recruit More People
And it looks as though it may be working, according to a BuzzFeed News review of 22 Telegram channels and chats with a combined tens of thousands of followers. On Telegram, he added, “really hardcore extremists have the home-field advantage.”Telegram has long been a haven for violent neo-Nazis and white supremacists. In big white block letters, it reads, “WHITE LIVES MATTER.” The post calls for white Americans in cities across the country to flood the streets in simultaneous rallies. The extremist groups behind the “white lives matter” rallies aren’t treating them as a defeat. They are using the flop and the fact that they were outnumbered by antifascist activists to bolster their argument that white lives are under attack.
The Infamous "SoHo Scammer" Anna Delvey Is Out Of Prison, But Could Be Deported
In 2019, infamous "SoHo Scammer" Anna "Delvey" Sorokin was sentenced to four years in prison. “The thing is, I’m not sorry,” she claimed in 2019 after she was sentenced, per The New York Times. Authorities arrested Sorokin several months later and charged her with grand larceny, theft of services, and several other charges. Sorokin was ultimately found guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny, and one count of attempted grand larceny. Per Insider, Sorokin was working on a book about her experiences in prison and a project called “Anna Delvey TV” before she was taken into ICE custody.
Stephen Miller’s attack on Biden’s immigration policy
Story continues below advertisementJorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council, said the outlier was the Trump administration. The total number of detainers ICE issued. “ICE has issued 48,662 immigration detainers for fiscal year 2021, as of Apr. For the first two weeks of April, ICE arrests totaled 914. We will withhold a rating for Miller’s claim that the Biden administration is not issuing “the vast majority” of possible detainers.
Klacik to LeBron James: Can’t support Biden, a 1994 Crime Bill author, and complain about police brutality
James posted a photo of the officer on Twitter and wrote, "You’re next. Many on social media took the comment as a direct threat against the officer and James eventually removed the post. You can’t support the 1994 Crime Bill author & complain about police brutality, it’s one in the same." Klacik was referring to President Biden’s role in writing a Bill Clinton-era bill that critics say contributed to the mass incarceration of racial minorities in recent decades. During the campaign, Biden called his support of the bill, while a U.S. senator from Delaware, a "mistake" but defended some parts of the legislation.
Wisconsin suspect charged with 3 counts of murder after tavern shooting: report
A suspect who was arrested in connection with last weekend’s shooting deaths at a Wisconsin tavern was formally charged with three counts of murder Wednesday, according to a report. Vinson also is accused of attempted murder in the shooting and wounding of three other men, the report said. "Substantial video evidence" plus witness accounts point to Vinson as the gunman, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said, according to the News. Defense attorney Kristyne Watson asserted there were indications in the criminal complaint to suggest Vinson fired in self-defense, according to the report. Vinson was arrested Sunday, hours after the shooting, the News reported.
More than 1,000 arrested at pro-Navalny protests in Russia as demonstrators defy ban
Law enforcement officers detain a participant in an unauthorized rally held by supporters of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny in Sennaya Square. Alexander Demianchuk | TASS | Getty ImagesMore than 1,000 people have been arrested in Russia after attending unauthorized protests in support of the jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny. Supporters of opposition activist Navalny take part in an unsanctioned rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny, in Moscow, Russia on April 21, 2021. Supporters of opposition activist Navalny take part in an unsanctioned rally in Tverskaya Street. Law enforcement officers detain a participant in an unauthorized rally held by supporters of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny in St Petersburg.
France warns Russia of sanctions if Kremlin critic Navalny dies
REUTERS/Maxim ShemetovFrance's foreign minister told Russia on Thursday that the European Union would hold President Vladimir Putin and Russian authorities responsible if hunger-striking Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny died and said the bloc would impose new sanctions. "This relentless attack on Navalny is unbearable," Jean-Yves Le Drian told France 2 television. "We will take the necessary sanctions and it will be the responsibility of Mr Putin and the Russian authorities. I hope we won't go to that extreme," Le Drian said in response to a question on how Europe would react if Navalny were to die. "He (Putin) is an awkward neighbour ... sometimes dangerous, but he is still there so we need to continue to talk," Le Drian said.
