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The Serious Side - part 7

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Post by annemarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 15:05

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7395213/Donald-Trump-denies-report-wanted-drop-nuclear-bombs-stop-hurricanes.html

[size=34]'I never said this!' Donald Trump denies report that he wanted to drop nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes – in tweet that goes out while he's on camera with Angela Merkel[/size]


  • Donald Trump blasted a report that he asked if nuclear bombs can be used to stop hurricanes as 'fake news,' adding 'I never said this'

  • The tweet criticizing the story came while the president, participating in the G7 summit, was in a televised meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel 

  • Trump often dictates tweets to staff to send from his account

  • Axios reporter Jonathan Swan defended his story as accurate 

  • Trump was reacting to a report from Axios that claimed the president asked if nuclear bombs can be dropped on hurricanes to stop their formation

  • The idea was to dissipate the storm before it hit the US coast 

  • People who heard the president's question were said to have been flummoxed  


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 07:42 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:01 EDT, 26 August 2019

     





Donald Trump on Monday blasted a report that he asked if nuclear bombs can be used to stop hurricanes as 'fake news,' adding 'I never said this.'
The tweet criticizing a story from Axios came while the president, participating in the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, was in a televised meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
'The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!,' it read.
President Trump often dictates tweets to staff to send from his account. 
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Donald Trump on Monday blasted a report that he asked if nuclear bombs can be used to stop hurricanes as 'fake news,' adding 'I never said this.'
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The president, who spent much of the G7 criticizing the press for their coverage of the gathering of world leaders, also expressed his displeasure with a report from Axios that cited sources who claimed Trump asked senior Homeland Security and national security officials if they could explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from making landfall in the U.S.

Jonathan Swan, the Axios reporter who wrote the story, responded to Trump's denial, saying he stood by every word in his report.
'I stand by every word in the story. He said this in at least two meetings during the first year and a bit of the presidency, and one of the conversations was memorialized,' Swan wrote on Twitter. 
Three major hurricanes - Harvey, Irma, and Maria - hit the United States and its territories during Trump's first year in office and caused more than $2 billion in damage. 
The president visited Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas to view the fallout. 
The report on the president's request also comes as officials at the National Hurricane Center are watching Tropical Storm Dorian in the Caribbean, which could intensify to near hurricane strength by Tuesday. 
During an unspecified briefing on hurricanes that took place at the White House, Axios reported, Trump told officials: 'I got it. I got it. Why don't we nuke them?' 
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President Trump and first lady Melania Trump in Puerto Rico in October 2017 to view the damage from Hurricane Maria
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President Trump and Melania Trump in route to Texas in August 2017 to be briefed on the damage from Hurricane Harvey
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President Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Florida in September 2017, being briefed on damage from Hurricane Irma
The report comes from unnamed sources who both heard Trump's remarks and were briefed on a 2017 National Security Council memorandum that recorded the president's comments.
'They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they're moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that?' the source told Axios, paraphrasing the president's remarks. 
But his bomb the hurricanes proposal went no where even as the president was reported to be keen on the idea of figuring out a way to stop hurricanes before they made landfall in the U.S.
Officials were said to be shocked at the bombing suggestion. 
'You could hear a gnat fart in that meeting,' the source told Axios. 'People were astonished. After the meeting ended, we thought, 'What the f**k? What do we do with this?''
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A map of then Tropic Storm Harvey shortly before it hit hurricane status and made landfall in Texas in 2017
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The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has said that nuking a hurricane is 'not a good idea' because it may not change the hurricane's path and the radioactive fallout would hit American shores causing 'devastating environmental problems' (file images) 


It's unclear where Trump might've found inspiration for the desire to use bombs against hurricanes, although it is a popular enough theory that the government's own National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has had to create a whole FAQabout it under the 'Tropical Cyclones Myths' category.
As the NOAA points out, dropping a nuclear bomb on a hurricane is 'not a good idea' seeing as how 'this might not even alter the storm.' 
But, more importantly, the organization says that 'the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems.' 
One administration official defended Trump's idea to Axios, saying: 'His goal — to keep a catastrophic hurricane from hitting the mainland — is not bad. His objective is not bad.' 
Hurricanes, the most violent storms on earth, form over oceans and are fueled by the heat from tropical waters, according to the NOAA.
They begin as a tropical storm and have rise to wind speeds of 74 mph to reach the hurricane classification. 
The president has had to deal with several hurricanes during his tenure.
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in October 2017 and Trump is still dealing with the fallout there as officials on the island complain he has not done enough to help their recovery.
It cause $91.6 billion in damage to the Caribbean.  
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and caused $125 billion in damage. 
Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since 2005.
In September of that year, Hurricane Irma caused more than $50 billion damage in Florida.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 15:07

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7395247/Trump-announces-2020-G7-summit-happen-near-Florida-golf-club-hints-Putin-invite.html

[size=34]We'll have it in Doral! U.S. president announces 2020 G7 summit will happen near his Florida golf course and says it's his 'inclination' to invite exiled member Vladimir Putin[/size]


  • Donald Trump says he's likely to host next year's G7 summit in Florida 

  • He told reporters it will 'probably be in Miami, right next to the international airport' in 2020 when it's his turn to host the elite conference 

  • Asked if he'll have it at Trump National Doral Miami, he said, 'We'll see' 

  • He proceeded to link the two locations together, saying it was all but certain it would be in Miami, Doral, for visiting leaders' ease

  • Suggested he'd invite Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was exiled from the group in 2014 over his nation's invasion of Crimea


By FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM IN BIARRITZ, FRANCE
PUBLISHED: 09:23 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:37 EDT, 26 August 2019

     




Donald Trump says he's likely to host the 2020 G7 summit in Florida, at or near his Doral golf club, for visiting leaders' ease.
Trump told reporters traveling with him in France that the summit will 'probably be in Miami, right next to the international airport' when it's his turn to host the elite conference.
He said it would take 'hours and hours of driving to get to certain locations,' so he's leaning toward the state he considers a second home.
Asked if he's planning to host visiting leaders at Trump National Doral Miami, he said, 'We'll see.'

But he proceeded to link the two locations together, saying it was all but certain it would be in Miami, Doral. 'This is something where you'll be there, in literally a matter of minutes after they land. I think they'd appreciate that.'
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Donald Trump says he's likely to host the 2020 G7 summit in Florida , at or near his Doral golf club, for visiting leaders' ease. He made the comments from France on the final day of the current gathering
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Asked directly if he's planning to host visiting leaders at Trump National Doral Miami, he said, 'We'll see'
Trump also promised he would have no 'surprise' guests at his summit - reacting to the Iranian foreign minister's unscheduled visit to Biarritz. He suggested he'd openly invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the gathering he suspended from attending in 2014.
'I think that Russia, we had a talk about Russia, my inclination is to say yes. Some people disagree with me,' he acknowledged. 'I think it's advantageous.'
Trump claimed Sunday that a 'number of people would like to see Russia back' in the Group of Seven. He said it is 'certainly possible' Putin would be invited.
The U.S. president claimed from an ongoing G7 summit that a 'lively discussion' had taken place and 'some' leaders had said they'd like to readmit Russia to the group.
In a bilateral with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the U.S. president said: 'We have a number of people who would like to see Russia back. 
'I think it would be advantageous to many things in the world. I think it would be a positive. Other people agree with me, and it’s something that we’re discussing.'
Trump added, 'I don’t know if we’ll make a decision one way or the other, but we did have a discussion about Russia last night, as to whether or not we want to invite them back.'
'Other people agree with me, and some people don’t necessarily agree,' he said. 'Maybe we won't. Maybe we’ll just leave it the way it is.'  
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GOOD ONE, DONALD: Trump said Sunday that 'some' leaders favor adding Putin.  He refused to tell reporters which ones were pulling for Moscow privately
It was not clear who Trump meant when he said that some leaders were siding with him. He declined to reveal additional details of the private talks to his press pool.
'I could, but I don’t think it’s necessary,' he asserted in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
But he said he was surprised by a 'couple' of the voices speaking up in support of the proposition, because he didn't think 'they have a good relationship' with Moscow. 
'No decision. No decision's been made. We didn't do a vote or anything,' he said of the conversations about next year's summit.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told DailyMail.com later, at the U.S. press filing center, that Trump had not decided whether to invite Putin to the gathering that will be held next year in the United States.
'There are areas of the world that we have shared interest that are important. They’re obviously a big nuclear power. We’re interested in other arms control with them,' he said. 'But there are issues as to why perhaps we don’t want them at the table. So the president hasn’t made any decisions.'
Mnuchin said he was not present for the conversation that Trump was referring to. 
Heads of government dined privately on Saturday evening at the Biarritz Lighthouse.
'I wasn’t in that discussion, so I can’t say literally what happened in it. I can tell you the president has not made a decision one way another about next year,' he said. 
He added, 'My understanding, speaking to the president, there’s a lot of reason to why it would be important to have Russia sitting there.' 
Hedging, he acknowledged there also reasons not to invite Putin to come to America in 2020. 
The president is up next year for reelection, and his ties to Moscow will be an easy Democratic target.
Trump revealed that G7 leaders had a 'lively discussion' about Russia in a breakfast with the UK's Boris Johnson.
Asked if they talked about Putin, and whether he'd be invited to attend next year's gathering, which will be held in the United States, on Sunday morning, Trump said they did. 
'That, I don't know. We did discuss it,' he said, adding that it's 'certainly possible' that Putin could be invited. 
Trump said then that a 'lively' and 'really good' discussion took place, with Johnson adding: 'It was lively.' 
The UK prime minister did not confront Trump in the meeting, but he'd said head of the summit that Russia should not be readmitted. He cited the occupation of Ukraine and the poisoning of a former double agent living in England. 
Officials from Canada and France had also said no to Russia rejoining. Putin will not be welcome until Russia vacates the Crimean Peninsula, the nations say.
The only other G7 leader who's publicly supported Trump's position is the Italian prime minster, and he's a lame duck now that he's resigned.
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U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson hold a bilateral meeting during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France. U.S. Ambassador to France Jamie McCourt sits next to POTUS on his right, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sits to his left
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Donald Trump was disappointed with his coverage the first day of the summit. He complained about alleged 'fake news' in a series of tweets on Sunday morning
[size=10][size=18]Trump: 'Johnson needs no advice he is the right man for the job'




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Trump on several occasions on Sunday presented rosier scenario than other leaders about the discussions that took place in private talks. 
Trump also claimed he wasn't getting push back on his escalating dispute with China from fellow heads of state attending the summit.
'No. Not at all. I haven’t heard that at all, no. I think they respect the trade war,' he'd claimed. 'So, the answer is, nobody has told me that, and nobody would tell me that.' 
Johnson told him minutes later, on camera, he should scale the tariffs back.
'But just to register the faint, sheep-like note of our view on the trade war, we're in favor of trade peace on the whole, and dialing it down if we can,' Johnson told him.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 15:10

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7395515/Emmanuel-Macron-unveils-20-million-euro-G7-fund-battle-wild-fires-engulfing-Amazon-rainforest.html

[size=34]French President Emmanuel Macron unveils immediate 20 million euro G7 fund to battle wild fires engulfing the Amazon rainforest[/size]


  • Macron has revealed that G7 nations have agreed to 20m euro fire-fighting fund

  • The sum will go mainly towards sending fire-fighting aircraft to Brazil rainforest

  • G7 members have also agreed to back a proposed reforestation plan

  • Move comes amid an increasingly bitter war of words involving Macron and Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro


By AFP
PUBLISHED: 09:34 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 EDT, 26 August 2019

     



Emmanuel Macron has unveiled an immediate 20 million euro G7 fund to battle huge wildfires engulfing the Amazon rainforest.
The French President said the G7 club - comprising Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - had agreed to spend the money mainly on sending fire-fighting aircraft to Brazil.
G7 members also agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the UN in September, Macron and Chile's Sebastian Pinera said at the summit in southwest France.  Brazil would have to agree to any reforestation plan, as would local communities.
The move comes amid an increasingly bitter war of words involving Macron and Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro over the Amazon crisis.
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Emmanuel Macron (pictured today with Chile's President Sebastian Pinera in Biarritz, France) has unveiled an immediate £18million G7 fund to battle huge wildfires engulfing the Amazon rainforest
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G7 members also agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the UN in September, Macron and Chile's Sebastian Pinera said at the summit in southwest France



Macron had declared the situation in the Amazon region an 'international crisis' and made it one of the summit's priorities.
He has threatened to block a huge new trade deal between the EU and Latin America unless Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change sceptic, takes serious steps to protect the forest from logging and mining.
'We must respond to the call of the forest which is burning today in the Amazon,' Macron said Monday.
Nearly 80,000 forest fires have been detected in Brazil since the beginning of the year, a little over half in the massive Amazon basin.
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The initiative was announced after G7 leaders meeting in the resort of Biarritz held talks on the environment, which focused on the fires destroying chunks of the Amazon
Bolsonaro has lashed out at Macron over his criticism and suggested that NGOs could be setting the fires to embarrass him - without giving any evidence to back the claim.
But at the weekend he finally caved into international pressure to save a region crucial for maintaining a stable global climate, deploying two aircraft to douse the fires and authorising the army to help tackle the blazes.
Speaking in Biarritz, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said new planting was needed 'to preserve this universal heritage, which is absolutely essential for the well-being of the world's population.'
He said that the issue would be discussed during the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 15:13

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7395139/Trump-presses-Merkel-accept-captured-ISIS-fighters-Europe.html

[size=34]Take them back! Donald Trump presses Merkel to accept captured ISIS fighters claiming they're mostly from Germany, UK, France and other European nations[/size]


  • Donald Trump says he'll leave ISIS fighters into Europe, if the countries they were living in before they were caught refuse to take them into custody

  • He told journalists at the White House: 'If Europe doesn't take them, then I have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came'

  • Said at a veterans conference later in the day 'they've got to take them back, because we don't want to hold them' for the 50 years at Guantanamo prison

  • The White House and State Department are pressuring governments in Europe to take back thousands of jihadis and their brides captured when ISIS collapsed

  • Officials are pushing governments including those of Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel to take back their citizens 

  • So far his administration has had no takers, and Trump has threatened several times to drop radicals off at their doorsteps, if a deal can't be reached  


By FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM IN BIARRITZ, FRANCE
PUBLISHED: 08:15 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:19 EDT, 26 August 2019

     





Donald Trump urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 in Biarritz, France to take back captured ISIS fighters who journeyed to the conflict zone from Europe.
He said most remaining, captured radicals came to the battlefield by way of Germany, France, the UK and other European nations
'We did a great job, and we have had very good talks. It's not fair for the United States to have these people and we want to give them to the areas where they came from,' he asserted.
He said, 'That includes not just Germany. We have a lot from France. We have a lot from [the] UK. We have a lot from a lot of different countries. and for the most part, all in Europe.'

Merkel had been asked by a reporter, in English, about the ISIS fighters Trump has been threatening to unshackle in European countries, where they'll be free to roam.
Yet it was Trump who responded, saying, 'We're talking about that now. We have a lot from Germany, which is a great thing. We'll work something out. I think we're going to work something out.' 
The German chancellor said after that her nation had already accepted a 'a number' of people and 'we want to find a solution together' to the problem.
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U.S. President Donald Trump meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a bilateral talk at the G7 in Biarritz, France on Monday. He pressed her in his opening remarks to take back captured ISIS fighters who journeyed to the conflict zone from Europe
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ISIS militants are currently being held in tent camps in the Middle East and Trump doesn't want to move them to the U.S. prison for extremists at Guantanamo Bay 
Last week Trump said he'd air drop ISIS fighters into Europe, with no restrictions on the radicals' movements, if the countries they were living in before they were caught on the battlefield refuse to take them into custody. 
He told journalists before he left the White House: 'If Europe doesn't take them, then I have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came, which is Germany, and France, and other places.'
Trump indicated the topic was likely to come up when he met with European leaders this weekend in France. They're holding their annual gathering in the seaside resort town of Biarritz.  
He revived the claim two times last Wednesday, secondly in a speech to veterans at a Kentucky conference, asking attendees if they agreed that jihadis caught in Iraq and Syria should be returned.
'Certain countries in Europe, they've got to take them back. Because we don't want to hold them,' he stated. 'They'd rather have us hold them, and let us have them for 50 years. We don't want them. They should take them. Do we agree? They should take them?'
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Donald Trump says he'll air drop ISIS fighters into Europe, with no restrictions on the radicals' movements, if the countries they were living in before they were caught on the battlefield refuse to take them into custody
His statement was met with applause, and Trump continued to riff about about American allies refusing to take custody of the ISIS fighters.
'They say to us, why don't you hold them in Guantanamo Bay for 50 years and you just hold them and spend billions and billions of dollars holding them. And I'm saying, no you gotta take them,' he asserted. 
The president has become increasingly anxious about the fighters as he turns his attention to the Group of Seven summit. He's spoken about the jihadis on three occasions publicly in the past week, each time suggesting he's growing more impatient with Europe's stance on the terrorists.
He told journalists at the White House on Wednesday, 'We're holding thousands of ISIS fighters right now, and Europe has to take them.'
'We beat them. We captured them. We've got thousands of them. And now, as usual, our allies say, "Oh no. We don’t want them." Even though they came from France and Germany and other places,' he insisted. 'So we're going to tell them and we've already told them, "Take these prisoners that we've captured because the United States is not going to put them in Guantanamo for the next 50 years and pay for it." ' 
Trump did not offer a deadline for his threat to dump them in France and Germany. 
He simply said, 'It's moving along, my deadline. They know.' 
The White House and State Department have been pressuring governments in Europe to take back thousands of jihadis and their brides captured when ISIS collapsed – and having no success – for nearly two years, a source with knowledge of the conversations told DailyMail.com last week.
Officials are pushing governments, including those of Boris JohnsonEmmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, 2to take back their citizens - and to guarantee that they will not be allowed to roam the streets unchecked, the person said.
[size=10][size=18]Trump says other nations will soon need to fight own battles with ISIS




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A masked, black-clad militant, who has been identified as a Briton named Mohammed Emwazi, also known as 'Jihadi John' stands next to a man purported to be David Haines in this still image from a video obtained in February 26, 2015
Trump arrives in France on Saturday for the G7 summit of the world’s largest economies and will meet all three leaders face to face; in Johnson’s case it will be their first meeting since the British politician took office as the UK’s new prime minister.
The president signaled that the jihadis will be on the agenda, bringing the subject up twice on Wednesday without any prompting. 
First, he told reporters on the South Law of the White House, that he'll dump them in Europe, if their last nation of residency won't take them back.  Then, he polled an audience veterans on the topic at a summit, asking if the group agreed that they jihadis should be Europe's problem.
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He's likely to speak to Johnson about repatriating British citizens captured in former ISIS territories. British Jihadi wife Shamima Begum is pictured here with her son Jerah in Al Hawl camp for captured ISIS wives in children
[size=18]Shamima Begum pleads for Government to 're-evaluate' her case




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The jihadis, their wives and children are all held in territory in Iraq and Syria held by U.S. allies, with American military aiding their detention. Among them are two of the ‘Beatles,’ the British citizens turned ISIS killers who beheaded American hostages in gruesome videos.
One source familiar with the push to get the jihadis repatriated from what is effectively U.S.-controlled territory said that it was causing tensions with European capitals but framed it as the result of those countries’ immigration policies – a point unlikely to be agreed with by European leaders.
‘That's going to cause some difficulties. They’re not going to be happy about that. But you get the jihadis you invite in sometimes, and now you have to learn to deal with them,' the person said of Donald Trump's push to get rid of them.
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Shamima Begum has been stripped of British citizenship to keep her from returning
The person said the U.S. government has been pushing America's allies to take the fighters in for nearly two years, with no success at all.
'It’s more exploratory than operational,' the person said of the discussions, acknowledging the lack of progress.
The total number of foreign fighters captured in Syria and Iraq is unclear.
Trump told journalists at a Marine One departure on the South Lawn at the beginning of August that the coalition against ISIS had captured more than 10,000 jihadis in Iraq and Syria.
Many are from Middle Eastern countries but many hundreds are believed to have come from European countries. Trump claimed there were 2,500 from Europe.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, who are allied with the U.S., were alone holding around 800 European jihadis earlier this month, The Independent reported. 
'We have 2,500 ISIS fighters that we want Europe to take because they were going back into Europe — into France, into Germany, into various places,' he said.
Trump has publicly floated the idea that the jihadis could simply be released.
The person familiar with the discussions acknowledged that such a move was unlikely.
Not only do international treaties and obligations prevent President Donald Trump from doing so, the person said, fighters are likely to return to extremist cells if they are released from government custody.
'I just don’t think there’s any way, ' the person said. 'The Europeans could just say no.'