Derek Chauvin placed in solitary confinement at max security prison in Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Corrections released the mugshot of Derek Chauvin following his transfer to a maximum-security prison (Minnesota Department of Corrections)Derek Chauvin has been placed in solitary confinement at a maximum-security prison in Minnesota after a jury convicted him of the murder of George Floyd. The New York Times reported that Chauvin is being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, located just east of the state capital of St. Paul. Chauvin’s new mugshot was released by the Minnesota Department of Corrections after the former police officer was found guilty on all three counts he faced by a 12-person jury on Tuesday. The 45-year-old was led away from the courtroom in Minneapolis in handcuffs after he was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. In Chauvin’s case, this would be second-degree murder, which carries a maximum 40-year sentence.
Biden expected to recognize massacre of Armenians as genocide: sources
Biden is likely going to use the word "genocide" as part of a statement on April 24 when annual commemorations for the victims are held around the world, three sources familiar with the matter said. Sources cautioned that given the importance of bilateral ties with Turkey, Biden may still choose not to use the term at the last minute. "Today, we remember the atrocities faced by the Armenian people in the Metz Yeghern — the Armenian Genocide. If elected, I pledge to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and will make universal human rights a top priority," he said on Twitter at the time. Any move by Biden to recognize the mass killings as a genocide will further harm already strained ties between the NATO allies, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.
Biden offers tax credits for COVID-19 vaccination paid time off
By Trevor HunnicuttWASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced tax credits for certain businesses that pay employees who take time off to get COVID-19 shots, a new effort to involve corporate America in his vaccination campaign. The tax credits will apply to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, he said. "Today we hit 200 million shots," Biden said. Biden said the vaccine effort is entering a new phase with everyone over age 16 becoming eligible to be vaccinated. The tax credits were authorized under Democratic-backed COVID-19 pandemic relief legislation passed by Congress and signed by Biden over Republican opposition.
Biden announces tax credit so workers can get paid time off to be vaccinated
WASHINGTON — President Biden on Wednesday called for employers to provide workers with paid time off for coronavirus vaccination, holding out as enticement a federal tax credit program that would reimburse such outlays by business owners. Vice President Kamala Harris and White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients listen on Wednesday as President Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccinations. The issue of paid leave has been a contentious one since the pandemic began. Democrats have pushed paid leave as both a compassionate and a scientifically sensible policy, while Republicans have complained that it is too expensive. There were already funds for paid leave tax credits in Biden’s coronavirus relief package, and the tax credit announced on Wednesday will come from that $1.9 trillion measure.
Mexico cartel used explosive drones to attack police
Roads leading to the city of Aguililla had been blocked by the drugs cartelSuspected criminals in Mexico have used drones to drop explosives on police, injuring two officers. Officials think the powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) is behind Tuesday's attack in the western state of Michoacán. The drones are thought to be the latest weapons in a deadly war between the drugs cartel and the security forces and vigilantes opposed to them. New weapon in a deadly fightNot much detail has been released about Tuesday's attack but local media said two drones had been used. It is believed they were rigged in a similar way to the two drones that were found in the car boot of suspected cartel members.
Syrian missile lands deep inside Israel, triggering retaliatory airstrike
A Syrian anti-aircraft missile landed in southern Israel early Thursday, setting off air-raid sirens near the country’s top-secret nuclear reactor, the Israeli military said. Israeli media later described the Syrian missile as an “errant” projectile, not a deliberate attack deep inside Israel. Such strikes routinely draw Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Syrian media made no mention of an anti-aircraft missile landing deep inside Israel. That could suggest that the Syrian missile had targeted Israeli warplanes but missed and flew off errantly.