On top of those who fought for ISIS are their wives and children. Already one of the ISIS brides - Shamima Begum – has been stripped of British citizenship. She fled Britain aged just 15 to marry a jihadi and is now 19, and stranded in a camp in Syria effectively without a state.
The largest camp, al-Hol, has 11,000 people in it, most of them civilian women and children.
The issue adds to the list of potential flashpoints with European leaders like trade and tariffs at the G7, which is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the U.S.
Trump has been publicly critical of France’s president, Macron, and Germany’s chancellor, Merkel, while praising the UK’s Johnson and Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.
Additionally, the UK is at odds with the other three European countries over leaving the European Union.
All four countries acknowledge that citizens or residents who left for ISIS territory to take part in the jihad or to marry men who were should be punished. 
ISIS brides are a problem in particular. Trump's administration has contended that one woman, Hoda Muthana, who was born in America isn't a citizen, because her father originally came to the country as a diplomat. 
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ISIS brides are a problem in particular. Trump's administration has contended that one woman, Hoda Muthana, who was born in America isn't a citizen, because her father originally came to the country as a diplomat
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Aine Davis (left) is said to have been a member of the notorious gang of four British jihadists including ISIS executioner Jihadi John. A handout image provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) shows captured British Islamic State (IS) group fighter Alexanda Kotey
President Trump has said he could release other terrorist sympathizers and fighters into Europe and suggested in early August that a plan was in the works.
Trump told journalists at a Marine One departure on the South Lawn that he could drop detainees on European countries' doorsteps.
'We have thousands of ISIS fighters that we want Europe to take, and let’s see if they take them,' he said. 'If they don’t take them, we’ll probably have to release them to Europe.'   
The source familiar with the conversations said that the U.S. is actively seeking assistance from regional allies, as well.
'There are discussions under way. Those discussions are happening, And they’re happening I think more driven by Iraq and Syria and what to do about them, starting with the ISIS wives. A lot of discussion of what category those people fall into,' the person said.
Since 2008, the U.S. has not shipped detainees to Guantanamo Bay, the prison it maintains at a naval base off the coast of Cuba. 
Trump once said he'd like to 'load it up with bad dudes' but he never followed through.
Barack Obama drove down the number of detainees in U.S. custody through repatriation deals. Just 40 terror suspects are now held at the site.

annemarie
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 15:21

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7393941/Brazil-sends-converted-Hercules-warplanes-dump-water-burning-Amazon.html

[size=34]Brazil sends converted Hercules warplanes to dump tens of thousands of gallons of water on the burning Amazon – as world leaders pledge millions to tackle the inferno[/size]


  • Thousands of wildfires have affected at least 20 per cent across Brazil's Amazon rainforest 

  • President Jair Bolsonaro deployed converted Hercules warplanes to dump water across burning areas

  • Also sent 44,000 troops to help four states - Roraima, Rondonia, Tocantins and Para - contain the fires

  • Boris Johnson has promised £10 million to help protect habitats and endangered species in the rainforest

  • Bolsonaro's plan of action comes after warning from scientists of 'tipping point' and G7 leaders criticising the Brazilian President lack of urgency to stem the crisis 

  • Cattle ranchers and farmers who routinely use fire to clear land for agriculture and grazing are believed to be the catalyst for this year's record increase in fires


By WILLIAM COLE FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 20:54 EDT, 25 August 2019 | UPDATED: 21:34 EDT, 25 August 2019

     



Brazilian Hercules warplanes have been sent to dump thousands of gallons of water on the burning forests in the Amazon state of Rondonia, in response to a global outcry over the destruction of the world's largest tropical rain forest.
As of Sunday, President Jair Bolsonaro had authorized military operations in seven states to combat raging fires in the Amazon at the request from their local governments, a spokeswoman for his office said.
A video posted by the Defense Ministry shows a military plane bailing water out of two giant jets as it passed through clouds of smoke close to the forest canopy. 
The response comes as leaders of countries in the Group of Seven (G7) nations currently meeting in France expressed grave concerns over the fires.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said the G7 was nearing a deal to provide 'technical and financial help' to countries affected by the Amazon fires.
Scroll down for video 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17685626-7393941-image-a-32_1566780410840

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Brazilian Hercules warplanes have been sent to dump thousands of gallons of water on the burning forests in the Amazon state of Rondonia, in response to a global outcry over the destruction of the world's largest tropical rain forest
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A video posted by the Defense Ministry shows a military plane bailing water out of two giant jets as it passed through clouds of smoke close to the forest canopy. President Jair Bolsonaro authorized military operations in seven states to combat raging fires in the Amazon at the request from their local governments
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Almost 80,000 wildfires have affected at least 20 per cent across Brazil's Amazon rainforest in just the last year, the highest since at least 2013, according to space research agency INPE
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Bolsonaro, who has the nickname 'Captain Chainsaw' for his support of deforestation, had announced the military would be sent in on Friday after several days of criticism from the public and world leaders that Brazil's government was not doing anything to fight the fires
Nearly 80,000 fires have been registered across Brazil through August 24, the highest since at least 2013, according to space research agency INPE.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised £10 million to be made available immediately to help protect the Amazon rainforest habitats and called on world leaders to step up efforts to save endangered species. 
Before a G7 session on the environment on Monday, Mr Johnson said: 'In a week where we have all watched, horrified, as the Amazon rainforest burns before our eyes, we cannot escape the reality of the damage we are inflicting on the natural world.
'The planet faces two immense threats: Climate change and biodiversity loss. These are two sides of the same coin - it is impossible to solve one challenge without fixing the other.
'We cannot stop climate change without protecting the natural environment and we can't restore global nature without tackling climate change.'
Bolsonaro, who has the nickname 'Captain Chainsaw' for his support of deforestation, had announced the military would be sent in on Friday after several days of criticism from the public and world leaders that Brazil's government was not doing anything to fight the fires.
[size=10][size=18]President of Brazil authorises armed forces to put out Amazon fires




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At the G7 summit this weekend, Boris Johnson (far left) promised £10 million to be made available immediately to help protect the Amazon rainforest habitats, and Emmanuel Macron said the G7 was nearing a deal to provide 'technical and financial help' to countries affected by the Amazon fires
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View of a burnt area after a fire in the Amazon rainforest near Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil. Thousands of wildfires have affected at least 20 per cent across Brazil's Amazon rainforest
He also said on Twitter he had accepted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer of a plane and specialized support for the firefighting operations, following a call between the two leaders.
Firefighters near Rondonia's state capital of Porto Velho, where there were areas larger than football fields that had been charred, are working to stem active fires which are largely contained to small areas of individual trees.
The dozen or so yellow clad firefighters from environmental enforcement agency Ibama easily cleared brush from around a burning stump with a leaf blower, doused it with jets connected to water packs mounted on their backs and covered it in earth.
But outside of Rondonia, the government had yet to provide any operational details for other states. The Defense Ministry said in a briefing on Saturday that 44,000 troops were available in Brazil's northern Amazon region but did not say how many would be used where and what they would do.
Military personnel around Porto Velho appeared to be largely coordinating firefighting efforts, according to a Reuters witness.
Asked for additional details, the Defense Ministry told Reuters in a statement that in all seven states that have asked for help, the military is planning operations to support firefighting initiatives already underway.
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Outside of Rondonia, the government had yet to provide any operational details for other states. The Defense Ministry said in a briefing on Saturday that 44,000 troops were available in Brazil's northern Amazon region but did not say how many would be used where and what they would do
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The Amazon, which provides 20 per cent of the planet's oxygen, is home to an estimated one million indigenous people from up to 500 tribes as well some three million species of plants and animals, including jaguars, sloths, giant otters, river dolphins, howler monkeys, toucans, reptiles, frogs and insects
Justice Minister Sergio Moro had also authorized a force of military police to assist in fighting the fires, with 30 set to be sent from Brasilia to Porto Velho. The president's office posted to Twitter a photo of police officers on a plane bound for Rondonia set to arrive at noon.
Environment Minister Ricardo Salles posted a video showing a caravan of yellow fire prevention trucks and other government vehicles, saying they were on the ground responding in Rondonia.
Colombian President Ivan Duque said on Sunday he would seek a conservation pact with other Amazonian countries - first in bi-lateral meetings in Peru this week and then at the United Nations General Assembly.
'Colombia wants to lead a pact, a conservation pact, between the countries that have Amazon territory,' Duque said after meeting with an indigenous community in the Amazonian city of Leticia in southern Colombia. 'We must understand the protection of our Mother Earth and our Amazon is a duty, a moral duty.'
The Amazon is the world's largest tropical rain forest and is seen as vital to the fight against climate change because of the vast amounts of carbon dioxide that it absorbs.
The Amazon, which provides 20 per cent of the planet's oxygen, is home to an estimated one million indigenous people from up to 500 tribes as well some three million species of plants and animals, including jaguars, sloths, giant otters, river dolphins, howler monkeys, toucans, reptiles, frogs and insects.
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The fires are also not just impacting on Brazil — about 3,000 square miles of a Bolivian province have been destroyed by fires in the past month (pictured: the plane dumping water to fight the fires)
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President Jair Bolsonaro deployed converted Hercules warplanes to dump water across burning areas (pictured)
Brazilian climate scientist Carlos Nobre said he worries if 20 to 25 per cent of the ecosystem is destroyed that the Amazon could reach a tipping point, after which it would enter a self-sustaining period of dieback as the forest converts to savannah. Nobre warned that it is not far off with already 15 to 17 per cent of the rain forest having been destroyed.
The fires are also not just impacting on Brazil — about 3,000 square miles of a Bolivian province have been destroyed by fires in the past month. 
Shocking photos show the extent of the damage caused by wildfires over the last few days as several states declared emergency and asked for federal assistance in containing the spread of the blaze. 
Over 1,600 new blazes began on just Thursday and Friday, lighting up the night sky across the southern parts of the world's largest forest basin and prompting anti-government protests as well as an international outcry.
The wildfires have left half of Brazil covered in smoke and darkness is believed to be the most intense blaze to grip the jungle in nearly a decade.
President Jair Bolsonaro has sent Brazilian troops backed by military aircraft on Saturday prepared to deploy in the Amazon to fight fires that have swept the region.
Some 44,000 troops will be available for 'unprecedented' operations to put out the fires, and forces are heading to four Brazilian states that asked for federal help to contain the blazes, defence minister Fernando Azevedo said.
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The extent of the scorched remains of huge swathes of the Amazon rainforest have been laid bare in shocking new images from Brazil, as international leaders pile pressure on the country's leader to take action
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More than half of the fires are in the Amazon, where more than 20 million people live. Some 1,663 new fires were ignited between Thursday and Friday, according to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
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Official figures show 78,383 forest fires have been recorded in Brazil this year, the highest number of any year since 2013. Experts say the clearing of land during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing has aggravated the problem.
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The Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries who believe Mr Bolsonaro has neglected commitments to protect biodiversity
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An Associated Press journalist flying over the Porto Velho region Saturday morning reported hazy conditions and low visibility. On Friday, the reporter saw many already deforested areas that were burned, apparently by people clearing farmland, as well as a large column of smoke billowing from one fire
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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he is inclined to send the army to help fight fires in the Amazon that have scared people around the world. Pictured: Brazilian Army soldiers march during a ceremony for the Soldier Day at the Brazilian Army Headquarters in Brasilia
The states are Roraima, Rondonia, Tocantins and Para, although parts of Mato Grosso and Acre are also among the worst affected.
The military's first mission will be the deployment of 700 troops to the area around Porto Velho, capital of Rondonia, Mr Azevedo said.
He added that the military will use two C-130 Hercules aircraft capable of dumping up to 12,000 litres (3,170 gallons) of water on fires.
Amid a storm of protest, President Jair Bolsonaro was seen joking around and taking selfies at a military ceremony before sending soldiers to assist in putting out blazes that have raged for three weeks.
‘The protection of the forest is our duty,’ he said, as thousands of people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and the capital Brasilia to protest.
The environmental crisis was discussed by international leaders at the G7 meeting in Biarritz. Meanwhile, there were further protests outside Brazilian embassies in London and Paris and Bogota, Colombia. 
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron and Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar threatened to block a free-trade agreement between the EU and South American nations if Mr Bolsonaro did not act to stop the deforestation of the Amazon, which experts say has fuelled the fires.
In response, Mr Bolsonaro vowed he ‘will act to combat deforestation and criminal activities that put people at risk in the Amazon’.
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A flame lingers over a fallen stump in the middle of a burnt-out section of the forest. The Brazilian military operations to tackle the blazes came after widespread criticism of president Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the crisis
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Some 44,000 troops will be available for 'unprecedented' operations to put out the fires, and forces are heading to four Brazilian states that asked for federal help to contain the blazes, defence minister Fernando Azevedo said
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A snake, camouflaged in the brown debris of the largely burnt-out fields, makes it way over bare ground in the Amazon of Rondonia, Brazil,
He said that Brazilian forces will deploy to border areas, indigenous territories and other affected regions to assist in putting out fires for a month, according to a presidential decree.
Leading politicians, celebrities, environmentalists and the Prime Minister’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds have warned of the devastating impact of the fires ravaging the rainforest, which produces a fifth of the world’s oxygen.
The wildfire is believed to be the most intense blaze to grip the jungle in nearly a decade, with scientists warning that the rainforest is drier and more flammable than normal due to global warming.
Yesterday’s protests came as it emerged there have been a record 72,843 fires in the jungle this year, up 83 per cent on 2018.
The Amazon, often referred to as the ‘lungs of the world’, is home to around three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people. Environmental groups blame the wildfires on the Brazilian government’s relaxed policies allowing swathes of the rainforest to be cleared for farming and mining.
Oliver Salge, from Greenpeace, said: ‘If you burn the forest, you are backed up by a president.’ 
An Associated Press journalist flying over the Porto Velho region Saturday morning reported hazy conditions and low visibility.
On Friday, the reporter saw many already deforested areas that were burned, apparently by people clearing farmland, as well as a large column of smoke billowing from one fire.
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Brazil says military aircraft and 44,000 troops will be available to fight fires sweeping through parts of the Amazon region. Pictured: Charcoal-making furnaces and wooden planks are seen from the air, in the city of Jaci Parana, Rondonia state, one of the four that have asked for state help







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Fire consumes an area near Porto Velho, Brazil, on Friday, August 23. Brazilian state experts have reported a record of nearly 77,000 wildfires across the country so far this year 
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National Force military firefighters stand in line to board a plane to Rondonia northern Brazil, to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest at the Military Air Base in Brasilia
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The flight was due to leave Brasilia in the late afternoon, but for operational reasons was postponed for Sunday morning. President Jair Bolsonaro authorized Friday the deployment of Brazil's armed forces to help combat fires raging in the Amazon rainforest
The Brazilian military operations came after widespread criticism of president Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the crisis.
On Friday, the president authorised the armed forces to get involved in putting out the fires, saying he is committed to protecting the Amazon region.
'It shows the concern of Bolsonaro's government about this issue,' Mr Azevedo said. 'It was a very fast response.'
Mr Bolsonaro has previously described rainforest protections as an obstacle to Brazil's economic development, sparring with critics who say the Amazon absorbs vast amounts of greenhouse gasses and is crucial for efforts to contain climate change.
The Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries who believe Mr Bolsonaro has neglected commitments to protect biodiversity.
Protesters gathered outside Brazilian diplomatic missions in European and Latin American cities Friday, and demonstrators also marched in Brazil.
The dispute spilled into the economic arena when French leader Emmanuel Macron threatened to block a European Union trade deal with Brazil and several other South American countries.
He wants G7 leaders meeting at a summit in France this weekend to discuss the Amazon crisis.
'First we need to help Brazil and other countries put out these fires,' Mr Macron said Saturday.
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Nerl Dos Santos Silva, centre, watches an encroaching fire threat after digging trenches to keep the flames from spreading to the farm he works on in Mato Grosso, Brazil, August 23 
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A handout photo made available by NASA Earth Observatory of a map showing active fire detection in Brazil as obersved by Terra and Aqua MODIS satellites between 15 and 19 August 2019 
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Jair Bolsonaro (pictured) pledged that the military will 'act strongly' to control the wildfires, as he signed the decree on Friday evening following a late-night crisis meeting with his cabinet
The goal is to 'preserve this forest that we all need because it is a treasure of our biodiversity and our climate thanks to the oxygen that it emits and thanks to the carbon it absorbs', he said.
Bolivia and Paraguay have also struggled to contain fires that swept through woods and fields, in many cases set to clear land for farming.
A US-based aircraft, the B747-400 SuperTanker, is flying over devastated areas in Bolivia to help put out the fires and protect forests.
Fires are common in Brazil in the annual dry season, but they are much more widespread this year. 
President Bolsonaro said said the protection of the forest was 'our duty'. 
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As the president spoke, thousands of Brazilians demonstrated in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and the capital of Brasilia demanding the government announce concrete actions to curb the fires (Pictured: Protesters hold SOS sign in Sao Paulo on August 23) 
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People also banged pots from their homes, a traditional mode of protest in South America (Pictured: Protesters outside Brazil's Embassy in Santiago on August 23) 









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Activists demonstrate during a protest against Bolsonaro over the fires in the Amazon rainforest in front of Brazil's Embassy in Santiago on August 23
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Demonstrators gather at the Brazilian embassy in London over Brazil's inaction to tackle the wild fires sweeping through the Amazon rainforest


As the president spoke, thousands of Brazilians demonstrated in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and the capital of Brasilia demanding the government announce concrete actions to curb the fires.
People also banged pots from their homes, a traditional mode of protest in South America.
Small numbers of demonstrators gathered outside Brazilian diplomatic missions in Paris, London, Geneva and Bogota, Colombia, to urge Brazil to do more to fight the fires.
Larger protests were held in Uruguay and Argentina. Hundreds also protested in Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
Neighbouring Bolivia and Paraguay have also struggled to contain fires that swept through woods and fields, in many cases set to clear land for farming.
Bolsonaro's new plan of action comes after an ominous warning from scientists who say the Amazon is nearing a 'tipping point' in which a third of its ecosystem could be irreversibly decimated.
In July this year, the rate of deforestation of what has been described as 'the lungs of our planet' was comparable to the size of Manhattan every day, or Greater London every three weeks. 
Professor Thomas Lovejoy of George Mason University believes there are signs the rain forest is on course for further extensive decimation that could soon be out of human control. 
The professor told The Independent: 'The reason we believe the tipping point is so close is because we're seeing historic droughts in 2005, 2010, and 2016. 
'And satellite images in the north central Amazon also show forests remote from everything are beginning to convert into grassland. That's yet another symptom.'

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Nearly half of Brazil is covered in smoke as the fires spread from the country's east to the Atlantic coast
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A fire burns on a farm in the Nova Santa Helena municipality in the state of Mato Grosso on Friday, August 23
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A fire burns on a farm in the Nova Santa Helena municipality in the state of Mato Grosso on Friday, August 23
[size=18]Heart-breaking moment Amazonian woman breaks down over fire




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A handout photo made available by NASA Earth Observatory of a natural-colour satellite image showing fires burning in the vicinity of Novo Progresso in the Brazilian state of Para on August 19 
Several experts believe the raging Amazon inferno was likely started by human beings rather than lightning or some other natural cause.
Christian Poirier, who serves as program director for the conservation non-profit known as Amazon Watch, says cattle ranchers and farmers regularly set fires to rainforest land to clear it for agriculture and grazing. 
An estimated 99 percent of the Amazon's fires are started by people, 'either on purpose or by accident,' according to Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
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Pollution caused by the Amazon rainforest fires at the river in Porto Belho. Several experts believe the raging Amazon inferno was likely started by human beings rather than lightning or some other natural cause
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Fire consumers an area near Porto Velho, Brazil on Friday, August 23. The degradation of the Amazonian rainforest could have serious consequences for global climate and rainfall 
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Embers from a wildfire smolder along a highway in the Nova Santa Helena municipality in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil on Friday, August 23 
Rainforest Alliance Chief Programming Officer Nigel Sizer told CNN the man-made deforestation techniques such as this are, 'responsible for 80 percent to 90 percent of the loss of tropical forests around the world.'
Nearly 73,000 rainforest fires have been reported in Brazil since the start of the year. 
Bolsonaro, has taken heat from critics who say his relaxed environmental controls and emboldening of Amazonian deforestation efforts to stimulate the nation's economic growth have created the conditions for the current disaster.
The president has previously described rainforest protections as an obstacle to economic development, sparring with critics who note that the Amazon produces vast amounts of oxygen and is considered crucial in efforts to contain global warming.          
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  • Amazon rainforest fires and deforestation approaching disastrous irreversible tipping point, scientists warn | The Independent


annemarie
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 15:24

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7394273/Former-GOP-lawmaker-says-mass-shootings-driven-CULTURE-not-lack-gun-control.html

[size=34]Former GOP lawmaker says mass shootings are driven by CULTURE and not lack of gun control - and insist Congress can't fix the problem because they are the 'biggest instigators of hate and racism and violence in the country right now'[/size]


  • Republican former senator Jim DeMint said gun violence is caused by a decline in American culture, not lax gun control

  • He said that Congress needs to focus on setting a better example, not gun laws

  • He said Congress is instigating 'hate and racism and violence in the country' now

  • DeMint said he doesn't believe red flag laws work because they punish law-abiding gun owners

  • He said removing certain types of guns won't stop people from violent acts because they'll find other weapons to use if their guns are taken away


By DAILYMAIL.COM REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 01:21 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:33 EDT, 26 August 2019

     


Former Republican US Senator Jim DeMint has said that gun control laws won't prevent mass shootings and that the 'decline' in American culture is responsible for the killings.  
DeMint, a member of the Tea Party who represented South Carolina, also said that stopping gun violence isn't something that can be fixed with federal regulations and legislation, particularly the 'red flag' laws that 15 states have now passed. 
The increased number of shootings, DeMint said during a new Fox News interview on Sunday, are 'more symptomatic of a decline in our culture - I'm not sure any new laws are going to help that.'

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Republican former senator Jim DeMint said that he believe gun violence is symptomatic of a decline in American culture and won't be stopped by federal gun control legislation
He added that 'Congress could do more than anything else by setting a better example of how to treat people. They're probably the biggest instigators of hate and racism and violence in the country right now. So, they need to look inward at just how they behave.'

The Republican did not specify who in Congress or what party was responsible for instigating the 'hate and racism and violence,' though.  
During the interview, DeMint also revealed that he doesn't think that red flag laws will help reduce gun violence either.   
Red flag laws allow police or relatives to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from a person who may be a danger to themselves or others. If the court decides to allow the removal of the guns, they are usually returned to their owner after a set period of time.    
'More federal laws are very unlikely to help,' DeMint said. 'We already have background checks. Where we see improvement is at the state and community level, where states are doing more to protect buildings and facilities, to try to deal with drug use and mental illness.' 
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DeMint (in 2018) blamed Congress for being 'the biggest instigators of hate and racism and violence in the country right now' 
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DeMint's comments came just weeks after the deadly mass shootings in El Paso (memorial attendees pictured) and Dayton 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17690934-7394273-image-a-94_1566796593370


DeMint said taking away certain types of guns from people would just lead them to use other weapons, like knives or bombs, as alternatives. Pictured here is the Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 rifle with a 100-round double drum magazine used by the Dayton shooter
[size=10][size=18]Trump focuses blame for mass shootings on mental illness




Lo
[/size][/size]



Red flags laws, he said, 'we see that they're not working. They actually give someone who has a grudge against you the ability to send police to your house, to take your guns away, drag you into court, cost you thousands of dollars and for the most part it's been against law abiding citizens when they haven't created any crime.' 
DeMint said that even if guns were taken away from mentally unstable people, they would find alternative weapons to use against people. 
'We don’t have [any] indication that trying to pass laws to keep certain types of guns away from people - they’ll just move to another type of gun, and we've seen that,' he said, noting that they could use knives or bombs as alternatives. 
Although he conceded that he is interested in stopping gun violence, he said that he doesn't 'see any evidence that federal laws can do it.' 
'As long as you’re trying to look at federal laws that target everybody, you generally miss the criminals,' he said.
[size=18]Hundreds of people gather to mourn victim of El Paso shooting




L
[/size]

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 16:37

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7395407/Trump-skipped-G7-climate-session-thought-meeting-hadnt-happened-yet.html

[size=34]White House says president skipped G7 climate session to meet with Merkel and Modi – but BOTH of them showed up and Emmanuel Macron left an empty chair for Donald Trump[/size]


  • World leaders held a climate change meeting on the margins of the G7 summit 

  • Donald Trump skipped the event, leaving an empty chair in his place

  • Official says a National Security Council aide stood in for Trump

  • White House blamed planned meetings with German and Indian leaders 

  • Both of them managed to attend

  • Trump told reporters that the climate meeting hadn't happened yet, even though it was already underway

  • He pulled the U.S. out of an Obama-era climate pact and once said global warming was a 'hoax' devised by the Chinese 


By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 09:22 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 EDT, 26 August 2019

     


President Donald Trump missed a climate change discussion on Monday with other world leaders at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
Trump was scheduled to attend the session on climate, biodiversity and oceans, but his chair remained empty while other leaders pledged a modest $20 million to help put out fires that are raging across wide swaths of the Amazon jungles in Brazil.
'He wasn’t in the room but his team was there,' French President Emmanuel Macron said.
The White House attributed his absence to scheduled one-on-one meetings that he attended with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – both of whom managed to attend.
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Empty chair: Emmanuel Macron chaired the meeting on climate, biodiversity and oceans - leaving an empty chair for Donald Trump between Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and Chile's president, Sebastian Piniera
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President Donald Trump's chair remained empty Monday during a multinational work session focused on climate change in Biarritz, France, on the sidelines of the annual G7 Summit attended by the leaders of the world's seven richest democracies
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When reporters asked him about the meeting, which was already underway, Trump seemed to think it hadn't happened yet
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The White House said Trump skipped the global warming session on Monday because of 'scheduled meetings and bilaterals with Germany and India'; both of those nations' leaders, Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) managed to attend
'The President had scheduled meetings and bilaterals with Germany and India, so a senior member of the Administration attended in his stead,' White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told DailyMail.com and other news outlets.

A White House official said the stand-in was an aide from the National Security Council. 
Trump started the morning behind schedule. His meeting with Merkel was delayed about two hours.


Asked about the global warming meeting during a photo-op with Merkel, the president said: 'We’re having it in a little while.'
He had no reply to a journalist who informed him that it was already underway.  
During his meeting with Modi, Trump said that he wants 'clean air and clean water,' but made no comment about his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. 
He did offer, however, that the climate change discussion would be his next stop. That never materialized.
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Fires are burning out of control in the Amazon basin in Brazil, leading  many world leaders to sound a new alarm about climate change
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This aerial picture released by an environmental group shows fire raging in the forest in the municipality of Candeias do Jamari, close to Porto Velho in Rondonia State, in the Amazon basin in northwestern Brazil; world leaders pledged a modest $20 million to help
Trump is a climate change skeptic who once claimed it was a hoax invented by the Chinese.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that the world faces 'a dramatic climate emergency.' He will ask leaders at a Sept. 23 summit in New York to agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than they promised in the 2015 Paris agreement.
Guterres said Monday that 'we are much worse than we were during Paris ... and so it's absolutely essential that countries commit themselves to increase what was promised.'
Guterres claimed that Greenland's ice cap was melting 'dramatically' and that 2015 through 2019 were 'the five hottest years on record.'

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 17:07

Very Happy Very Happy Annemarie - When I asked about the "Serious Side" I was concerned about you. Now it's my head that's spinning!  There's just so much here that I can't wrap my head around it all. I guess the old saying is true: Be careful what you wish for! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

One takeaway from all the press vs Trump's comments: I wonder if he was at the same conference as everyone else, since most of what he says contradicts them. For the life of me I can't imagine what kind of circus goes on in his head.  scratch
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Post by Donnamarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 21:05

‘The Atlantic’ put it well ... there were two summits going on .... the real summit and the summit in Trump’s mind.

Today’s ‘Serious Side’ news is enough to make me want to go to bed and pull the covers over my head.
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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 21:26

But, but........thank goodness for a free press, Donnamarie - and that we know about this stuff - even if it is depressing.........

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Post by Donnamarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 21:49

Absolutely PAN! Cold hard facts. It’s what keeps democracies strong.
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Post by annemarie on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 23:40

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7396291/New-Trump-family-detention-rule-faces-legal-challenges-tight-space.html

[size=34]California leads 20-state legal challenge against Donald Trump's administration's bid to detain child migrants indefinitely[/size]


  • California, 18 other states and District of Columbia go to court to stop new rule which would allow child migrants held indefinitely

  • They are filing in California federal court to stop the Trump administration's Homeland Security Department tearing up the Flores Settlement

  • Two-decade old legal settlement prevents detention of children who are stopped at the border for more than 20 days

  • Trump wants it gone to end 'catch and release' but Democratic states say new rule 'callously puts at risk the safety and well-being of children'


By REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 13:50 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:44 EDT, 26 August 2019

     




A coalition of 19 states and the District of Columbia, led by California and Massachusetts, said on Monday they will sue the Trump administration to stop a sweeping new rule to indefinitely detain migrant families seeking to settle in the United States.
The lawsuit, which is to be filed in federal court in California, will be only the first of what is expected to be a flurry of lawsuits aimed at blocking the rule, officially published on Friday, from taking effect in October.
However, the Trump administration's effort to overturn a two-decade-old legal settlement limiting how long migrant children can be detained is likely to face more than just legal hurdles.
Even if the courts allow the rule to take effect, there are also practical problems: paying for thousands of additional family detention beds.
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Challenge: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement on Monday that attempt to tear up limits on detaining child migrants is unlawful and 'callously puts at risk the safety and well-being of children.'
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Border law: The Flores Settlement has governed how children who cross into the U.S. can be dealt with for 20 years
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Detention facility: ICE opened its doors to its South Texas Family Residential Facility where 900 mothers and children are held together
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Shortage of space: The detention center in Dilley, TX, is one of only three which exist in the U.S. where children can be housed. But more than 42,000 families, mostly from Central America, were arrested along the U.S. southern border just last month
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has only three family detention facilities - two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania - that have between 2,500 and 3,000 beds, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan said in announcing the new rule last week.

More than 42,000 families, mostly from Central America, were arrested along the U.S. southern border just last month. The July arrest numbers are at record highs, even though they have dropped more than half compared with levels seen in May.
'Even if the number of border crossings doesn't go back up in the fall, all this (new rule) would enable them to do is to detain a relatively small percentage of the arriving families for longer,' said Kevin Landy, a former ICE assistant director responsible for the Office of Detention Policy and Planning under the Obama administration.

THE RULES ON DETAINING ILLEGAL MIGRANT KIDS TRUMP WANTS TO CHANGE


Since 1997, what happens to children who cross the border illegally has been determined by a court settlement made by the Clinton administration to end a long-running case brought on behalf of a group of children detained  at the border in 1985. 
It got its name from one of them - Jenny Lisette Flores - and when the Clinton administration ended the federal litigation by negotiation,  became known as the Flores Settlement.
It set a 20 day limit on detaining children, and said that they had to be released to their parents or suitable guardians.
The federal government has to offer 'food and drinking water as appropriate,' 'medical assistance if minor is in need of emergency services,' 'toilets and sinks,' 'adequate temperature control and ventilation,' 'adequate supervision to protect minors from others,' 'contact with family members who were arrested with the minor and separation from unrelated adults whenever possible.' 
If a relative or guardian could not be found, they had to be sent to homes, not other detention centers - 'the least restrictive environment possible,' the agreement specified.
The settlement was temporary,  
And it contained a poison pill: the only way to end the settlement was to come up with formal immigration rules which met the minimum conditions in the settlement and to which the federal court overseeing the settlement agreed.
Since then it has been back in court repeatedly, with the Bush and Obama administration accused of breaching it.  
This month a judge ruled that it guarantees that detained children have a right to toothpaste, after the Trump administration suggested it was optional.
THE CHANGE
The Homeland Security department did not publish the details of its new rule Wednesday but claimed it would be a full-scale replacement of Flores which would allow indefinite detention.
That would mean it has to embrace the other aspects of Flores - meaning the conditions under which children are kept will have to be as described in the deal and subsequent rulings.
How the Department of Homeland Security thinks it will get indefinite detention passed is unclear. 



Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman for ICE, said the agency could not comment on potential increases to the agency's detention capacity.
The new rule seeks to scrap the 1997 agreement, known as the Flores settlement, which puts a 20-day limit on how long children can be held in immigration detention.
The court overseeing the settlement expanded its interpretation in 2015 to apply not just to unaccompanied children but also to children traveling with their parents.
Trump administration officials have said the detention limits have become a 'pull' factor for migrants who bet that if they show up at the U.S.-Mexico border with a child and ask for asylum, they will be quickly let go to wait for a hearing in U.S. immigration court. Trump has decried this as a 'catch-and-release' practice.
Without more space, that practice is likely to continue, Landy said.
'The longer they keep those families, the fewer new arrivals they can detain, which means the Border Patrol is releasing more people overall' while a small percentage of families suffer the impacts of prolonged detention, he said.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement on Monday that the rule is unlawful and 'callously puts at risk the safety and well-being of children.'
McAleenan last week said ICE's family facilities meet 'high standards' including appropriate medical, educational, recreational and dining operations and private housing.
Setting up those types of 'family residential centers,' as the agency calls them, can be more expensive than facilities dedicated only to adults.
Congress mandates how much ICE can spend on immigration detention, and the 2019 budget has $2.8 billion earmarked to pay for 49,500 beds for solo adults - but only 2,500 beds for parents and children.
However, ICE is currently detaining more than 55,000 immigrants, a record high, a small percentage of them at family facilities, according to agency statistics.
The Department of Homeland Security has been able to stretch its budget by reprogramming funds from other areas to pay for more detention, but there are limits on how much money it can move without congressional approval.
Democrats in Congress are trying to put more limits on ICE's detention spending for the next fiscal year.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee, said the aim of proposed controls in the 2020 budget is to 'tighten the reins on the administration's practice of transferring funds for purposes other than those intended by Congress, including the dramatic expansion of interior immigration enforcement.'
ICE has also had a hard time finding communities willing to accept the construction of facilities in their backyards, said Theresa Cardinal Brown, a former policy adviser at U.S. Customs and Border Protection now at the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center.
It is also not clear how the family detention rule will work with another Trump administration policy pushing thousands of Central American families back to Mexico to wait out their U.S. court hearings there instead of in the United States, she said.
'They are putting out policies without having an operational plan in place,' said Cardinal Brown. 'It's a throwing-spaghetti- against-the-wall-type approach.'

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Post by annemarie on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:29

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7396625/Judge-orders-pharmaceutical-giant-Johnson-Johnson-pay-572million.html

[size=34]Judge orders pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 MILLION in landmark ruling saying they ARE responsible for 'ravaging' Oklahoma by creating an opioid crisis[/size]


  • Judge Thad Balkman ordered J&J to pay $572million to Oklahoma 

  • It is far from the $17billion the state had asked the company to pay 

  • Balkman said the state proved that J&J created a crisis with misleading marketing

  • He called it a 'temporary nuisance' that could be abated 

  • The judge spoke briefly in court, choosing not to read aloud his 42-page ruling 

  • Johnson & Johnson, which has always denied responsibility, plans to appeal  


By JENNIFER SMITH FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 16:07 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 19:40 EDT, 26 August 2019

     





A judge has ruled on a landmark opioid lawsuit case, demanding that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson give $572million to the state of Oklahoma in the first ever court ruling to hold a company responsible for the opioid crisis.
Judge Thad Balkman handed down his ruling on Monday after a two-month long trial.  
He said the company was responsible for 'ravaging' the state of Oklahoma by misleading customers with its marketing and creating an opioid crisis that resulted more than 6,000 deaths over nearly two decades. 
They did so by sponsoring medical journals and creating unbranded marketing campaigns which made their drugs sound safer than they actually were, he said.  

'The defendants misleading marketing and promotion of opioids created a nuisance. 
'Those actions compromised the health and safety of thousands of Oklahomans,' he said. 
'Specifically, they caused an opioid crisis that is evidenced by increased rates of addiction, overdose deaths and neonatal absence syndrome in Oklahoma.
Scroll down for video 
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Judge Thad Balkman, of Cleveland County District Court in Norman, Oklahoma, arrives in court to give his ruling against Johnson & Johnson 



'The opioid crisis is an imminent danger and menace to Oklahomans. 
'This is a temporary nuisance that can be abated. The opioid crisis ravaged the state of Oklahoma. It must be abated immediately,' he said. 
 The opioid crisis ravaged the state of Oklahoma. It must be abated immediately
Judge Thad Balkman
In his ruling, which DailyMail.com obtained on Monday afternoon, he expanded on his rebuke. 
Balkman said that since 1997, the company had 'embarked' on a 'major marketing' campaign after being inspired by its rival, Purdue Pharma, which is responsible for bringing Oxycontin to market. 

HOW J&J MISLED THE MARKET  


In his 42-page ruling, the judge outlined how the company was to blame for the crisis.
He said they were guilty of creating a nuisance - the term that they were being sued for - because they misled the market into thinking drugs were safe. 
They did this in a number of ways, he said. 
Unbranded marketing campaigns
The judge noted how J&J sponsored medical journals and created campaigns about pain management and opioids without attaching its name to it so consumers were unaware in their vested interest. 
It began in the 1990s after executives watched Purdue Pharma's success with Oxycontin
Targeting doctors
Throughout a doctor's career, they would be targeted many times, at many different points, by sales reps from J&J, the judge ruled.
The doctors were referred to as 'key customers' for the 'pain franchise' 
Sales reps would bring them food and offer them coupons to buy more of the products. 
Doctors were also rewarded with speaking engagements for which they would win huge financial compensation if they bought products, it was claimed. 
Dodging the question of addiction 
When pushing their products, sales teams were told to avoid 'the addiction ditch'. 
Instead, they were told to talk about how pain was being undertreated in the US. 
Payments to organizations 
 The judge noted that J&J made a 'number of payments' to pain advocacy groups and other organizations including The American Academy of Pain Meidicne, American Pain Society, American Pain Foundation, American Geriatrics Society, American Chronic Pain Association and more.
Ignoring warnings about Duragesic, its fentanyl patch 
 The judge found that J&J ignored warnings from scientists, doctors and the FDA about how dangerous one of its products - Duragesic - was. 
Specifically, as far back as 2001, they were told by their own, in-house advisor that their marketing was 'dangerous' due to Duragesic's 'lethal nature' and that to an increase of sales would 'surely cause an increase in abuse of and addiction to the drug.'
 



'They embarked on a major campaign in which they used branded and unbranded marketing to disseminate the messages that pain was being undertreated and "there was low risk of abuse and a low danger" of prescribing opioids to treat chronic, non-malignant pain,' he wrote. 
The marketing was not targeted towards patients but to doctors and it was 'designed' to hit them multiple times throughout their career. 
The drugs that were specifically pushed were Duragesic, a fentanyl patch, and Noramco. 
When training sales reps, the judge said Johnson & Johnson told them to downplay the risk factors of its drugs and avoid the 'addiction ditch'. 
Instead, they were told to focus on their claim that chronic pain management was 'undertreated'. 
They targeted doctors, referring to primary care physicians as 'key customers' for their 'pain franchise' and even offered coupon programs to try to boost sales. 
'Defendants' opioid marketing, in its multitude of forms, was false, deceptive and misleading,' Balkman wrote.
They also tried to woo doctors by bringing them breakfast, lunch and dinner and by sweetening them with speaker strategies, the judge claimed.  
While the first of its kind, the settlement is a far cry from the $17billion the state had asked for. 
Johnson & Johnson is worth an estimated $340billion.
On Monday, its stock took a brief dip as news of the ruling spread. 
It was the first of its kind and accused Johnson & Johnson, one of the world's largest drugs manufacturers, of being responsible for the opioid crisis in Oklahoma. 
The company, unlike its competitors, fought it. 
In a statement after the decision, one of its lawyers said it would appeal. 
'We have sympathy for all who suffer from substance abuse but J&J did not cause the opioid abuse crisis here in Oklahoma or anywhere in this coutnry.
'We do not believe that the facts or the law supports the decision today. We have many strong grounds for appeal and we intend to pursue those vigorously,' Sabrina Strong said.  
Purdue Pharma and Teva, the two other opioid manufacturers most commonly blamed for the crisis, settled with Oklahoma out of court.
Mike Hunter, Oklahoma's Attorney General, welcomed the news. 
'J&J will finally be held accountable for thousands of deaths and addictions caused by their activities.


'Throughout the trial, our team proved what we have alleged all along. 
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Oklahoma Attorney Genera Mike Hunter welcomed the decision on Monday. The case took more than eight weeks at trial 
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Johnson & Johnson, one of the larges pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world, said it would appeal the decision 
That the company used misleading information that downplayed the risks of opioids,' he said at a press conference after the hearing. 
He added that the company create 'broken homes, families and communities.' 

THE COMPANIES THAT SETTLED TO AVOID TRIAL


Purdue Pharma 
Purdue, which produces the drug OxyContin and is run by the Sackler family of New York, gave Oklahoma $270million in a settlement. 
It denies that it is to blame for the nation's opioid crisis. 
However, in its statement after the settlement was reached, the company said: 'Purdue is very pleased to have reached an agreement with Oklahoma that will help those who are battling addiction now and in the future.'  
Teva Generics 
Teva, which is based in Israel, agreed to pay $80million just days before the trial began. 
It had been named as a defendant alongside Purdue and Johnson & Johnson and fought until the last minute. 
Teva makes generic drugs and sells them around the world.  




'We showed how the company repeatedly ignored warnings... and the risks of marketing of its products.
'The company promoted its products through unbranded campaigns and funding patient groups meant to look like grass roots organizations. 
Johnson & Johnson built its billion dollar brand out of greed and on the backs of pain and suffering of innocent people,' he said. 
As part of their case, prosecutors presented evidence from a range of experts including the families of young people who had overdosed on opioids to marketing experts and medical examiners.
They told how J&J used aggressive marketing practices to push their goods onto the market and into doctors' hands. 
The company argued that it was not to blame for the crisis and that if doctors over-prescribed their products, they should not be held accountable. 
Its lawyers also argued that while other drugs may have clocked up deaths, its products were scarcely associated with overdoses. 
It was not the first time a pharmaceutical company has been sued before for opioids abuse, but it was the first time the case went to trial.
In the past, the pharmaceutical giants have settled privately.  
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Post by annemarie on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:33

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7396355/FBI-records-70-surge-mass-shooting-tips-El-Paso-Dayton-massacres.html

[size=34]Mass shooting tips to FBI surged 70% in the week after massacres in El Paso and Dayton left 31 people dead in the span of 13 hours[/size]


  • An FBI tip line designed to head off mass shootings received more than 38,000 tips during the week after the shootings on the first weekend of August

  • That's up 70 percent from the 22,000 tips it typically receives on a weekly basis

  • More than a half a dozen people have been arrested and charged across the United States in recent weeks as a result of tips


By REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 14:15 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 03:27 EDT, 27 August 2019

     



The number of calls to an FBI tip line designed to head off mass shootings and other attacks surged by 70 percent in the week after twin massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, federal officials said Monday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation fielded more than 38,000 phone and online tips during the week after the shootings on the first weekend of August, up from the 22,000 tips it typically receives on a weekly basis.
The surge is evidence of an America public made jittery by a steady drumbeat of mass shootings.
'Such increases are often observed after major incidents,' the FBI said in a statement. 'As always, the FBI encourages the public to remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.'
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The number of calls to an FBI tip line designed to head off mass shootings and other attacks surged by 70 percent in the week after twin massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, federal officials said Monday. Officers are pictured outside the El Paso Walmart where 22 people were gunned down on August 3
FBI officials said the number of tips the center receives each week fluctuates and not all are actionable. 