Fifth of UK Covid contracts ‘raised red flags for possible corruption’
One in five government Covid contracts awarded between February and November 2020 contained one or more red flags for possible corruption and require urgent further investigation, a respected campaign group has warned. The group said it had identified 73 Covid-related contracts with multiple factors that would ordinarily be treated as red flags for possible corruption, such as the company being politically connected. The group said it had also identified £255m of contracts awarded to companies that had only been incorporated within the previous 60 days. “Fine, you have to triage [bids for PPE contracts],” he said. “The priority list [VIP lane] was widely advertised across government as a way of more quickly triaging offers of support.”
Indonesia continues search for missing submarine carrying 53 people
Hope is fading for the 53 crew members on a missing Indonesian submarine, as the search for the vessel continues off the coast of Bali. Frank Owen, a submarine rescue expert, told the Guardian that this particular vessel was only designed to dive to a depth of less than half that. I am very concerned by reports regarding an Indonesian submarine, KRI Nanggala, that is missing off the coast of Bali. “The news of the missing submarine is deeply concerning. There is no question that submarine search and rescue is very complex.
World leaders have not started discussing how climate change targets will impact people's lives, admits UN
World leaders have not even started discussing how climate change targets will impact people's everyday lives, the United Nations (UN) has admitted. To mark Earth Day, 40 world leaders will meet at a summit in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday to discuss the global commitment to reduce carbon emissions. The talks might see 2015's Paris climate agreement - where it was agreed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius - beefed up given temperatures have actually increased. But the UN has admitted that the world leaders have not even discussed what it means for the public going about their lives. Although optimistic of hitting long term global warming goals, Ms Espinosa conceded it was a concern that no conversation has taken place about what it will mean for people's lifestyles.
US hosts 40 leaders at climate summit
The Trump years marked a new low in US relations with the global community on the issue of climate change. One of President Biden's first acts on the day of his inauguration was to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, which his predecessor had castigated as "unfair" when he announced the US would leave pact in 2017. But the perception that the US has been an unreliable partner on climate change does not just rest with Donald Trump. Former UN climate chief Yvo de Boer, who ran global climate talks between 2006-2010, had this scathing assessment of the US. “Then Obama signed the Paris Agreement, and Trump walked away.
Over 1,700 detained at pro-Navalny rallies across Russia
In Russia, participation in unauthorised demonstrations can lead to a fine or several days in jailAdvertising Read moreMoscow (AFP)More than 1,700 people were detained by police at rallies in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in dozens of cities across Russia, an independent monitor reported on Thursday. In Russia, participation in unauthorised demonstrations can lead to a fine or several days in jail. She was given a 10-day stint behind bars for calling on people to join unauthorised rallies. Wednesday's rallies did not match in size those held in the winter when Navalny was arrested after returning to Russia from Germany. Tens of thousands took to the streets despite freezing temperatures while more than 11,000 people were detained.
China warns of 'serious harm' to relations as Australia scraps BRI deal
Australia overruled Victoria state's decision to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) -- the flagship of President Xi Jinping's geostrategic vision for the Asia-Pacific region -- saying the agreement was inconsistent with Australia's foreign policy. Australia last year enacted new powers -- widely seen as targeting China -- that allow it to scrap any agreements between state authorities and foreign countries deemed to threaten the national interest. Dutton said he would be "very disappointed" if China retaliated but retorted that Australia "won't be bullied by anyone". "We are going to stand up for what we believe in and that's exactly what we've done here," he said. Other agreements between foreign powers and local governments are still under consideration, and Canberra could yet target the presence of Chinese government-backed Confucius Institutes at Australia's public universities.
Hong Kong journalist convicted over public database searches
Bao Choy's case has deepened media freedom fears as Beijing has moved to stamp out dissent in Hong KongAdvertising Read moreHong Kong (AFP)An award-winning Hong Kong journalist was found guilty on Thursday of improperly searching a public vehicle licence database to help track down the perpetrators of an attack on democracy supporters by government loyalists. "Members of the public do not have an absolute right to obtain any document under this ordinance," magistrate Ivy Chui said. The database searches were made for an RTHK documentary last year called "Who Owns The Truth?" RTHK used footage from witnesses and security cameras -- as well as number plate searches and interviews -- to piece together events. Hong Kong maintains a publicly-accessible licence plate database long used by journalists, including pro-Beijing news outlets.
UN Official: May be 'Many Months' Before Full Scale of Tigray Rapes Known
A senior United Nations official says that it may be many months before the full scale and magnitude of atrocities being committed against women and girls in Ethiopia's Tigray region is known, as more reports of sexual violence emerge from the conflict zone. "It is therefore desirable that the terms of reference be promptly finalized and the joint team deployed without further delay and have full and unimpeded access throughout the Tigray region in the conduct of the investigation." The special representative said her office has received reports from "multiple and credible sources" about vicious attacks on women and girls. "These reports may only be the tip of the iceberg, as sexual violence is always chronically underreported," she added. Patten said there are other indicators that sexual violence is being deployed on a large scale.
Why Climate Change is Driving Some to Skip Having Kids
Why Climate Change is Driving Some to Skip Having Kids A new study finds that overconsumption, overpopulation and uncertainty about the future are among the top concerns of those who say climate change is affecting their reproductive decision-making. For a growing number of people, climate change is also being added to the list of considerations, says a University of Arizona researcher. They then sought out adults ages 18 to 35 who said climate change plays an important role in their reproductive decision-making. Understanding how climate change affects reproductive decision-making is part of a larger effort by Helm and other researchers to understand how climate change is impacting individuals mentally and emotionally overall. It all ties into this bigger topic of how climate change affects people beyond the immediate effect of weather phenomena."
Did the tumultuous 2020 change House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? 'I'm a strong person,' she says
Nancy Pelosi proved to be a moving target. When I began working on a biography of the House speaker two years ago, the deadline to my publisher was Labor Day 2020, with an extension carved out to submit a final chapter right after Election Day. 'Madam Speaker':Susan Page's new Nancy Pelosi biography examines the singular politicianFrom 'creepy' to dangerousPelosi was long accustomed to being at the center of the news. “She knows what her mission is.”As it turned out, the unprecedented events of 2020 didn’t change Pelosi. Susan Page, the Washington Bureau chief of USA TODAY, is the author of "Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power," published by Twelve on April 20.
Rep. Taylor Greene wants to debate Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Green New Deal
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took to Twitter late Wednesday to continue her push for a debate with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the contentious Green New Deal. Republican said policies like the Green New Deal would lead other countries to depend on nations like China and Russia. TAYLOR GREENE CALLS FOR REP. WATERS' EXPULSION"I’m glad I ran into you today @AOC to plan our debate about the Green New Deal," the Georgia Republican posted. Taylor Greene had been calling on Ocasio-Cortez to debate her for a while.
Caitlyn Jenner mulls challenge to California's Newsom despite spotty voting history: report
Gavin Newsom in his almost certain recall election this fall -- despite Jenner having a spotty voting history, according to a report. She also reportedly didn’t vote in California’s 2003 gubernatorial recall election that replaced Democrat Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Records also show Jenner didn't vote in the presidential primary or the general election in 2016, although she has claimed she voted for Donald Trump in 2016, Politico reported. Schwarzenegger’s own spotty voting record, however, didn’t hurt his campaign at the time, the outlet noted. Other Republicans considering a run against Newsom include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018.
Oklahoma Second Amendment 'sanctuary state' bill heads to governor's desk
A bill that would designate Oklahoma as a Second Amendment "sanctuary state" headed to Gov. "Senate Bill 631 ensures that the State Legislature will protect the unalienable right of Oklahomans to keep and bear arms as guaranteed to them by the Second Amendment," state Rep. Sean Roberts, who co-authored the bill with state Sen. Warren Hamilton, said, according to KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City. The "Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act" passed through the House on Tuesday on a 78-17 vote after moving through the state Senate on a 38-8 vote. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPConner Alford, a chapter coordinator of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, told KTEN-TV in Ada, Okla., "If the federal law violates the Second Amendment by taking firearms, then it is not going to take precedent over state law," he said. "It does become the state's job to step in ... simply to protect the rule of law."