Some tips turn into FBI investigations while others are forwarded to local authorities. 
The number of FBI tips also does not include the thousands of tips that state and local law enforcement agencies have received since the shootings.
According to a report published by the National Threat Assessment Center earlier this year, three out of every four perpetrators in 55 mass shootings and attacks in 2017 and 2018 made prior threats or sent messages that sparked concern.
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Patrick Crusius, 21, (left) opened fire on the El Paso Walmart on August 3, killing 22 people. Hours later 24-year-old Connor Betts (right) killed nine people outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio
More than a half a dozen people have been arrested and charged across the United States in recent weeks as a result of tips, according to media and police.
They have included an employee at a Wisconsin distribution center who called police after a coworker threatened to carry out a workplace shooting and an Alabama resident who alerted authorities after his friend, a Florida trucker, sent him messages about his plans for a shooting at a Memphis church.


In Michigan, a person told authorities that a former classmate threatened to shoot 200 police officers during a phone and text conversation, while a woman in Florida told police that her ex-boyfriend texted her about his plan to kill 100 people in a mass shooting, according to police.
'The general public are definitely taking these more seriously,' said John Mina, the sheriff in Orange County, Florida and on the board of directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Mina is no stranger to mass shootings. He was the police chief in Orlando, Florida, the night of June 12, 2016, when a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub, killing 49 and wounding 53.
In addition to tips resulting in arrests, law enforcement agencies in the US have taken more than 20 people into custody for threats made on social media since the El Paso and Dayton shootings, according to media and police.
Mina said there has been an increasing amount of resources devoted in local law enforcement agencies to access tips and threats found online, even when the person may not be serious about carrying out the attack.
'Law enforcement has always acted upon it. The difference is now we are being a little more vocal about it,' he said. 
'Agencies are pushing the message out. It's not a joke. We are going to arrest you.'
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More than a half a dozen people have been arrested and charged across the United States in recent weeks as a result of tips, according to media and police. Officers are pictured at the scene of the Dayton shooting in the city's Oregon District on August 4

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Post by annemarie on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:37

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7394321/When-low-Dems-navigating-nasty-race-against-Trump.html

[size=34]Make America nasty again! 2020 Democrats prepare for a brawl with Donald Trump as pollsters and voters urge them: 'Go low. We're not in the age of Obama.'[/size]


  •  With 435 days until the next presidential election, the Democrats seeking to oust Trump are bracing for the nastiest contest in the modern era

  • Democratic primary voters, energized and enraged by Trump's turbulent presidency, are increasingly calling for the candidates to fight fire with fire

  • 'The high road isn't going to win this time,' Blake Caldwell, a retired physician, said at an event hosted by candidate Pete Buttigieg in rural South Carolina

  •  Jef Pollock, a pollster for Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign, said: 'We're not in the age of Barack Obama anymore. It'd be a mistake to think you can just rise above.'


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 00:10 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 22:37 EDT, 26 August 2019

     




President Donald Trump told American congresswomen of color to 'go back' to where they came from. 
He vowed to revive a racial slur to tear down Elizabeth Warren, promoted a wild conspiracy theory linking a past political opponent to the death of a high-profile sex offender and blamed Friday's stock market slide on a low-polling former presidential candidate.
And that was just over the past six weeks.
With 435 days until the next presidential election, the Democrats seeking to oust Trump are bracing for the nastiest contest in the modern era, one that will almost certainly tear at the moral and cultural fabric of a deeply divided nation.

Knowing what lies ahead once their own divisive primary is decided, Democrats are confronting a critical question: Just how low should they go to push back against Trump?
Political strategists and recent history suggest there may be more risk than reward for candidates wishing to fight Trump on his terms. 
But Democratic primary voters, energized and enraged by Trump's turbulent presidency, are increasingly calling for the candidates to fight fire with fire.
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No reservations: Bernie Sander is happy to call Donald Trump a racist, a sexist and a homophone
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Lean in: Elizabeth Warren will attack Trump in answers to questions although she tries to stick to her own talking points in speeches and rallies
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Target number one: Donald Trump's fiery rhetoric has presented Democrats with a challenge
'The high road isn't going to win this time,' Blake Caldwell, a 71-year-old retired physician, said at a recent event hosted by candidate Pete Buttigieg in rural South Carolina. 'If we go high when they go low, we will lose.'
Several White House hopefuls opened their campaigns with a firm plan to focus on substance and rise above the Republican president's personal attacks. 
But as primary voting approaches, many candidates are embracing a more aggressive posture as they work to convince primary voters they have what it takes to stand up to Trump.
Most of the leading candidates have called for Trump's impeachment. Virtually all of them have openly called him a racist.
Joe Biden is the notable exception on both. The former vice president and early Democratic front-runner has sidestepped both questions as he works to maintain an optimistic outlook while highlighting the gravity of Trump's leadership.
Others, like Warren and Kamala Harris, generally lean into charged language against Trump only when asked. Bernie Sanders, however, seizes on Trump's behavior in his standard stump speech.
'The United States cannot continue to have a president who is a racist, who is a sexist, who is a homophobe, who is a religious bigot, who is a xenophobe, and who is also a pathological liar,' Sanders declared at a recent town hall meeting in northern New Hampshire.


Sanders' chief strategist, Jeff Weaver, said the senator would not shy away from aggressive criticism of Trump when necessary. Especially on issues of race and immigration, he said, calling Trump a racist shouldn't be something candidates are afraid of.
'You can't give into the bully. You gotta lean in and tell it like it is,' Weaver said. 'That's what people appreciate about Bernie.'
Jef Pollock, a pollster for New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign, concedes that 'there's a lot of nervousness about how you attack Donald Trump.'
While primary voters may want toughness, persuadable general election voters are more likely to say they want bipartisanship and civility. Yet it's not so simple, Pollock said.
'I think it would be a mistake for a candidate to think they could just go high. We're not in the age of Barack Obama anymore,' he said. 'It'd be a mistake to think you can just rise above it all and not engage him at his level.'
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Joining in the brawl: Kamala Harris has not minced words attacking Donald Trump
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Risk-avoider: Joe Biden is the only one of the packed Democratic field to avoid taking on Donald Trump is starkly personal terms









There are obvious risks. Just ask Marco Rubio.
Alex Conant advised the Florida senator's 2016 presidential primary campaign against Trump, which took a nasty turn near the end. Among other personal attacks, Rubio seized on Trump's hand size.
Conant believes that nothing matters so much as authenticity when going up against the brash billionaire.
'If you're not the kind of person who makes personal attacks on other people, don't try it for the first time against Trump,' Conant said. 
'You feel so much pressure from your supporters, from your donors, from the media to punch back. The key is to find ways to do it that are authentic and consistent with your image.'
Some Democratic allies are urging candidates to stay away from attacks against Trump's character and temperament altogether. That was a pillar of Hillary Clinton's message against Trump in 2016, and it ultimately failed.
The pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA, which backed Clinton, instead wants the 2020 candidates to focus on the policies enacted under Trump and their effect on voters' lives.
'Our strategy is not to go nasty,' said Josh Schwerin, the super PAC's senior strategist. 'It's much more effective to say you're paying more for your medicine every month and Donald Trump gave drug companies a massive tax cuts than to say Donald Trump is a jerk.'
Republican pollster Frank Luntz has studied the art of negative campaigning extensively over the last 18 months. He insists there's far more risk than reward for candidates who go negative - especially against Trump.
It's all about context and subtlety.
'Do they appear pained as they deliver the body blow? Do they look and feel like they don't want to be there, like they've been forced into it?
'It's one of the most subtle arts at a time when politics feel so much like championship wrestling,' Luntz said. 'Most candidates don't know the difference.'
But back in South Carolina, Caldwell says she isn't interested in a cautious candidate. She wants the ultimate Democratic nominee to be someone who can confront Trump with force.
'We've been too meek,' she said. 'This is going to be the most vicious campaign in history.'
[size=18]B[/size]

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Post by annemarie on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:40

[size=34]WHO ARE THE 21 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?[/size]


The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 13006430-6381183-image-m-3_1556803960380
[size=18][size=11][size=9][size=10][size=23][size=14][size=19]MICHAEL BENNET
[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size] [/size]

[size=11][size=9][size=10]Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 56[/size][/size][/size]
[size=11][size=9][size=10]Entered race:  May 2, 2019[/size][/size][/size]
[size=11][size=9][size=10]Career: Currently Colorado senator.  Educated at elite St. Albans preparatory school and was a Capitol Hill page before graduating Wesleyan and Yale Law School. Was law clerk and worked in Clinton's Department of Justice then moved to Colorado in 1997 as managing director of billionaire Philip Anschutz's investment company. Was chief of staff to Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, then superintendent of Denver Public schools. Appointed to vacant Colorado Senate seat in 2009, held it 48.1 to 46.4 in 2010 and 50 to 44.3 in 2016[/size][/size][/size]
[size=11][size=9][size=10]Family: Married to environmental attorney Susan Daggett, with three daughters - Halina, Anne and Caroline. Was born in New Delhi while to diplomat father Douglas Bennet, who went onto be CEO of NPR and a Clinton assistant secretary of state. His grandfather, also Douglas, was an economic adviser to FDR. Mother Susanne is retired elementary school librarian whose parents were Holocaust survivors. Brother James is editor of the New York Times opinion section[/size][/size][/size]
[size=11][size=9][size=10]Religion: Says he was raised with Jewish and Christian heritage; no known adherence[/size][/size][/size]
[size=11][size=9][size=10]Views on key issues: Moderate who does not endorse Medicare for all or - so far - Green New Deal. Strongly pro-choice and pro-gay rights, leading to 2010 Senate victory. Pro raising minimum wage. Wants citizenship pathway for 'dreamers.' [/size][/size][/size]
[size=11][size=9][size=10]Would make history as: First Colorado president[/size][/size][/size]
 

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JOE BIDEN
Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78
Entered race: April 25, 2019
Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee's notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.
Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph 'Beau' and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter's marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau's widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes
Religion: Catholic
Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is 'most progressive' Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately
Would make history as: Oldest person elected president
Slogan: Working for America
 

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CORY BOOKER
Age on Inauguration Day: 51
Entered race: February 1, 2019
Career: Currently New Jersey senator. High school football star who went to Stanford or undergraduate and masters degrees before studying in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and Yale Law School. Worked for advocacy and youth projects and successfully ran for Newark, New Jersey, city council in 1998. Narrowly lost mayoral election in 2002 facing claims he was 'suburban' and 'not black enough.' Ran again in 2006 and won landslide on radical reform platform for troubled city, including being tough on crime, cutting budget deficit, increasing affordable housing and tackling failing schools - controversially taking a huge donation from Mark Zuckerberg for the city. Ran for New Jersey senate seat in 2013 special election and won; won full term in 2014
Family: Unmarried but dating actress Rosario Dawson. Parents Cary and Carolyn were among IBM's first black executives. Brother Cary Jr. is education adviser to New Jersey's Democratic governor
Religion: Baptist
Views on key issues: Self-proclaimed liberal. Endorses abortion rights; affirmative action; single-payer health care; criminal justice reform; path to citizenship for 'dreamers; federal marijuana decriminalization; $15 minimum wage; but has also spoken against tech regulation and for long-term deficit reduction
Would make history as: First unmarried president since Grover Cleveland in 1886
Slogan: Together, America, We Will Rise     
 

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STEVE BULLOCK
Age on Inauguration Day: 54
Entered race: May 14, 2019
Career: Currently governor of Montana. Montana native educated at Claremont McKenna College, California, and Columbia Law who worked for Montana Democratic governor and Department of Justice before failed 2000 run for state attorney general. Practiced law then ran again in 2008 and won, using it to springboard to run for governor in 2012, winning 48.9 to 47.3, then winning second term in 2016 by 50.3 to 46.4 in a state which Trump won 56.2 to 35.7. Only Democratic governor to win re-election in a Trump state
Family: Married to Lisa Downs, who was a year behind him in high school. They have three children, Caroline, Alexandria and Cameron. His parents Michael, a teacher, and Margaret, a school board trustee, divorced when he was at grade school and he has one brother, Bill
Religion: Catholic
Views on key issues: Vocal moderate. Wants Democrats to expand reach beyond the coasts and cities. Not signed up to Green New Deal or Medicare for All. Warned Hillary Clinton against attacking coal mining in 2016. Says government has to afford taxation and spending commitments. Social liberal on abortion and gay marriage. Has shifted from gun control opponent to backing universal background checks and assault weapon ban
Would make history as: First Montanan president
Slogan: To be announced 
 

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PETE BUTTIGIEG
Age on Inauguration Day: 39
Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019
Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015
Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge. Would be first combat veteran since George H.W. Bush
Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian
Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a 'fresh start'; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown 
Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president
Slogan: To be announced
 

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JULIAN CASTRO 

Age on Inauguration Day: 46
Entered race: January 12, 2018, at rally in his native San Antonio, TX. Had formed exploratory committee two months previously
Career: No current job. Stanford and Harvard graduate who was a San Antonio, Texas, councilman at 26 and became mayor of the city in 2009. Was Obama's Housing and Urban Development secretary from 2014 to 2016
Family: Married with nine-year-old daughter, Carina, and four-year-old son, Cristian. His identical twin Joaquin, who is a minute younger, is Democratic congressman. Mother Maria del Rosario Castro was part of 'radical' third party for Mexican-Americans; father left his wife and five children for her but they never married. Would be first Hispanic-American president - announced his run in English and Spanish - and first-ever U.S. president with a twin
Religion:  Catholic
Views on key issues: Wants medicare for all; universal pre-K; action on affordable housing; will not take money from political action committees (PACs) tied to corporations or unions. Other views still to be announced
Would make history as: First Hispanic president, first to be a twin  
Slogan: One Nation, One Destiny
 

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BILL DE BLASIO
Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 59
Entered race: May 16, 2019
Career: Currently New York mayor. New York University and Columbia University graduate who became a 'political organizer' working in Nicaragua in support of the Sandanistas, then a volunteer for David Dinkins' campaign to be New York's first African American mayor. Bill Clinton appointee in HUD, then campaign manager of Hillary Clinton's 2000 New York Senate campaign, running for New York City Council seat the following year. Successfully ran for Public Advocate in 2009, winning high-profile city post, then used it as springboard into packed 2013 mayoral primary which also featured Anthony Weiner. Unexpectedly won Democratic field then landslide general election, repeating it in 2016, 66.5 to 27.8. Terms both hit by corruption investigations into lobbying by donors
Family: Born Warren Wilhelm Jr. to German-American war veteran father and Italian-American mother Maria de Blasio, who divorced when he was seven. Changed his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm in 1983, then Bill de Blasio in December 2001. Married since 1991 to Chirlane McCray, seven years his senior and a political campaigner and poet who says she identified as a lesbian in the 1970s and 'met the love of my life, married him.' They have two children: daughter Chiara, who graduated Santa Clara University in 2016 and who has said she battled drink and drugs and mental illness; and son Dante, a Yale undergraduate
Religion: Raised without religion. Now says 'there is a Christian underpinning to a lot of what I believe.'
Views on key issues: Ultra-liberal. Trumpeted his plan for a New York Green New Deal in Trump Tower in show of support for ultra-progressive wing. Introduced universal pre-K in the city and pushed a wealth tax. Been hostile to charter schools and backed legalized marijuana. Spoken in favour of universal healthcare. Backs immigration reforms including path to citizenship for undocumented. Spoke against stop-and-frisk. Wider foreign policy and economic positions unknown
Would make history as: Tallest president at 6' 5', beating Abraham Lincoln by an inch
Slogan: To be announced  
 

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JOHN DELANEY
Age on Inauguration Day: 57
Entered race: Filed papers July 28, 2017
Career: No current job. Columbia and Georgetown law educated financial entrepreneur. Set up publicly-traded companies lending capital to healthcare and mid-size businesses and was youngest CEO at the time of a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm. Three-time Maryland congressman, first winning election in 2012; announced run for president instead of running again in 2018
Family: Married father of four; wife April works for children's issues nonprofit. Credits his working class father's union for helping him through college
Religion: Catholic 
Views on key issues: Social liberal in favor of legalized pot and gun control but not single-payer healthcare; fiscally conservative
Would make history as: First president from Maryland. First openly bald president since Eisenhower
Slogan: Focus on the Future
 

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TULSI GABBARD
Age on Inauguration Day: 39
Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019
Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012
Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.
Religion: Hindu
Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory
Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever
Slogan: Lead with Love
 

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KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND
Age on Inauguration Day: 54
Entered race: Announced exploratory committee on Stephen Colbert's CBS show on January 16, 2019. Formal launch in front of Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York, March 24, 2019
Career: Currently New York senator. Dartmouth and UCLA law grad who was a high-flying Manhattan attorney representing big businesses. Says she was inspired to enter politics by hearing Hillary Clinton speak, although she is also scion of a prominent New York Democratic political family. Won New York's 20th district, centered on Albany in 2004; appointed to Hillary Clinton's senate seat in 2008 and won it in 2010 special election 63-35; won first full term 2012 and re-elected 67-33 in 2018
Family: Married to British venture capitalist Jonathan Gillibrand with two sons, Theodore, 15, and Henry, ten. Father Douglas Lutnik was Democratic lobbyist; grandmother Polly Noonan was at center of Albany Democratic politics
Religion: Catholic
Views on key issues: Initially pro-gun as Congresswoman, has since reversed herself to be pro-gun control and also pro-immigration; said Bill Clinton should have resigned over Monica Lewinsky and helped force Al Franken out of Senate over groping allegations; in favor of single-payer healthcare and Medicare for all
Would make history as: First female president 
Slogan: Brave wins
 


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KAMALA HARRIS  
Age on Inauguration Day: 56 
Entered race: Announced she was running January 21, 2018 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - on Good Morning America. Formally entered race January 27
Career: Currently California senator. Howard and U.C. Hunter law school grad who worked as assistant district attorney in Alameda County, CA, then in San Francisco's DA's office before being elected San Francisco DA in 2003 and used it as springboard to run successfully for California attorney general in 2010. Won again in 2014 and was at center of U.S. attorney general and Supreme Court speculation but also endured a series of controversies, including over police brutality allegations. Ran for Senate in 2016 and established herself on liberal wing of party
Family: Born in Berkeley, CA, to immigrant Indian Tamil mother and Jamaican father who were both academics and brought up from seven to 18  in Montreal, Canada. Dated married San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, when he was 60 and she was 29. Married attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014 and has two stepchildren; Cole, an aspiring actor, and Ella, an art and design student. Sister Maya was a Hillary Clinton adviser and brother-in-law Tony West is Uber's chief legal counsel
Views on key issues: Social ultra-liberal who has rejected criticisms of 'identity politics' and is running without a political action committee, which will make her reliant on small donors. Has shifted left on criminal justice reform; supports Medicare for all;  pro-gun control and anti-death penalty; says illegal immigration is a civil not a criminal offense
Religion: Has said she was brought up in both Baptist and Hindu tradition
Would make history as: First female and first Indian-American president
Slogan: For The People 
 


AMY KLOBUCHAR
Age on Inauguration Day: 60
Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis
Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018
Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher
Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)
Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants 'universal health care' but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the 'boycott, divestment and sanctions' movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE
Would make history as: First female president
Slogan: To be announced
 

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[size=22][size=31]WAYN[/size][/size]E MESSAM
Age on Inauguration day: 46
Entered race: Announced March 28, 2019, formal launch March 30, 2019
Career: Currently mayor of Miramar, Florida. Florida State University football star who played starting wide receiver, and graduated in 1997. Worked in construction industry as contractor and started his own company in 2007. Ran for City of Miramar Commission in 2011 and mayor in 2015, defeating 16-year Democratic incumbent and becoming first black mayor of the city. Won second term March 2019, days before announcing presidential bid
Family: Married to college sweetheart Angela Sands, 44, who is also his business partner. Three college-age children: son Wayne Jr. and twin daughters Kayla and Kyla. Fourth child and first American-born child of Jamaican immigrants Hubert , a sugar-cane cutter, and his wife Delsey, who are both deceased. Was president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 2018
Religion: Worships at the Fountain of New Life Church in Miami Gardens where he is a deacon
Views on key issues: Says he is staunch advocate of gun control. Wants action on climate change and is opposed to off-shore oil drilling. Opposes Trump immigration policies and proposed forcing immigration officials to get a warrant before entering city property. Yet to state position on health care and foreign policy
Would make history as: First Jamaican-American and first Florida president 
Slogan: Your Champion

 

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BETO O'ROURKE 
Age on Inauguration Day: 47
Entered race: March 14, 2019
Career: No current job. Born Robert Francis O'Rourke. Boarding-school educated Columbia grad who lived in a New York loft, playing in a punk band and doing desultory jobs and setting up an internet firm. Ran for El Paso city council in 2005, winning re-election and serving until 2012. Ran for Congress in 2012, defeating eight-term Democratic incumbent in primary. Gave up seat to run for Senate against Ted Cruz in 2018, losing 51-48
Family: Married to wife Amy Sanders, nine years his junior, with sons Ulysses and Henry, and daughter Molly. Father Pat was long-time El Paso politician who switched from Democrat to Republican; mom Melissa ran family-owned store in city until selling it after IRS probe. Melissa's stepfather Fred Korth was one of JFK's secretaries of the Navy. Father-in-law William Saunders is real estate developer estimated to be worth $500 million
Religion: Catholic
Views on key issues: Wants comprehensive immigration reform to give citizenship to 'dreamers' and a path to it for their parents, and vehemently opposes Trump's wall. Supports federal marijuana legalization. Pro-gun control including an assault rifle ban and universal background checks. Supports single-payer health care but with co-pays and has backed Medicaid expansion. Strongly pro-choice. Has hinted at backing breaking up tech giants. Said he would have voted for impeachment in Congress if he had had the chance
Would make history as: No clear claims 
Slogan: To be announced  
 

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[size=40][size=32]TIM RYAN[/size][/size]
Age on Inauguration Day: 46
Entered race: April 4, 2019
Career: Currently Ohio congressman. High school football star who got a scholarship to Youngstown State, Ohio, but transferred to nearby Bowling Green University when his career ended in injury. Became a congressional aide, picked up a law degree, then served in the Ohio Senate and when his former House boss Jim Traficant went to prison for fraud ran for his seat in 2002 and won. Has held district - first Ohio 13th then the 17th when Youngstown was redistricted - since with little opposition since. Released book on meditation in 2012 and considered running against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader
Family: Married first grade schoolteacher Andrea Zetts in 2013. Couple had a son, Brady, the following year. Zetts has a daughter, Bella, and a son, Mason, from her first marriage who Ryan says he 'loves like his own.' Ryan's first marriage ended in divorce. He was brought up by his mom Rochelle after she and his father Allen divorced when he was seven
Religion: Catholic
Views on key issues: Moderate who backs Medicare for all. Flipped from anti-abortion to pro-choice in dramatic fashion in 2015. Does not appear to back the Green New Deal but suggests a carbon tax. Spoken up for capitalism but is also pro-union. Advocated for mindfulness teaching in classrooms. Also flipped on gun control from A rating by NRA to strong support of anti-gun measures
Would make history as: Only second sitting congressman elected president - first was James Garfield, also from Ohio, in 1880 
Slogan: To be announced
 

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BERNIE SANDERS
Age on Inauguration Day: 79
Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19
Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  - for which he has apologized - and criticized for its 'Bernie bro' culture
Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deboarah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O'Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. Would be first Jewish president
Religion: Secular Jewish 
Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party's left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East
Would make history as: Oldest person elected president
Slogan: Not me. Us.
 

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JOE SESTAK
Age on Inauguration Day: 69
Entered race: June 23, 2019
Career: U.S. Naval Academy graduate who rose to three-star admiral with assignments including commanding the USS George Washington aircraft carrier battle group and Bill Clinton's National Security Council's director for defense policy but clashed with Donald Rumsfeld. Retired and ran as Democrat in Pennsylvania's 7th district 2006, won and held it until he ran for Pennsylvania's Senate seat in 2010, losing 51-49 with a margin of 80,229 votes. Ran again in 2016 but lost in primary
Family: Married to wife Susan Clark, a defense and environmental analyst he met on a trip to the then Soviet Union. Daughter Alexandra, born 2004, survived a brain tumor aged four but cancer returned this year. Father Joe Sr. was decorated Navy officer in World War II and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery
Religion: Catholic
Views on key issues: Wants $1 trillion public infrastructure plan; says there is a 'climate crisis' and wants green jobs; attacks China for 'intellectual property theft' but wants U.S. back in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trump pulled out of; wants Medicare to compete as a 'public option' rather than universal health care; also wants back into Iran deal and Paris accord
Would make history as: First veteran president since George H.W. Bush
Slogan: Accountability to America    
 

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TOM STEYER 
Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 63
Entered race: July 9, 2019
Career: Currently retired. New York-born to wealthy family, he was educated at elite Phillips Exeter Academy, same as rival Andrew Yang, and Yale, then Stanford Business School. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs banker who founded his own hedge fund in 1986 and made himself a billionaire; investments included subprime lenders, private prisons and coal mines. Stepped down in 2012 to focus on advocating for alternative energy. Longtime Democratic activist and donor who started campaign to impeach Trump in October 2017. Net worth of $1.6 billion has made him one of the Democrats' biggest single donors
Family: Married Kathryn Taylor in 1986; they have four adult children who have been told they will not inherit the bulk of his fortune. Announced last November he and his would live apart. Father Roy was a Nuremberg trials prosecutor
Religion: Episcopalian
Views on key issues: On the left of the field despite being a hedge fund tycoon. Backs single-payer health care, minimum wage rises and free public college. Previously spoke in favor of Bernie Sanders' agenda. Aggressive backer of climate change action, including ditching fossil fuels
Would make history as: Richest Democratic president ever   
 


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ELIZABETH WARREN
Age on Inauguration Day: 71
Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018
Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary's running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016
Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American
Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church
Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for 'dreamers'; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare - although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling
Would make history as: First female president 
Slogan: To be announced 
 

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MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
Age on Inauguration Day: 68
Entered race: Announced exploratory committee November 15, 2018. Formally entered January 28, 2019
Career: Currently an author, Dropped out of Pomona College, California, became part of the counter culture and anti-war movement and ran a 'metaphysical bookstore' before publishing spiritual guide A Return to Love and being praised by Oprah, sending it to number one. Published series of follow-ups and founded AIDS charity and subsequently more non-profits including a peace movement. Ran for Congress in 2014 and lost
Family: Born to immigration attorney father Sam and housewife mother Sophie in Houston, Texas. Married for 'a minute and a half' to unnamed man; daughter India was born in 1990 but Williamson declines to name her father
Religion: Jewish
Views on key issues: Wants vast expansion of physical and mental healthcare; and nutrition and lifestyle reforms including ban on marketing processed and sugary foods to children; universal pre-K; much of the Green New Deal's proposals including a de-carbonized economy, electric cars and rebuilding mass transit; gun control through licensing; wants more vacation time; pro decriminalizing all drugs
Would make history as: First female president 
Slogan: Join the Evolution

 

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ANDREW YANG
Age on Inauguration Day: 46
Entered race: Filed papers November 6, 2018
Career: No current job. Went to public school in New York where he describes being bullied with racial slurs, then elite Phillips Exeter Academy boarding school - same as rival Tom Steyer. Brown and Columbia Law graduate who abandoned career as an attorney then started a dotcom flop then become healthcare and education tech executive who set up nonprofit Venture for America
Family: Married to wife Evelyn with two sons, one of whom he has said is on the autism spectrum. His parents were both immigrants from Taiwan who met at the University of California, Berkeley, as grad students
Religion: Reformed Church
Views on key issues: Warns of rise of robots and artificial intelligence, wants $1,000 a month universal basic income and social media regulated. Spoke out against male circumcision. Wants a state monitor to crack down on 'fake news.'
Would make history as: First Asian-American president 
Slogan: Humanity First
 

AND THOSE WHO'VE ALREADY WITHDRAWN  
MIKE GRAVEL. Former Alaska governor
Entered race: April 2,2019. Quit: August 2, 2019
JOHN HICKENLOOPER: Former Colorado governor
Entered race: March 4, 2019. Quit: August 15, 2019 
JAY INSLEE: Washington state governor 
Entered race: March 1, 2019. Quit: August 21, 2019
SETH MOULTON: Massachusetts Congressman
Entered race:  April 22,2019. Quit: August 23, 2019
RICHARD OJEDA. West Virginia ex-state senator and paratrooper veteran
Entered race: November 12, 2018. Quit: January 25, 2019 
ERIC SWALWELL. California Congressman
Entered race: April 8, 2019. Quit July 8, 2019 [/size]

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Post by annemarie on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:46

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7396347/Third-case-dengue-fever-confirmed-Miami-new-reports-reveal-numbers-increasing.html

[size=34]Third case of dengue fever confirmed in Miami - as report reveals cases of the rare disease are on the rise 'due to climate change'[/size]


  • The first case was confirmed in March and the other two cases both this month

  • Officials released a high risk health alert on Friday warning Florida residents to protect themselves

  • A new report revealed dengue fever cases are rising in the Americas with two million infected so far this year


By MARY KEKATOS HEALTH REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 14:58 EDT, 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:42 EDT, 26 August 2019

     




A third case of locally-transmitted dengue fever has been confirmed in Miami-Dade County, health officials revealed.
The first case of the life-threatening mosquito-borne disease was confirmed in March and the second earlier this month - but each of the three appear unrelated, so far, according to the Florida Department of Health. 
Local officials issued a high risk health alert on Friday warning residents to protect themselves by draining standing ground water where the bugs like to breed, wearing long sleeves when outdoors and spraying insect repellent.
The third case comes on the heels of a new report that found that the number of deadly dengue fever cases are rising in several countries - including the US - due to climate change and urbanization.
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 A third case of dengue fever, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, was confirmed in Miami-Dade county. The first case was confirmed in March and the second case earlier this month (file image)
Previously, five cases of dengue fever had been confirmed in international travelers this year in Florida, reported the Miami Herald.

Dengue fever is caused by the Dengue virus, which is transmitted by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Most people experience few to no symptoms but those who develop symptoms can suffer from muscle or joint pain, headache, a high fever, nausea and vomiting.
According to the World Health Organization, if the infection progresses to be 'severe dengue,' it can be life-threatening. 
There is no treatment or vaccine for Dengue virus and most symptoms resolve after a week. 


According to the Florida Department of Health, the Dengue virus was eliminated from the US decades ago. 
However, a number of cases are reported each year, mainly by those who travel to dengue-endemic countries.
report released earlier this month by the Pan American Health Organization states that the number of dengue fever cases is rising in the Americas. 
Between North, Central and South America, more than two million cases have been reported this year, resulting in 723 deaths.
Experts say the exact cause of the spike isn't clear but attribute it to a mix of climate change and urbanization.
One study from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says warmer and wetter weather coupled with human population shifts toward tropical areas as the global population rises will put greater numbers of people at risk for dengue fever.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 21:26

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7399307/Barack-Obama-launches-new-effort-partisan-gerrymandering.html

[size=34]Barack Obama launches new effort to take on 'partisan gerrymandering' by linking up with his former attorney general Eric Holder's group which explicitly promotes gaining an advantage for Democrats[/size]


  • Barack Obama announced a new initiative to help Democrats come out on top in 2021 redistricting process 

  • His Redistricting U, part of his work with Eric Holder, will teach and train local recruits how to be leaders in what they call the fair map movement

  • 'The movement for fair maps will determine the course of progress on every issue we care about for the next decade,' Obama said 

  • Holder has made redistricting his main issue since leaving Justice Department 

  • Both Obamas - the former president and Michelle - have pushed for increased public participation in the political process since leaving the White House 


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 11:28 EDT, 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:39 EDT, 27 August 2019

     





Barack Obama announced a new initiative on Monday aimed at recruiting volunteers to help Democrats come out on top in the redistricting process that will begin after the 2020 census is complete. 
The former president is pairing up with his Eric Holder, his former attorney general, to teach and train local recruits how to be leaders in what they call the fair map movement.
'I've always believed that training is at the heart of organizing,' Obama said in a statement on the group's website.
'The movement for fair maps will determine the course of progress on every issue we care about for the next decade. And we can't wait to begin organizing when the redistricting process starts in 2021. We need to build this movement from the ground up – right now,' he added.
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Barack Obama announced a new initiative to help Democrats come out on top in 2021 redistricting process
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Redistricting U is part of his work with his former attorney general Eric Holder
Redistricting U is an extension of the All On The Line campaign, which is a combination of Obama's Organizing For Action and Holder's National Redistricting Action Fund.  

Holder has made redistricting his central issue since leaving the Justice Department. His group, which Obama supported since its inception, works on the state level to elect local candidates that can influence the map making process along with voting laws. 
Redistricting U, which is paid for by Holder's National Redistricting Action Fund, aims to train volunteers to help that goal. 
'Gerrymandering is when politicians pick their voters instead of voters picking their elected officials and it impacts communities across the nation. The All On The Line campaign will fight against gerrymandering and push for fair maps in the next round of redistricting,' the group says on its website.
Republicans invested heavily in the 2010 midterms through their Redistricting Majority Process, a group led by former Repub­lican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and advised by former Bush adviser Karl Rove. 


The investment paid off in several down-ballot wins and the GOP used their new found power to tilt House districts their way during the 2011 redistricting process. 
'He who controls redistricting can control Congress,' Rove wrote in a March 2010 Wall Street Journal op-ed. 
Democrats are working to counter act that in the 2021 map-making process by winning on the local level in next year's election while Republicans formed the National Republican Redistricting Trust, led by former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, to work against Holder's efforts.
And some Democrats, including Holder, are worried the battle for state offices will be lost in a presidential year election, when 20 candidates are fighting for the Democratic nomination.
 'I understand people are going to be legitimately focused on the presidential race, as we should be,' Holder told Mother Jones last month. 'But it's going to be my job to make sure we don't lose sight of those other races that are going to be extremely important.' 
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Barack Obama and Eric Holder teamed up to help Democrats win on the state level 
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Both Obamas - the former president and Michelle Obama - have pushed for increased public participation in the political process since leaving the White House
Every 10 years, after a census is conducted in the country, House seats are reapportioned based on population and the lines of districts are redrawn to reflect the changing demographics.
There is no standard operating procedure for redistricting as each state determines how it will configure its allocated House seats.  Some use the state legislature, others use independent commissions.
Both Obamas - the former president and Michelle Obama - have pushed for increased public and voter participation in the political process since leaving the White House. 
Michelle Obama is co-chair of We All Vote - a national effort to increase voter registration numbers around the country. 
'Our democracy and the country we love requires our attention, voice, and participation,' she said when the organization was announced. 'When we all vote, we determine our future.' 
That group, too, is stacked with Obama administration alumni, including former senior aide Valerie Jarrett and former first lady chief of staff Tina Tchen.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 23:53

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7398893/Top-federal-election-watchdog-panel-doesnt-members-legally-hold-meetings.html

[size=34]Top federal election watchdog panel doesn't have enough members to legally hold meetings after resignation leaves 6-member commission with just 3 people[/size]


  • The Federal Election Commission doesn't have enough members to rule on campaign violations and enforce election law as candidates prepare for 2020

  • Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen announced his resignation - leaving the board one member short of making its quorum

  • Petersen's exit leaves the board with three members, it needs four for quorum 

  • Without a quorum, the FEC cannot hold board meetings, start audits, make new rules and fine campaigns for any violations 

  • FEC chair Ellen Weintraub urged President Trump to nominate new commissioners as quickly as possible

  • By law, no more than three commissioners can be of the same political party 

  • The FEC is ranked as one of the least popular places to work in government 


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 09:26 EDT, 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:30 EDT, 27 August 2019

     



The Federal Election Commission doesn't have enough members to rule on campaign violations and enforce election law as candidates gear up for the 2020 contest.
The agency - which serves as a watchdog for how presidential and congressional campaigns raise and spend money - will be one member short of a quorum with the resignation of Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen.
Petersen's exit - which was announced Monday and is scheduled to take place August 31 - effectively freezes the agency.
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The resignation of FEC Commissioner Michale Petersen leaves the board without a quorum
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Without a quorum, the FEC cannot hold board meetings, start audits, make new rules and fine campaigns for any violations
Without a quorum, the FEC cannot hold board meetings, start audits, make new rules and fine campaigns for any violations. 

But chairwoman Ellen Weintraub maintains that the agency is still functioning.
'The United States' election cop is still on the 2020 campaign beat,' she said in a statement on Petersen's resignation.
She argued the FEC can still monitor campaigns, investigate reports of infractions, and make campaign finance information available.
She pointed out the campaign watchdog group can make recommendations on any complaints and 'only the commission's vote on that recommendation will be delayed.'


However, Weintraub also urged President Donald Trump to appoint new commissioners as soon as possible.
'Vice Chairman Petersen's resignation makes it imperative that the president speedily nominate new Commissioners and that the Senate move expeditiously to confirm them,' she said. 
A quorum requires four commissioners and there will only be three left on the six-person board when Petersen leaves.  
Commissioners are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. 
Each commissioner serves a six-year term and, by law, no more than three members can be of the same political party - a rule that was supposed to ensure equality but often leads to inaction and gridlock. 
President Trump nominated James Trainor, a Republican, to serve on the commission in late 2017 but Trainor has not been confirmed by the Senate.
Traditionally the president nominates a Republican and Democratic commissioner simultaneously for the Senate to vote on them together.  
With the resignation of Petersen, a Republican, the White House could call for Trainor to be confirmed without a corresponding Democrat.   
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is is unlikely to move a nominee forward unless that person has a counter part from the other party. 
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FEC chair Ellen Weintraub urged President Trump to nominate new commissioners as quickly as possible
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The FEC board - seen here meeting in 2008 - is composed of six members; the departure of Michael Petersen (second from the right) leaves it with three members and it takes four to make a quorum
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FEC commissioners act as a watchdog for campaign finance violations
The Senate leaders - in this case McConnell and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer - also typically get input into who the president nominates to the commission from their respective party.  
With Petersen's exit, the commission is composed of one Democrat, one Republican and one Independent.  
Petersen did not give a reason for his departure.
'Throughout my service, I have faithfully discharged my duty to enforce the law in a manner that respects free speech rights, while also fairly interpreting the relevant statutes and regulations and providing meaningful notice to those subject to FEC jurisdiction,' he wrote in his resignation letter. 
'I am honored to have served the American people in this capacity and to have fulfilled the oath taken 11 years ago.' 
Trump nominated Petersen to a federal judgeship in 2018 but he withdrew after he struggled to answer questions about the law during his confirmation hearing - a moment that went viral. 
'I had hoped my nearly two decades of public service might carry more weight than my two worst minutes on television,' he wrote in withdrawing his nomination. 'However, I am no stranger to political realities.'
The FEC, meanwhile, is ranked as one of the least popular places to work in government, according to surveys from the Office of Personnel Management 
Two commissioners - Democrat Ann Ravel and Republican Lee Goodman - both quit before their six-year terms expired. 
Neither has been replaced. 
As for the three remaining commissioners, all are serving beyond their expired six-year term as the law allows them to continue to serve.  
Chairwoman Weintraub, who was nominated by former President George W. Bush to the agency, has served more than a decade past the end of her term. 
Petersen, who was appointed to the board by Bush in 2008, also served beyond his term.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:14

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7399093/President-Bolsonaro-tells-Emmanuel-Macron-withdraw-insults.html

[size=34]President Bolsonaro tells Emmanuel Macron that HE has to 'withdraw insults' before Brazil will accept G7 Amazon aid - after sparking fury when he appeared to insult Brigitte Macron[/size]


  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said his French counterpart had called him a liar 

  • He said he will only accept G7 aid if Emmanuel Macron 'withdraws insults'

  • It is the latest deterioration in a running feud between Bolsonaro and Macron  

  • Trump endorsed Bolsonaro's response to the fires and pledged US support


By JESSICA GREEN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:50 EDT, 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 22:39 EDT, 27 August 2019

     



Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has said he will only accept an offer of international aid for fighting fires in the Amazon if French leader Emmanuel Macron 'withdraws insults' made against him.
Mr Bolsonaro said his French counterpart had called him a liar, and accused him of questioning Brazil's sovereignty amid tensions over devastating fires sweeping the Amazon region.  
It is the latest deterioration in a running feud between Bolsonaro and Macron, with recent jibes over the Notre Dame inferno and Macron's wife, Brigitte.
The G7 nations have pledged 20million dollars (£16.3million) to help fight the flames in the Amazon and protect the rainforest, in addition to a separate 12million dollars (£9.8million) from Britain and 11 million dollars (£9million) from Canada. 

'To talk or accept anything from France, with the best possible intentions, he (Macron) has to withdraw these words, and from there we can talk,' Bolsonaro told reporters today.  
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Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro (pictured left) has said he will only accept an offer of international aid for fighting fires in the Amazon if French leader Emmanuel Macron (pictured right with his wife Brigitte at the recent G7 Summit)  'withdraws insults' made against him
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More than 80,000 forest fires have broken out in Brazil since the beginning of the year. Pictured: A fire ruins trees along the road to Jacunda National Forest
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US President Donald Trump endorsed Bolsonaro's response to the fires and pledged ‘full and complete’ US support
[size=10][size=18]Brazilian president questions Amazon aid offer




L
[/size][/size]



US President Donald Trump endorsed Bolsonaro's response to the fires and pledged ‘full and complete’ US support.
Bolsonaro ‘is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil - Not easy,’ Trump tweeted. ‘He and his country have the full and complete support of the USA!’
Macron, who has questioned Bolsonaro's trustworthiness and commitment to protecting biodiversity, has shrugged off the snub from the Brazilian president.
The French leader said in a speech Tuesday that Bolsonaro's interpretation is a ‘mistake’.












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It comes after a Bolsonaro supporter posted this meme mocking Brigitte Macron, 66, and comparing her unfavourably with Brazil's first lady 37-year-old Michelle Bolsonaro. It says: 'Now you understand why Macron is persecuting Bolsonaro?' The far-right Brazilian leader replied: 'Do not humiliate the guy, ha ha,' referring to Mr Macron
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Asked whether the response came from Bolsonaro (pictured with wife Michelle) himself, a spokesman for Brazil's presidential palace refused to comment
A Brazilian posted a meme comparing the appearance of Mrs Macron, 66, and Brazil's 37-year-old first lady Michelle Bolsonaro.

G7 nations are mocked over their $22million pledge to help fight Amazon forest fires as social media users point out ‘Netflix paid $100million to stream Friends’ 


Social media users have mocked the G7 nations for only pledging $22million to help fight Amazon forest fires.
As one person pointed out that ‘Netflix paid $100million to stream Friends’, internet users were left unimpressed with the amount offered in comparison to the South American rainforests.
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Social media users unimpressed with the G7 nations pledging only $22million to help fight Amazon forest fires

One wrote: ‘Within hours of Notre Dame catching fire, France and prominent European families pledged $1 billion to rebuild it. But the Amazon only gets $20 million?’
‘Let me get this straight: $1 billion is immediately pledged when an old church burns down in Paris,’ another said: ‘A global catastrophe on the other hand, one that poses a threat to every living being on this planet, is met with $20 million from nations with a combined GDP of $40 trillion?’
The G7 (or Group of Seven) is made up of the world's seven largest advanced economies: France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.




It had the tagline: 'Now you understand why Macron is persecuting Bolsonaro?'
Bolsonaro replied: 'Don't humiliate the guy, ha ha,' referring to Macron.
When asked about the post at the G7 summit, Macron replied: 'He said very disrespectful things about my wife, I have great respect for the Brazilian people and can only hope they soon have a president who is up to the job...
'What can I say? It's sad. It's sad for him firstly, and for Brazilians...
'I think Brazilian women will probably be ashamed to read that from their president.' 
Bolsonaro, in turn, said Macron's 'ludicrous and unnecessary attacks on the Amazon' were unacceptable and accused him of treating the region 'as if we were a colony.'  
He tweeted: 'We cannot accept that a president, Macron, unleashes unreasonable and unreasonable attacks on the Amazon, nor disguises his intentions behind the idea of ​​an 'alliance' of the G-7 countries to 'save' the Amazon, as if we were a colony or a no man's land.
'Other heads of state sympathized with Brazil, after all respect for the sovereignty of any country is the least that can be expected in a civilized world.'
Further stinging barbs were fired across the Atlantic later in the day when Bolsonaro's chief of staff rebuked the French president for his failure to prevent the Notre Dame fire in April. 
'We appreciate (the offer), but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,' Onyx Lorenzoni, chief of staff to President Jair Bolsonaro, told the G1 news website.
'Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site,' he added, referring to the fire in April that devastated the Notre-Dame cathedral. 'What does he intend to teach our country?' 
The French president has threatened to block a huge new trade deal between the European Union and Latin America unless his Brazilian counterpart takes serious steps to protect the fast-shrinking forest from logging and mining. 
Meanwhile, weak rainfall is unlikely to extinguish a record number of fires raging in Brazil's Amazon anytime soon, with pockets of precipitation through September 10 expected to bring only isolated relief, according to weather data and two experts. 
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Bolsonaro previously tweeted that Macron's 'ludicrous and unnecessary attacks on the Amazon' were unacceptable and accused him of treating the region 'as if we were a colony.'
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Mr Macron (left, wife Brigitte) said Bolsonaro's (right) comments were 'extraordinarily rude', adding: 'What can I say? It's sad. It's sad for him firstly, and for Brazilians'
[size=18]Wildfire devastation of Amazon rainforest revealed by drone footage




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The rain forecast in the next 15 days is concentrated in areas that need it least, according to Maria Silva Dias, a professor of atmospheric sciences at University of Sao Paulo. 
Less precipitation is expected in parts of the Amazon experiencing the worst fires, she added. 
‘In some areas it could reduce the fires, not in general,’ said Matias Sales a meteorologist for Brazil weather information firm Climatempo.
The 15-day rain forecast is at or below the average for this period in previous years, according to Climatempo.
Brazilian environment Minister Ricardo Salles told reporters on Monday they had welcomed the G7 funding to fight the fires that have swept across 950,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) and prompted the deployment of the army. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17690628-7395235-Trees_are_destroyed_after_a_fire_in_the_Alvorada_da_Amazonia_reg-a-35_1566835354449

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Trees are destroyed after a fire in the Alvorada da Amazonia region in Novo Progresso, Para state, on Sunday
[size=18]Devastating fires continue to burn across Brazil's rainforest




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But after a meeting between Bolsonaro and his ministers, the Brazilian government changed course.
'Brazil is a democratic, free nation that never had colonialist and imperialist practices, as perhaps is the objective of the Frenchman Macron,' Lorenzoni said.
Hundreds of new fires have flared up in the Brazilian part of the forest, data showed Monday, even as military aircraft dumped water over hard-hit areas.
Smoke choked Porto Velho city and forced the closure of the airport for nearly two hours as fires raged in the northwestern state of Rondonia where firefighting efforts are concentrated.
Bolsonaro - a climate-change sceptic - has faced criticism over his delayed response to the fires at home and thousands have taken to the streets in Brazil in recent days to denounce the destruction.
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by party animal - not! on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 11:49

Sorry, but here's another article on the oversight (or lack of it?!) in your elections...

https://thinkprogress.org/thanks-to-mitch-mcconnell-america-now-has-no-functioning-election-commission-42c5b3aeb758/

Serious echoes of the film 'Vice'.................

https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/459067-mississippi-officials-confirm-multiple-cases-of-voting-machines-changing

Scary stuff - no wonder they don't want to change to paper ballots.The Russians must be giggling.....

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by LizzyNY on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 14:03

Has anyone else noticed that whenever our government is blocked from doing what it's supposed to do, Mitch McConnell is responsible? IMO he's the greatest danger to our political system's survival  - worse even than drumpf. drumpf is just an idiot. McConnell is a deliberate obstructionist who is willing to destroy this country in order to keep the power he has.

To anyone here in the US: McConnell is running for re-election. PLEASE donate whatever you can to his Democratic opponent or anyone else running against him. He needs to be gone!
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Post by Donnamarie on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 19:17

Agree Lizzy. McConnell is scary. As far as I’m concerned he is totally complicit with Russian interference in our election ... 2016 and 2020. There have been louder voices calling Moscow Mitch out of late. Especially the press. But not the Republicans. Lots of political talk of how the Dems must take control of the Senate in 2020. His Democratic opponent in Kentucky, Amy McGrath, had a terrific and damning ad just released. McConnell has incredible financial backing and a huge campaign chest. I don’t hold out too much hope that McGrath can take him down though his poll numbers in Kentucky are pretty bad. Anyone who can donate to her campaign should. McConnell IS as damaging to our democracy as Trump is. He is a total obstructionist. He needs to be gone.
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by party animal - not! on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 19:27

It's 'interesting that already eleven Republicans are retiring from public life during the next election isn't it?

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/10/mcconnell-elaine-chao-1358068

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Post by annemarie on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 19:54

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7403017/Trump-told-aides-pardon-built-wall-seizing-private-land.html

[size=34]Donald Trump told aides he would pardon them if they built his wall by seizing private land and breaking environmental laws as he's in a rush to finish hundreds of miles and paint them BLACK by Election Day[/size]


  • Trump made building a wall on the southern border a primary campaign promise 

  • He is reprogramming funds from other agencies, including the Pentagon and FEMA

  •  He reportedly has told aides he would pardon them if they skirted laws by seizing land and running afoul of environmental regulations

  • Trump Monday said he has filled out more environmental impact statements than anyone 

  • The White House did not explicitly deny the pardon comments, but an official said Trump was joking 


By GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 09:50 EDT, 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:24 EDT, 28 August 2019

     





President Donald Trump is telling White House aides he will pardon them if they run afoul of the law in the rush to construct border wall before the November elections.
Trump, who made building a wall on the southern border a top campaign promise, has already taken extraordinary actions to speed construction, allowing millions in funds to be reprogrammed from other agencies including the Pentagon and FEMA.
A former administration official told the Washington Post Trump has told aides who have raised objections about the legality of certain actions not to worry.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17788336-7403017-image-a-1_1567000066522

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President Trump has told aides he will pardon them if they run afoul of the law in the rush to build new wall. An official said he was joking
“Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,” Trump told officials during one wall meeting, the Washington Post reported.  Said a former official: “He said people expected him to build a wall, and it had to be done by the election.' 

A White House official did not deny the statements, but told the paper the president was joking. Said White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley: '“Donald Trump promised to secure our border with sane, rational immigration policies to make American communities safer, and that’s happening everywhere the wall is being built. He blasted 'just more fabrications by people who hate the fact the status quo, that has crippled this country for decades, is finally changing as President Trump is moving quicker than anyone in history to build the wall, secure the border and enact the very immigration policies the American people voted for.'
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Trump has taken an interest in the color of the wall, ordering it be painted black, with sharp tips 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17788340-7403017-image-a-2_1567000070148

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View of the Mexico-US wall on June 18, 2019, in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17788332-7403017-image-a-3_1567000074346

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So far, the government has replaced about 60 miles of border barrier
Securing land from ranchers along the southern border necessary to construct additional wall in remote locations has been one holdup. Another are potential environmental threats to species, migratories patterns, and the watershed along the Rio Grande. 
Trump has regularly inveighed against environmental holdups, and on Monday, when asked if he believed in global warming, said he has done more environmental impact statements than anyone. 





Trump has involved himself in the details of the wall, approving prototypes, calling it to be see-through in areas, and weighing in on the color. 
During a White House May 23 meeting, Trump ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to paint steel fence barriers black, internal documents reviewed by the Post reveal. Documents reveal the Corps is acceding to Trump's request and instructing contractors to carry out the order. 
Painting 175 miles of barriers will add between $70 million to $133 million to the tab, according to an analysis obtained by the paper.  
Trump told aides he wants spike tips atop the wall, according to the report.  
Warned a senior official: 'They don’t care how much money is spent, whether landowners’ rights are violated, whether the environment is damaged, the law, the regs or even prudent business practices.'
Trump may have been joking about his pardon power, but he has made use of it to relieve political allies during his presidency. Among those who have received Trump pardons are former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is now trying to make a political comeback. 
To date the corps has replaced about 60 miles of border barrier. Trump has said existing barriers were falling down and in need of replacement.

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Post by annemarie on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 21:36

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7407739/Trump-tweets-economy-doing-GREAT-government-says-economic-growth-second-quarter-down.html

[size=34]Donald Trump tweets that the economy is doing 'GREAT' and demands an interest rate cut as government says economic growth in second quarter of the year was slightly lower than previously reported[/size]


  • Donald Trump touted the 'great' U.S. economy as the government said growth in the second quarter slowed compared with the first 

  • The president also got in a shot at the Federal Reserve 

  • 'The Economy is doing GREAT, with tremendous upside potential! If the Fed would do what they should, we are a Rocket upward!,' he tweeted

  • Last week Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell indicated he will not raise interest rates as Trump wants him to do

  • Trump has made the strong economy his main re-election argument  

  • U.S. economic growth was at 2 per cent in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said, compared to 3.1 per cent in the first three months of the year 


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 12:09 EDT, 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:03 EDT, 29 August 2019

     




Donald Trump touted the 'great' U.S. economy on Thursday as the government said growth in the second quarter slowed compared with the first three months of the year.
The president also got in a shot at the Federal Reserve, a government agency he has repeatedly targeted in his push for a strong economy, once again demanding a cut in interest rates. 
'The Economy is doing GREAT, with tremendous upside potential! If the Fed would do what they should, we are a Rocket upward!,' he tweeted.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17839120-7407739-image-a-34_1567094771956

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Donald Trump touted the 'great' U.S. economy as the government said growth in the second quarter slowed compared with the first
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17839098-7407739-image-a-35_1567094775054


Trump has made a strong American economy the central plank in his re-election campaign.  He and his advisers have repeatedly pushed back against concerns there could be a dip down toward a recession as the 2020 election approaches. 

While unemployment remains at a 50 year low, some other economic indicators have sparked worry - business investment has stalled and American manufacturing slowed for the first time in 10 years this month, endangering blue-collar jobs. 
Meanwhile the U.S. economy saw its growth slow in the second quarter of the year.
Gross domestic product was at 2 per cent, the Commerce Department said Thursday, compared to the 3.1 per cent growth it experienced in the first three months of the year.


Trump's trade war with China is one of the factors said to be affecting the American economy despite the president's insistence it's not.
He has pointed the blame toward other factors including targeting Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell for not cutting interest rates.
The Federal Reserve operates independently but Trump repeatedly uses the power of his bully pulpit to try and influence its policies. 
After Powell told a banking conference last week the economy was in a 'favorable place' and refused to provide a clear signal he will bend to Trump's demand for rate cuts, the president reacted in Twitter fury, speculating that Powell might be a 'bigger enemy' that Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.
'My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?' Trump snapped via Twitter on Friday, minutes after Powell's remarks. 
The stock market dropped over 600 points after his attack.  
Additionally, in a Quinnipiac poll out Wednesday, about four in 10 voters said Trump's policies are hurting the economy, the highest level since Trump became president. 
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Trump has been critical of Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell for not lowering interest rates
[size=18]Trump on 'trade spat' with China and potential Jay Powell resignation




Lo
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And nearly half of voters (49 per cent) disapprove of his handling of the economy, compared to 46 per cent who approve. 
That is a marked changed from a poll out last week.
In a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research out Friday, voters gave Trump his highest rating for handling the economy - approving of his job performance there over his handling of gun policy, immigration, and health care. 
But even on the economic issue, Trump is slightly underwater: 46 per cent approve of his handling and 51 per cent disapprove.

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 21:46

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7407621/US-citizenship-no-longer-automatic-children-born-military-members.html

[size=34]US citizenship will no longer be automatic for some children of military members or government workers stationed abroad under new policy change[/size]


  • The policy change seems to be targeted at immigrants serving in the US military

  • Initially a document suggested children of US citizens would also be affected  

  • Citizenship and Immigration Services said it wouldn't affect citizenship at birth


By DANYAL HUSSAIN FOR MAILONLINE and ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 11:20 EDT, 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 EDT, 29 August 2019


         
  • [email=?subject=Read%20this:%20US%20citizenship%20will%20no%20longer%20be%20automatic%20for%20some%20children%20of%20military%20members%20or%20government%20workers%20stationed%20abroad%20under%20new%20policy%20change%C2%A0&body=US%20citizenship%20will%20no%20longer%20be%20automatic%20for%20some%20children%20of%20military%20members%20or%20government%20workers%20stationed%20abroad%20under%20new%20policy%20change%C2%A0%0A%0AActing%20USCIS%20director%20Ken%20Cuccinelli%20%28pictured%29%20played%20down%20the%20changes%20which%20will%20make%20it%20harder%20for%20the%20children%20of%20some%20immigrants%20serving%20in%20the%20military%20to%20obtain%20citizenship.%0A%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7407621%2FUS-citizenship-no-longer-automatic-children-born-military-members.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top%0A%0A%0AMost%20Read%20Articles%3A%0A%0ANASA%20releases%20ISS%20footage%20of%20Hurricane%20Dorian%20churning%20over%20the%20Atlantic%20as%20forecasters%20warn%20the%20storm%20is%20set%20to%20strengthen%20to%20a%20monster%20Category%204%20and%20batter%20Florida%20with%20130MPH%20winds%20on%20Labor%20Day%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7405353%2FHurricane-Dorian-spares-Puerto-Rico-expected-strengthen-hitting-Florida.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0AIntern%2C%2027%2C%20is%20knifed%20to%20death%20by%20man%20who%20%27targeted%20her%20at%20random%27%20while%20she%20was%20walking%20a%20dog%20in%20Washington%2C%20DC%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7405207%2FIntern-fatally-stabbed-man-targeted-random-walked-dog-Washington-DC.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0AAndrew%27s%20in%20the%20frame%3A%20%27Friends%27%20might%20say%20the%20picture%20that%20dogged%20the%20prince%20for%20years%20is%20fake%2C%20but%20The%20Mail%20probes%20the%20events%20of%20that%20night%20-%20so%20that%20YOU%20can%20decide%20if%20it%27s%20genuine%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7404473%2FAndrews-frame-Friends-say-picture-dogged-prince-years-fake.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0A]e-mail[/email]




New rules unveiled by the Trump administration will make it harder for the children of some immigrants serving in the military to obtain citizenship, it has been claimed.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services released updated guidance on Wednesday that appeared to mostly affect non-citizen service members.
It means that children who are adopted by US service members abroad and children who are born to immigrant service members while overseas will not receive automatic citizenship.
However, it caused confusion among immigration lawyers and advocates after a document appeared to show children of American citizens would also be affected.

Department of Defense spokeswoman Lt. Col. Carla M. Gleason said in a statement that the department worked closely with USCIS and 'understands the estimated impact of this particular change is small.'
'However, we are committed to ensuring affected families are provided the appropriate information, resources, and support during this transition,' Gleason said.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17837684-0-image-a-22_1567091286109

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Acting Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli played down the impact of the changes and said they do not deny citizenship of US government employees or members of the military born abroad
The policy manual update is highly technical and contradicts parts of an 11-page memo the agency initially put out that implied American citizens were among those whose children would no longer be automatically granted citizenship if born abroad.
Agency spokeswoman Meredith Parker told the military news organization Task and Report that the policy change 'explains that we will not consider children who live abroad with their parents to be residing in the United States even if their parents are US government employees or US service members stationed outside of the United States, and as a result, these children will no longer be considered to have acquired citizenship automatically.' 

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However, her boss, acting director Ken Cuccinelli, played down the changes in a Twitter statement, saying the update doesn't deny citizenship to children of government and military members.
'This policy aligns USCIS' process with the Department of State's procedures for these children - that's it. Period.'
He later added in a statement:  "This only affects children who were born outside the United States and were not US citizens. This does NOT impact birthright citizenship. This policy update does not deny citizenship to the children of US government employees or members of the military born abroad.' 
The policy change is yet another roadblock that the administration of President Donald Trump has placed for people to live legally in the United States, said immigration attorney Martin W. Lester, who is based in Tennessee and who serves on the military assistance committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17837782-0-image-a-23_1567091400615

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One immigration attorney claimed that the policy change is yet another roadblock that the administration of President Donald Trump has placed for people to live legally in the United States
[size=18]Cuccinelli announces rules for migrants applying for green cards




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It appears to target children of service members who are legal permanent residents and not US citizens, but could also affect citizens if they can't prove they lived in the US for a certain amount of time. 
People in those scenarios would have to undergo a more cumbersome process for obtaining American citizenship for their kids.
'It's gonna take time, money, it's gonna cause stress. There's gonna be some people whose kids aren't gonna qualify and that's gonna cause a huge problem,' Lester said.
Parker, the USCIS spokeswoman, repeatedly refused to answer questions from The Associated Press, referring only to Cuccinelli's Twitter statement.
Immigrant advocates have said the Trump administration has unfairly treated members of the military who aren't American citizens. 
Last year, it was reported that the Army was quietly and abruptly discharging soldiers who enlisted through a special recruitment program that promised a path to citizenship.
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by carolhathaway on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 06:27

No article, no discussion about PM Johnson's suspension of the British Parliament?
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:09

[size=39]Boris Johnson suspending Parliament may destroy British democracy — but it sure benefits Boris
The new prime minister is creating a crisis on top of a crisis. But to what end — and at what eventual cost to the country?[/size]

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 190723-boris-johnson-mn-0937_0a7878cf718031c2a44d71226c392637.fit-760w
Boris Johnson arrives at the Conservative party headquarters in central London on July 23, 2019.[size=10]Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images
[/size]



[size=10]Aug. 29, 2019, 11:25 AM EDT


By Sadhbh Walshe

This much can be said for Britain’s buccaneering prime minister, Boris Johnson: He doesn’t disappoint his most ardent fans, no matter how terrible the potential consequences for the rest of Britain. With all the delicacy of a swashbuckling pirate — swinging from a chandelier and crashing onto the banquet table — Johnson on Wednesday made his most reckless move yet to ensure that Britain’s departure from the European Union, known as Brexit, not only occurs on schedule, but also that it occurs without any kind of deal in place to govern future trade with the E.U., any customs issues, joint security concerns … and never mind resolving that pesky matter of reinstating an Irish border that no one on the island wants.
Thus, he effectively silenced the opposition by invoking the queen’s consent to shut down Parliament until mid-October, just two weeks shy of the country’s still-pending E.U. departure date.

To understand what Johnson has done, one would have to imagine President Donald Trump sending Congress on a forced vacation at a time of national crisis in order to exclusively govern by executive order. While proroguing Parliament — the official term for shutting it down temporarily — is technically par for the course for new governments in Britain, it is usually done for no more than a couple of days to hold a queen’s speech outlining plans for the year to come.




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Johnson’s unsubtle decision to prorogue for nearly six weeks — effectively waiting out the clock until Brexit, thereby ensuring that Parliament cannot legislate against it — has been dubbed “bold” by supporters and a “coup” by opponents. Whichever it turns out to be, it’s unlikely to have positive ramifications for the country’s future relationship with its European allies, for its own (ostensibly democratic) system of government and even for its monarchy. (By forcing her hand, Johnson has ensured that the queen will be forever associated with whatever chaos Brexit brings.)
But in the weird political vortex in which Britons now find themselves in, where recklessness is more highly prized than steady and reasoned debate, it may nonetheless play out in Johnson’s favor, at least in the short term.
Many commentators have suggested that, in addition to wanting to deprive the opposition (both within his own party and outside of it) of a voice at a crucial time, Johnson’s ultimate goal may be to force an early general election. With only a few days to maneuver before their session is suspended by Johnson, the opposition parties in Parliament may decide their best option is to trigger a no-confidence vote and, in such an event, it’s unlikely that Johnson would have the numbers to survive. If no other coalition could then form an alternative government with a new prime minister within 14 days (and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is particularly unpopular at the moment) a new election would automatically be triggered — though there is no guarantee that it would happen before the current Brexit date.

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 190722-boris-johnson-mn-1010_0116aa83fdb8048ba5ee6617f0a9de0f.fit-760w

London Mayor Boris Johnson dangles from a zip-wire in London's Victoria Park on Aug. 1, 2012, after a botched publicity stunt left Johnson stranded some 15 feet off the ground.Rebecca Denton / Getty Images file
Although, to rational people, it would seem like a rather crazy waste of government time to hold a new election right now, especially with only two months left to institute plans for the no-deal Brexit to which he seems committed — ensuring food and medicine supplies and so on — that’s not likely to deter Johnson.
With the political tide currently in his favor (he is, at least, popular among Brexit supporters in Britain) and a weakened opposition (the Labour party has struggled under Corbyn’s leadership to form any coherent Brexit strategy), and an electorate not yet bruised by any of the expected post-Brexit economic fallout, Johnson could not only win a new general election, but also increase the conservative party’s majority in Parliament, strengthening his bargaining hand with the E.U. with but a couple of weeks to go before the Brexit deadline.
Although it’s hard for Americans to imagine a national election playing out in six weeks or less, it’s quite feasible in Britain: If Parliament holds a no-confidence vote as soon as they return in September and Johnson then immediately calls an election without running out the 14-day clock, the election could happen as soon as Oct. 11. If Johnson then wins the election on a pro-Brexit, deal-or-no-deal platform, and returns to government with an increased majority, there might still be enough time to pressure the E.U. into making some concessions to him — whether on the Irish backstop or on other aspects of the current withdrawal deal — that it wouldn’t make to his predecessor. And with both a bigger majority in Parliament and a stronger mandate to deliver Brexit, Johnson would have the numbers to get his deal passed.
That all depends of course, on whether E.U. negotiators are really willing to play his game in the end.




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Since he came to office, the prime minister has reduced negotiations with the E.U. to a game of chicken. By proclaiming that he was ready to take Britain out of Europe with or without a deal by Oct. 31, Johnson seems to have been hoping to force his European counterparts’ hand. After all, there is little appetite among European leaders for Britain to crash out of the union with no deal because, while the worst of the economic shock from such a scenario would be felt in Britain, most European economies would take some hit.
But, despite the threat of no-deal, the E.U. negotiators have not blinked, refusing to reopen the withdrawal agreement. Johnson, for his part, has said that his negotiating hand has been weakened by Parliament’s threats to block a no-deal Brexit. Now that he has silenced the opposition and may essentially overthrow them in a new election, he may be hoping the E.U. takes him more seriously.
For now, however, all anyone can do is speculate on how this scenario is actually going to unfold.




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We want to hear what you THINK. Please submit a letter to the editor.


Johnson’s proroguing ploy is likely to face a court challenges: The Scottish National Party had already mounted a legal challenge in Edinburgh prior to Johnson’s making it official and the former Tory Prime Minister, John Major, has indicated that he will mount a similar challenge in English courts.
Meanwhile the opposition parties are not planning to go quietly into the good night. The day before Johnson’s maneuver became law, Labor, Liberal Democrat, Green party and even some Conservative members of Parliament held a symbolic meeting at Church House in Westminster — the same spot where members met in crisis during the Second World War — and more than 160 signed a declaration that they will use “whatever mechanism necessary” to stop Johnson, including forming an alternative Parliament. In other words, they have told him, to “bring it on.”
And, meanwhile, the U.K. is still scheduled to exit the E.U. automatically on Oct. 31.
By the time this matter has resolved itself, instead of swinging from chandeliers, Johnson may be wishing he was trapped once more on that zip line in London, suspended midair “like a damp towel on a (washing) line,” far removed from the chaos he has wrought on his country.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Sadhbh-walsh_b6795264988cb791c5e0db5397cf94fcSadhbh Walshe
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Post by annemarie on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:11

[size=39]U.K. Government Announces Plans to Suspend Parliament Before Brexit. Here's What That Means
[url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=The U.K. government has announced plans to suspend Parliament before Brexit%2C preventing lawmakers from legislating against "no deal"][/url][/size]

U.K. Government Will Ask Queen to Suspend Parliament Before Brexit Deadline, Report Says
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is preparing to ask Queen Elizabeth II to prorogue or suspend the U.K. Parliament from September until mid-October.



WHY THE RESIGNATION OF A KEY SCOTTISH LEADER IS A SIGN THE U.K. COULD BREAK APART OVER BREXIT
FARC SAYS REBELS WILL TAKE UP ARMS AGAINST COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT AGAIN
BRITISH CABINET MINISTER DEFENDS LEAKED NO-DEAL BREXIT DOCUMENTS
BY BILLY PERRIGO  
UPDATED: AUGUST 29, 2019 9:26 PM ET | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: AUGUST 28, 2019
The U.K. government announced controversial plans to suspend parliament on Wednesday morning, a gamble which could allow a “no deal” Brexit to be forced through — or preempt a vote of no confidence in the government.
The Queen formally agreed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s request to end the current parliamentary session, the government said Wednesday.
The move to “prorogue” parliament will effectively lock lawmakers out of the building for several days in early September, possibly preventing them from making laws that would force Britain’s exit from the European Union to be delayed or even canceled if a deal cannot be agreed.
Britain is scheduled to leave the E.U. on Oct. 31, but currently has not accepted a withdrawal agreement which would lessen the shock of its departure. Johnson has pledged to leave on Halloween with or without such a deal — but many lawmakers are opposed to the shock economists say a so-called “no deal” Brexit would bring.





What is prorogation?


The prorogation of parliament is when the Queen ends one parliamentary session so that another can begin.
Prorogation can only happens when the Queen says so — which, in the modern era, is only after the Prime Minister has requested it. Lawmakers do not have a say in preventing prorogation.
In practice, it means sitting lawmakers will not meet for several weeks, meaning they cannot pass laws. Prorogation also gives the government an opportunity to set out its new agenda for the coming session, which is announced by the Queen in a speech to lawmakers amid great pomp and ceremony.
A Queen’s speech, in which she addresses lawmakers in parliament amid great pomp and ceremony setting out the agenda for the upcoming parliamentary session, is scheduled for Oct. 14.

Why is Johnson proroguing parliament now?


Johnson’s opponents have accused him of proroguing parliament in order to make a “no deal” Brexit more likely. But his government says a new parliamentary session is overdue. Normally a parliamentary session lasts for around a year. But the current session began in 2017, extended to give time to complex Brexit legislation.

The Johnson government announced the plan to prorogue parliament as a “plan to bring forward a bold and ambitious legislative agenda,” arguing that the current session of parliament had gone on for too long. “This is clearly the defence [the U.K. government] is going to run against charges of carrying out a constitutional outrage,” said Laura Kuennsberg, the BBC political editor who first broke the news, on Twitter.
But there is a political explanation, too. Lawmakers have been on their summer break since July 25, just one day after Johnson became Prime Minister. On Sept. 3 they are due to return. They were due to sit for around two weeks until Sept. 14, when, in keeping with annual tradition, Parliament would be suspended until mid-October to allow for party conferences to take place.
Those two weeks were shaping up to be crucial for efforts by lawmakers to legislate against a “no deal” Brexit. But prorogation means lawmakers will only sit until Sept. 9 at the earliest and Sept. 12 at the latest, reducing the amount of time they have to agree on a law which could make it illegal for the U.K. to leave the E.U. without a deal, forcing Brexit to be delayed or even canceled.


What impact will this have on Brexit?


The move basically means that the Brexit endgame has been brought forward to next week.
Lawmakers have been trying for months to design legislation which would both make “no deal” impossible and prove palatable to a majority of lawmakers. So far they have failed, but with the clock ticking down a new plan may arise in the coming days.
Alternatively, if none can be found, those same lawmakers could trigger a vote of no confidence in Johnson’s premiership — potentially toppling his government. It wouldn’t take much: Johnson has a working majority of just one vote, and several lawmakers in his party have pledged to vote against his government if it attempts to force through “no deal.”
If lawmakers vote down Johnson’s government in a vote of no confidence, they will have 14 days in which to agree on a replacement government, otherwise an election will be held. Officials have threatened to hold that election after the Oct. 31 deadline, according to reports, effectively gambling that no majority exists for an alternative coalition government and thus ensuring a no deal Brexit.

But Johnson has also said that he wants to renegotiate the current deal between the E.U. and the U.K. — which was negotiated by his predecessor Theresa May, and which British lawmakers refused to ratify three times earlier in 2019. Should a breakthrough with the E.U. occur, Johnson has said lawmakers will be able to return to parliament to vote on a new deal before Oct. 31. “If, as I hope, a deal with the E.U. is forthcoming, parliament will then have the opportunity to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill required for ratification ahead of 31 October,” he said in a statement.
Alternatively, it could even mean May’s deal being brought back from the dead. The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, ruled out a fourth vote on the deal when May was Prime Minister, based on the argument that the same legislation could not be voted on multiple times during the same sitting of parliament. In a new sitting, that argument becomes invalid. So, if Johnson fails to renegotiate the deal but decides May’s deal is better than no deal, and a majority of lawmakers agree with him, Britain could end up leaving the E.U. with the deal already on the table.


What has been the reaction so far?


Opposition lawmakers immediately rallied against the plans to prorogue parliament. “Boris Johnson’s attempt to suspend parliament to avoid scrutiny of his plans for a reckless No Deal Brexit is an outrage and a threat to our democracy,” said the opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, on Twitter. “Labour will work across Parliament to hold the government to account and prevent a disastrous No Deal.” Corbyn also wrote to the Queen to protest against Johnson’s plan.
Lawmakers within Johnson’s ruling Conservative party also voiced opposition to the move. “It would be a constitutional outrage if Parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis. Profoundly undemocratic,” said Philip Hammond, the U.K.’s former finance minister who has threatened to vote against Johnson in a vote of no confidence.
Johnson did, however, have one prominent backer in the President of the U.S.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:14

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/british-leaders-backers-dismiss-outrage-over-parliament-suspension-as-candyfloss/2019/08/29/fa1e2c96-ca3c-11e9-a4f3-c081a126de70_story.html


[size=56]Allies of British prime minister resign amid outrage over Parliament suspension
[/size]










[size=15]A day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to suspend Parliament, Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson resigned on Aug. 29. (Press Association (PA))


By Karla Adam and
Michael Birnbaum
August 29 at 12:26 PM


LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced defections from senior Conservative lawmakers Thursday as a backlash built and opponents planned legal challenges to his decision to suspend Parliament to push his Brexit plans.

The resignation of Ruth Davidson, who quit her role as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, along with a senior Conservative in the House of Lords, was a sign of rising worry within Johnson’s ranks that the move to suspend Parliament was sidelining Britain’s elected representatives during one of the biggest political crises in generations.

Elsewhere in Europe, policymakers were jolted by the move to suspend Parliament for five weeks, which some of them said brought Britain closer to a sudden, cliff-edge Brexit that analysts say could spark food and medicine shortages. Some diplomats said they were increasingly convinced Johnson would stop at little in a risky gambit to force both Europe and his own rebellious lawmakers into a compromise.



The resignations came after protesters jammed streets in cities around the country, including London, Edinburgh and Manchester. Outside Parliament, demonstrators chanted “Stop the coup!” A petition calling for the government to stop the suspension surged past 1.5 million signatures. Johnson’s adversaries promised to appeal his move in the courts. Brexit opponents were strategizing about how to use their dwindling time in Parliament to halt the relentless move toward an uncontrolled break from Europe. 

Johnson sparked a torrent of criticism with his decision to ask Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament for five weeks, dramatically shortening the time lawmakers have to try to block a no-deal Brexit.

Johnson has said Britain will leave the European Union by Oct. 31 with or without a deal. The majority of lawmakers in the House of Commons are opposed to leaving the bloc without a transition deal to smooth the way.



[What happens next in Britain? Boris Johnson’s rivals have four tough options.]

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that when Parliament reconvenes after summer break Tuesday, he will move immediately to pass legislation to keep the chamber open and to prevent a no-deal Brexit. He joined other opposition leaders in issuing a joint statement Thursday evening demanding a vote on suspending Parliament. 

“We will be back in Parliament on Tuesday to challenge Boris Johnson on what I think is a smash-and-grab raid against our democracy,” he told Sky News. “What we’re going to do is try to politically stop him on Tuesday with a parliamentary process in order to legislate to prevent a no-deal Brexit and also to try and prevent him shutting down Parliament during this utterly crucial period.” 

Opposition lawmakers will have to move fast if they are to have a chance at success. Once Parliament is suspended — in this case no later than Sept. 12 — any legislation in the pipeline is typically killed off, and lawmakers would have to start again from scratch when Parliament resumes Oct. 14.



 In Davidson’s careful resignation letter, the charismatic leader avoided linking her move directly to Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament, instead focusing on family issues. But she also mentioned the “conflict I have felt over Brexit,” and the British media quickly linked the departure to Johnson’s strategy, given the timing. Davidson has also previously been lukewarm on Johnson — she supported his rivals in the leadership contest — and in the 2016 E.U. referendum she memorably clashed with Johnson, claiming that his pro-Brexit side had told a series of lies.

Davidson resigned from her post as leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, which she had held for eight years, but said she would stay on as a member of the Scottish Parliament. Her departure from the leadership role is a major blow for the Conservative Party, whose fortunes she helped to turn around in an area of Britain where the Conservative Party was for decades a toxic brand.

Davidson’s resignation came shortly after that of George Young, a former cabinet minister who left his post as a government whip in the House of Lords.



Johnson’s move “risks undermining the fundamental role of Parliament at a critical time in our history,” and reinforces the view that the Government may not have the confidence of the House for its Brexit policy,”Young wrote.

On Thursday, David Lidington, the effective deputy prime minister in the previous administration of Theresa May — who remains a nominal ally of Johnson — said the suspension was “not a good way to do democracy” and “sets a very bad precedent for future governments.” He told the BBC that if the opposition Labour Party had done something similar, “some of my Tory colleagues who are cheering at the moment would be turning purple with rage.”

Other opponents are hoping to use the courts to stop Johnson from suspending Parliament. A cross-party group of more than 70 lawmakers took their legal challenge Thursday to Scotland’s highest civil court. Gina Miller, the business executive who in 2017 won a high-profile legal challenge over how the British government could start the Brexit process, has filed an application at the High Court in London seeking an urgent review of Johnson’s decision.



Johnson’s government insists that it is not doing anything unusual and that it is normal for a new prime minister to suspend Parliament ahead of the queen’s speech presenting the country’s legislative agenda.

It generally does happen every year, but the length of the suspension — the longest since 1945 — and the timing have drawn widespread criticism.

Johnson’s allies — the ones who were not quitting — were quick to dismiss the concerns Thursday.

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 7THY2OWKIII6TJHTYCA2CJW6OA
Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, shown Thursday in London, said he did not think “there is any attempt to railroad” through Britain’s exit from the European Union. (Stefan Rousseau/AP)


Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, brushed off what he called the “candyfloss of outrage” over the temporary shuttering of the legislature, using the British term for cotton candy. “I don’t think there is any attempt to railroad,” he told the BBC on Thursday, insisting Johnson simply wanted to get on with his domestic agenda.

But one top Johnson lieutenant, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, was caught on camera acknowledging that Johnson was struggling to push through Brexit without a majority.



“Parliament has been very good at saying what it doesn’t want. It has been awful at saying what it wants. That’s the reality. So eventually any leader has to, you know, try,” Wallace explained to French Defense Minister Florence Parly, caught on camera ahead of an unrelated meeting in Helsinki.

A government spokesman said later that Wallace “misspoke.”

[Boris Johnson seizes momentum on Brexit with combative move to suspend Parliament]

The British Parliament voted down the Brexit deal three times, ­mostly because of the “backstop,” an insurance plan that would guarantee an open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland to prevent a return to violence there. Under the plan, the United Kingdom risks getting stuck inside the European Customs Union, limiting its ability to conduct independent trade deals.


British government defiant despite outrage over Parliament suspension


On Aug. 29, the British government remained defiant after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parliament before Brexit sparked protests and outrage. (Reuters)


European leaders were mostly quiet about the British drama, wary of being sucked into a domestic political dispute and already skeptical about the chances that Britain would manage to agree to a transition deal before it departed. One senior diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive assessments, said that because a no-deal departure was the default expectation for many E.U. policymakers, the fight over Parliament actually felt like a distraction.



And in Germany, one prominent ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated that Johnson’s tactics may be hardening attitudes against him.

“If the rationale was to scare the #EU into renegotiation by removing #parliament as the final obstacle to #NoDeal #Brexit, the #UK government has been gravely misled,” the chairman of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Norbert Röttgen, wrote on Twitter. “The executive denying parliament its democratic say at this decisive moment, cannot be rewarded by the EU.”

[What Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament means for Brexit]

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 PJIUGSGKKII6TJHTYCA2CJW6OA
A demonstrator wearing a mask depicting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson protests Wednesday outside the gates to Downing Street in Central London. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)

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Post by annemarie on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:17

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/world/europe/boris-johnson-brexit-parliament-backlash.html\\


[size=33][size=33]After Backlash, Boris Johnson Promises to Speed Up Brexit Talks With Brussels[/size][/size]


LONDON — Faced with a growing backlash over his decision to suspend Parliament next month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday sought to calm the furious reaction by promising to accelerate efforts to reach a new Brexit agreement with Brussels.
His statement came after another day of Brexit turbulence, two resignations from within his own party, and claims from critics that the government was trampling the conventions of the country’s unwritten Constitution, undermining its democracy.
[What did Boris Johnson just do to Parliament? An explainer.]
Mr. Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament in September makes it significantly harder for lawmakers to pass legislation preventing Britain from leaving the European Union without an agreement — a step his critics were planning.
But in his latest swerve, Mr. Johnson promised that Britain’s Brexit negotiators would sit down with their European counterparts twice a week through September, with the possibility of additional technical meetings, to try to reach a deal that would avert the risk of a cliff-edge departure.








“I have said right from my first day in office that we are ready to work in an energetic and determined way to get a deal done,” Mr. Johnson said in comments released by his office. “While I have been encouraged with my discussions with E.U. leaders over recent weeks that there is a willingness to talk about alternatives to the anti-democratic backstop, it is now time for both sides to step up the tempo.”
The two sides remain some distance apart on critical issues but are willing to work hard to find a way through, Downing Street said. But Mr. Johnson’s latest intervention seemed to acknowledge the mounting concern about his suspension of Parliament, a decision that provoked spontaneous protests in London and other cities on Wednesday and prompted almost 1.5 million people to sign an online protest petition.




The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Merlin_159862266_7318e1bb-9e4c-41b4-8962-c0f085789e5c-articleLarge


ImageThe Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Merlin_159862266_7318e1bb-9e4c-41b4-8962-c0f085789e5c-articleLarge
Mr. Johnson’s stance suggests he may be preparing for an election in which he would run as a champion of the people against a Parliament opposed to the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.CreditKirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press


The most prominent figure to [size=16]resign Thursday was the Conservative Party leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson. Though she carefully avoided criticizing Mr. Johnson in a resignation letter and at a news conference, she nonetheless acknowledged her differences with him over Brexit. Ms. Davidson opposes a “no-deal” Brexit, but said she trusted Mr. Johnson’s assurances that he does intend to reach an agreement with the European Union by Oct. 31 and appealed to lawmakers to support a new deal if one can be reached.
[The European Union has been called antidemocratic. Now it’s asking if Britain has the same problem.]
[/size]

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Lord Young of Cookham, a former cabinet minister, resigned as a Conservative whip in the House of Lords on Thursday, saying in a letter that Mr. Johnson’s action “risks undermining the fundamental role of Parliament at a critical time in our history, and reinforces the view that the government may not have the confidence of the House for its Brexit policy.”
Numerous reports, including ones by the Bank of England and the International Monetary Fund, have said a no-deal Brexit would be chaotic and would seriously damage Britain’s economy. Leaks from the government itself have warned of the possibility of jammed ports and shortages of some medicines and fuel.
A majority of lawmakers are on record as opposing such an outcome. But Mr. Johnson, who became prime minister last month, has promised to leave the European Union on the scheduled date, Oct. 31, preferably with an agreement but without one if necessary.
[With his Brexit gambit, Boris Johnson revealed a ruthless side.]
In an overnight poll, far more Britons opposed than supported his suspension of Parliament, and angry comments calling it undemocratic peppered social media, many with the hashtag #StopTheCoup.
The speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, and a former Conservative chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, each called it a “constitutional outrage”; Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, labeled it “a sort of smash and grab on our democracy.”








The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Merlin_159866307_8a63a949-16f6-4118-82a4-62b17db45b30-articleLarge


Image
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Merlin_159866307_8a63a949-16f6-4118-82a4-62b17db45b30-articleLarge
Ruth Davidson announced in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday that she was resigning as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.CreditJane Barlow/Press Association, via Associated Press


But Jacob Rees-Mogg, a hard-line Brexit supporter and the Conservative leader of the House of Commons, on Thursday defended the government’s decision, arguing that there would still be adequate time to debate Brexit. The real threat to Britain’s unwritten Constitution, he wrote in The Daily Telegraph, came from those who opposed Brexit and wanted to overturn the 2016 referendum decision to leave the bloc.


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“The candyfloss of outrage that we’ve had over the past 24 hours — which is almost entirely confected — is from people who never wanted to leave the European Union,” Mr. Rees-Mogg said [size=16]in an interview with BBC radio.
[Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament drew intense reactions on social media.]
The suspension procedure was normal, Mr. Rees-Mogg argued, because Mr. Johnson wanted to start a new session of Parliament.
While that is technically correct, the timing of the decision, the length of the suspension and its practical impact make the move look like a politically motivated tactic to stifle opposition in Parliament — an institution that Brexit was supposed to strengthen.
Mr. Johnson’s stance also suggests that he is preparing for a general election campaign, in which he could present himself as the champion of the people against a Parliament intent on thwarting the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Lawmakers are scheduled to return from summer vacation next week, but Mr. Johnson’s move means that Parliament will be suspended some time the following week. That heads off any attempt by his opponents to tack on a few more days, a tactic they were considering.
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Brexit-calendar-600

Before Boris Johnson’s latest move,

Parliament had about five weeks in sessionto debate a Brexit deal.

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But Mr. Johnson introduced a new parliamentary

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less than three weeks until the Brexit deadline.

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By Allison McCann

His new timetable has Parliament resuming work on Oct. 14, after the political parties hold their annual conferences — and several days later than previously expected. In addition, he has scheduled on that date an address to Parliament by the queen laying out his government’s agenda, which lawmakers must then debate, taking up several critical days.


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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Merlin_159876039_dcc40f9f-0c50-4d7e-974a-7db793bbd84a-articleLarge
Brexit supporters were also out on the streets in London on Thursday.CreditOlivia Harris for The New York Times


Mr. Johnson had the option of continuing the current session of Parliament into October, but instead he is starting a new one, meaning that any pending legislation intended to bind his hands will not carry over. If lawmakers who want to prevent a no-deal Brexit cannot draft, introduce and pass legislation in the next two weeks, they will have to start again from scratch in mid-October.
In effect, Mr. Johnson has cut short the already dwindling time for parliamentary action, and packed it with new obstacles for opponents of a no-deal Brexit.
Even so, they will try to legislate to prevent a no-deal Brexit when they resume work next week.
Another strand of opposition will come through the courts. One challenge is underway in the Scottish courts, and in London, the anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has made an application for judicial review of Mr. Johnson’s decision.



The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 Merlin_147859923_839ca5fd-550d-41e5-a521-f47c2fe65b64-articleLarge


What Is Brexit? What Does ‘No-Deal’ Mean?


The basics of Brexit, the troubled plan for Britain to quit the European Union.


Legal experts are skeptical about her chances, and Jonathan Sumption, a former justice of the country’s Supreme Court, told the BBC’s Newsnight program that Ms. Miller’s case was a “very, very long shot.”
Ms. Miller has, however, previously upset such predictions. In 2017, she won a case preventing the previous prime minister, Theresa May, from bypassing Parliament on the decision to formally trigger Britain’s departure from the European Union and start a two-year countdown.


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Mr. Johnson’s move involves some considerable risks, as the backlash has illustrated. Yet it has also underscored the ruthless focus of the prime minister and his team to succeed where Mrs. May failed, after the Brexit deal she negotiated with Brussels was rejected three times by Parliament.
His tactics also seem designed to reunite the political right and Brexit supporters behind the Conservatives, ahead of a looming general election that most analysts expected soon. Under Mrs. May, many of those voters had drifted away from the Conservatives, gravitating to smaller, pro-Brexit parties.

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Post by party animal - not! on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:45

Latest news:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-49521132

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Post by annemarie on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 13:35

Judge rejects temporary ban on Parliament shutdown ahead of full hearing

  • 2 hours ago
     


The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 _108544780_jusge_dohertyImage captionLord Doherty said it was in the public interest for the full case to be heard as soon as possible
A Scottish judge has refused to order a temporary halt to Boris Johnson's plan to shut down the UK Parliament.
A group of 75 parliamentarians were seeking an interim interdict - similar to an injunction - at the Court of Session ahead of a full hearing.
Their request was declined by Lord Doherty, who said he was not satisfied there was a "cogent need" for an interdict.
However the full hearing will now be heard next Tuesday, rather than Friday.
Lord Doherty said this was because it was in the interests of justice, and in the public interest, for the case - which is opposed by the UK government - to proceed as quickly as possible.
But he said: "I am not satisfied that it has been demonstrated that there is a need for an interim suspension or an interim interdict to be granted at this stage."


  • Major backs legal bid to stop Parliament suspension
  • Laura Kuenssberg: Can the rebel alliance stop no-deal Brexit?


The judge will not decide on the merits of the case until he has heard legal arguments from both sides on Tuesday, with his final ruling potentially being delivered the following day.
His decision not to grant an interdict was largely because the first possible date that Parliament can be suspended is not until next Friday.
The prime minister wants to suspend Parliament - a process known as proroguing - for several weeks ahead of a Queen's Speech on 14 October. The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.




The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 _106858687_clivecoleman-nc
What has happened today is the parliamentarians, who were seeking an emergency injunction to lift the suspension of parliament, have lost that but there is to be a full hearing on Tuesday.
If they win that, then I think it is constitutionally significant and we really are in uncharted waters.
We could be in a position where we have a ruling that the advice given by Boris Johnson to the Queen, prompting her decision to prorogue parliament, was unlawful.
The government can appeal it, but pending any appeal it remains intact - so you are in a position where the monarch has made that order based on advice that is unlawful.
That would put the Queen in a very difficult position.




The cross-party group of politicians involved in the case, including SNP MP Joanna Cherry and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, wants the court to rule that it would be illegal and unconstitutional for him to do so.
Speaking outside court, Ms Cherry challenged the prime minister to lodge a signed affidavit - a sworn statement on oath - with the court setting out his reasons for wanting to prorogue parliament.
Mr Johnson has insisted that the suspension of parliament is aimed at allowing him to set out a "very exciting agenda" of new legislation in the Queens's Speech, and will not prevent MPs debating Brexit ahead of the UK's departure.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 _108552624_056129884Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionSNP MP Joanna Cherry, a QC, wants Boris Johnson to set out under oath his reasons for suspending parliament
Responding to Friday's ruling, a UK government spokesman said: "As we have set out, the government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda and MPs are not prevented from scrutinising our withdrawal from the EU.
"We are glad the court found against the interdict - there was no good reason to seek one, given the full hearing is due to take place next week, and the process of bringing the session to an end will not start until the week commencing 9 September."
The Court of Session hearing came as former prime minister Sir John Major announced he was joining forces with campaigner Gina Miller to oppose the decision to suspend Parliament in the courts.
Ms Miller had already launched her own attempt, and Sir John said by joining her he would avoid "taking up the court's time" by lodging a separate case of his own.
In Northern Ireland, proceedings have been issued at the High Court in Belfast by prominent victims campaigner Raymond McCord, who claims that leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement would be an "unconstitutional attack on the people of Northern Ireland".
He is also seeking a ruling that the prime minister cannot "bypass" MPs by proroguing parliament.

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Post by LizzyNY on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 14:34

PAN - I'm at sea here. What does Johnson mean when he says Parliament has been sitting too long? Does that mean that new elections must be held to choose new members? And why does one man have the power to shut down Parliament? That seems like a throwback to the days when the king's word was law. Is it possible the Queen would break tradition and interfere?

As I said, I'm really confused about this.
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 11:49

Hi Lizzy.

Boris is within his rights to 'prorogue' Parliament, as anybody has been who has formed a new Government. It happens every time there has been an election, and nobody notices. As a new leader of the sitting government it is lawful to do this.

This time around everybody has suddenly been made aware of it because of the timing and most I think are learning a new word within our constitution. Boris went to see the Queen and she of course would be completely conversant with such a law as Head of State.

So no new election necessary, but Boris and his lot may decide that it's a good idea if it's set back other parties.

Meanwhile we leave the EU in 60 something days. It seems to me that Boris has read the signs correctly that the British public have had enough are ready for this after three years of argy-bargy. His poll numbers bear this out - and remember that as part of Theresa's govt he was one of the three ministers put in charge of leaving. He resigned later.

Many do not want this and often the most vocal are regarded as the left wing elite. But many see that the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn seems to be under the influence of organisations like Momentum - a young Marxist group - and he has been in a spot of bother by not controlling elements of his party who are regarded as anti-semitic.

Meanwhile Boris's popularity is soaring. Wednesday could be interesting in the House of Commons and I will be there..............

Lots of protests - from both side - are planned

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 13:51

PAN - Thanks for the explanation, but I'm still a bit confused as our two governments work so differently and (I'm ashamed to say) I know too little about how yours works. When you say Johnson can "form a new government", what does that entail?

Here the president can appoint cabinet members and agency heads and the like, but the rest of the government is elected and serves for specified terms. They're there whether the president likes it or not -  and they get to approve many of the president's appointees so he doesn't always get what he wants.

Thanks for your patience. Sorry I'm not better informed. Embarassed
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 14:14

No that's fine.It's complicated stuff on both sides of the pond - but let me just start with this (which is completely the opposite of anything that is allowed here). 

This is pretty amazing to watch. Not very long - and it involves the Oversight Committee in the US and the legal authorities who are being questioned .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRM1t4RU69c

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 15:27

Very Happy Thanks for the video. I can't say I agree with a lot of her policies, but I do love the way AOC does business! She laid it out so even a toddler could see it and proved drumpf is corrupt without even mentioning his name . Brava! Very Happy

What did you mean that this is the opposite of anything that's allowed here? Do you not have oversight committees that advise when government members or policies are veering out of bounds into illegality? Are there no institutionalized checks on what the PM or Parliament can do?
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Post by annemarie on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 18:05

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7414005/Principal-banned-books-school-sex-child-abuse-arrested-child-porn.html

[size=34]Kentucky principal, 54, who banned books from his school which addressed 'homosexuality, sex and child abuse' is arrested for child pornography possession[/size]


  • Phillip Wilson, 54, was taken into custody by state troopers following a tip from someone at the school claiming Wilson had explicit images involving a minor

  • A search of his digital devices yielded 15 images of child pornography, resulting in 15 counts of possessing matter portraying sexual performance by a minor

  • He received an additions 15 charges for allegedly distributing the images

  • In 2009, as principal of Montgomery County High School in Mount Sterling, Wilson caused a wealth of controversy after he banned a number of books

  • Following a complaint from a parent, Wilson ousted a list of contemporary young-adult books from the classroom believing them to be 'soft porn'

  • The 54-year-old was taken to the Clark County Detention Center with a bail bond of $25,000 set 


By LUKE KENTON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 10:22 EDT, 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:22 EDT, 31 August 2019

     


A former Kentucky high school principal who first made headlines in 2009 for banning books from the classroom believing them to include ‘soft pornography’ and ‘homosexual content’ is back in the public spotlight once again, following his arrest on Tuesday for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography.
Phillip Todd Wilson, 54, the principal of the Clark County Area Technology Center, located at the George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, was taken into custody by state troopers following a complaint from someone at the school claiming Wilson had sent another staff member explicit images involving a minor.
A search of his digital devices yielded 15 images of child pornography, resulting in 15 counts of possessing matter portraying sexual performance by a minor and an additional 15 counts for reportedly distributing the images.
Clark County Public Schools released a statement Wednesday morning, saying the district has been left ‘shocked and dismayed’ by Wilson’s arrest and the subsequent allegations against him.
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Phillip Todd Wilson, 54, the principal of the Clark County Area Technology Center, located at the George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, was taken into custody by state troopers Tuesday
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 19 17910402-7414005-image-a-3_1567259220893


His arrest came following a complaint from someone at the school claiming Wilson had sent another staff member explicit images involving a minor
The spokesperson added that the district is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation and is working with the Kentucky Department of Education to ensure children in the program aren’t affected or involved.

‘Philip Wilson is no longer an employee of the Department of Education,’ department officials assured.
Wilson also previously worked with Montgomery County and Madison County school districts, and he worked as a referee with the Kentucky High School Athletics Association – a duty he has since been suspended from.
The 54-year-old was taken to the Clark County Detention Center with a bail bond of $25,000 set.


In 2009, when he was the principal of Montgomery County High School in Mount Sterling, Wilson caused a wealth of controversy following complaints from a number of parents regarding several contemporary young-adult novels being taught alongside classic works such as ‘Beowulf’ in English classes.
The books included Lessons From a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, Deadline by Chris Crutcher and Unwind by Neal Shusterman, all of which ‘contain foul language and cover topics — including sex, child abuse, suicide and drug abuse — unsuited for discussion in coed high school classes,’ according to the complainants.
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Clark County Public Schools released a statement Wednesday morning, saying the district has been left ‘shocked and dismayed’ as a result of Wilson’s arrest and the subsequent allegations against him
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In 2009, when he was the principal of Montgomery County High School (above) in Mount Sterling, Wilson caused a wealth of controversy following complaints from a number of parents regarding several contemporary young-adult novels being taught alongside classic works such as ‘Beowulf’ in English classes
Risha Mullins, the teacher who included the books in her lesson curriculum, went on to write in a blog post that a parent of a student who chose to read Lessons From a Dead Girl emailed her along with Wilson, the superintendent and other school board members, claiming she taught ‘soft pornography’.
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The books included Lessons From a Dead Girl (above) by Jo Knowles, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, Deadline by Chris Crutcher and Unwind by Neal Shusterman, all of which ‘contain foul language and cover topics — including sex, child abuse, suicide and drug abuse — unsuited for discussion in coed high school classes,’ according to the complainants.
Wilson and other officials agreed with the aggrieved parents and decided to the pull the books in question from Mullins' classroom.
‘After that email, my curriculum coach told me — in the principal's office, with him present — that she had to beg the superintendent not to shut down the Moo Moo Book Club, and that she quoted him when she said, “one more problem with books and the club is gone.” I remember asking if he could do that. And I remember her laughing,’ Mullins wrote at the time.
Mullins added that she later received a letter that every book in her classroom library and on her book club's reading list would be pulled and reviewed.
She claims that no official challenge against any of the books had been filed, despite that being the school board's policy for suspending a book.
Mullins also became the subject of fierce criticism in the local newspaper, claiming the coverage left her colleagues refusing to talk to her.
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Risha Mullins (above), the teacher who included the books in her lesson curriculum, went on to write in a blog post that a parent of a student who chose to read Lessons From a Dead Girl emailed her along with Wilson, the superintendent and other school board members, claiming she taught ‘soft pornography’
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In light of Wilson’s arrest, several authors of the books that were banned have spoken out on social media
In light of Wilson’s arrest, several authors of the books that were banned have spoken out on social media.
‘A man tried to ban Speak from school & public libraries in 2009 cuz it was "pornographic.",’ author Laurie Halse Anderson tweeted. ‘I wrote an op-ed in his newspaper & said anyone who finds the rape of a 14-year-old sexually exciting has serious problems. ‘Poisonous leaders use their power to protect their evil’ she concluded.
In a post on Facebook, author of Lessons From a Dead Girl Jo Knowles said she was a ‘very new author’ in 2009 when the Montgomery County District banned her books for ‘homosexual and other content’, saying that the press coverage at the time was ‘overwhelming’.
‘I was horrified by the accusations [Wilson] and the superintendent made. And heartbroken for the brave teacher Risha Allen Mullins who stood up for our books and faced so much unfair criticism,’ Knowles wrote.
Knowles added she was ‘having a lot of feelings now’ and told some friends when she got the news of Wilson's arrest, ‘You can't make this s*** up.’

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Post by Admin on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 18:29

LizzyNY wrote: Is it possible the Queen would break tradition and interfere?
The short answer to that is no.

The Queen has no power as such. Hers is pretty much a ceremonial role. Now, on paper she could indeed close down parliament entirely should she wish (and as head of the armed forces, she could also declare war) but equally, parliament can form a republic and get rid of the royals overnight [ok, it's not quite that simple, but that's the theory].

The upshot is that the Queen (and in future the King, when she dies and Charles takes over) does as she's asked by the government and doesn't get involved in politics. It's been over 100 years since a royal made any meaningful changes to governmental process (1870 according to wikipedia, and 1708 the time before) so it's something that effectively never happens. She signs off on laws, opens (and closes) parliament and stuff, but that's all on request of the government, not her own volition. She does get involved in law-making, especially where it affects the royals directly, and changes do occasionally get made to laws in order for her to sign them, but these are generally minor details.
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 19:01

Yep, and she seems incredibly knowledgeable about this stuff,and every day of her life has a red box of government stuff to sign.

So the reason that I posted the AOC video was because I had no idea about the broad sweep of power a President or Presidential candidate has or can be bought for. I wonder how many of the American public know this.

In GB once an election is announced by the ruling government of the day electioneering will usually be no longer than five weeks before we have to vote (all paper by the way) in our constituencies or by post. You will have registered to do this some time before.

No one party can take a donation from a supporter for that election that is over £10,000. There is strict oversight of this. The rest is funded by state funds i e taxes.

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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 19:12

Oh, and yes, we have continual oversight committees at the House of Commons

Here's an example of one of the ongoing interrogations about Facebook and how they employed Cambridge Aanalytica to steal 870 million Facebook users data....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqxx_Ixo1bo

Tjis particular committee has invited many other concerned countries representatives to hearings and have invited Mark Zuckerberg to them but he's hiding.

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 19:58

So...You don't have regularly scheduled elections? It's left up to the ruling government of the day? Does that mean that all seats in the House of Commons come up for election? And if someone is elected they only serve until the next election is called, with no set term?

I'm sorry to be so ignorant about all this. I guess I never thought about how different your system is from ours.

As far as actual voting goes, we used to have paper ballots. Because they took so long to count and were susceptible to fraud, a lot of jurisdictions moved to more technical and supposedly more secure options - until we found out they weren't. Now , since drumpf and McConnell are determined to hand the election over to the Russians again, states are scrambling to find voting methods they can be sure are secure. A lot of people want a return to paper ballots - or at least a paper back-up - but some want the efficiency of a voting app for phones or some other high-tech ballot. It will vary from state to state.

PS. If the Queen has no choice, why are people mad at her for signing off on the shutdown?
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 20:32

Yep, the life of a Parliament is five years, Lizzy and when that's up an election has to be called by the ruling government - some may do it earlier on whether they think that would be a good time to be re-elected and  how well they think they're doing on, say, the economy.

The prime minister of the day will then go to see the Queen to ask permission to dissolve parliament.

I've no idea why they would think she was responsible, but they are obviously frustrated at not having another referendum on the EU.

I saw one protester saying she had given her all to this country and she wanted another vote. Turned out that she was an actress - from Spain!

The problem with having another vote is that it is unconstitutional - and if it happened we could end up having endless referendums on anything!

Oh, and just to complicate things for you we have another House - the House of Lords which is like a second chamber to get laws passed....some of them are inherited Lords and some are made Lords for good work in communities. One example: the mother of a young man called Stephen Lawrence who was killed at a bus stop one evening by a gang, fought tirelessly to bring his murderers to justice over many many years. They are now in prison

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 21:06

So Parliament sits for five years unless the ruling government decides otherwise? Then everyone in the House of Commons has to run for re-election at that time?

I did know about the House of Lords, but I assumed that they served for life. That's why I didn't ask about them.

Again, thanks for the information and your patience. Smile
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Post by party animal - not! on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 18:46

And now let's go to the lungs of the world..the Amazon....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyR-l6aJTfc

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Post by annemarie on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 19:24

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7416463/Jane-Fonda-went-door-knocking-Pennsylvania-talk-swing-voters.html

[size=34]Jane Fonda, 81, knocked on doors in Pennsylvania to talk to 'dispirited and confused' Trump voters and says the only way to resolve the 'mess' in the White House is to 'outsmart Facebook algorithms and foreign meddling' with face-to-face conversations[/size]


  • Actress Jane Fonda, 81, canvassed door-to-door in Scranton, Pennsylvania on August 4 to speak to local voters in the swing state 

  • She went door-knocking with Working America, a political non-union workers' group that canvasses to persuade voters to support labor-backed candidates

  • Fonda said she canvassed because she's 'scared for our democracy' 

  • She recounted speaking to dispirited Trump supporters who weren't well-educated on his policies  

  • The actress says meeting voters face-to-face is the best way to educate them about political policy and help them make informed votes 

  • Fonda says the only way to resolve the 'mess' in D.C. is to 'outsmart the Facebook algorithms and digital foreign meddling by holding face-to-face conversations' 


By MARLENE LENTHANG FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 11:17 EDT, 1 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:13 EDT, 1 September 2019

     





Actress Jane Fonda reveals she's 'scared for our democracy' and to raise political awareness for the upcoming election she rolled up her sleeves and went door-knocking in the swing state of Pennsylvania.  
Though she has two Oscars, four Golden Globes, and immeasurable accolades to her name, the 81-year-old returned to political activism earlier this month to canvass for Working America in a working class neighborhood in Scranton.  
There, she spoke to disgruntled voters who to open up about their political views, their concerns in the upcoming election, and to educated them about Trump's policies. 
'I’m scared. I’m scared for our democracy, for our ability to live together in community across lines of race, class and religion. I’m scared for my grandchildren and for the planet. The country is contorted and polarized, with the flames of hate fanned by leaders at the highest level,' she revealed in a Washington Post op-ed.  
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Actress Jane Fonda, 81, canvassed door to door in Scranton, Pennsylvania on August 4 to educate local voters in the swing state saying, 'We can win back our country one conversation at a time'
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She went door-knocking with Working America, is a political non-union workers' group that canvasses to persuade voters to support labor-backed candidates
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Ready to hit the road: She shared this picture on August 4 with other Working America volunteers before they went door knocking
But she was surprised to realize just how powerful speaking face-to-face with voters can be. 

'I saw a path forward recently in Scranton, Pennsylvania where I spent a hot, humid evening knocking on doors with Working America,' she said, adding she's hardly recognized and only gives her first name when she's canvassing.  
Working Class, founded in 2003, is the largest non-union workers' organization in the U.S. and recruits people in working class neighborhoods to support labor-backed candidates in elections.  
In her piece she recounted speaking with Steve, who is in his 40s and doesn't trust any of the candidates, Edith, a woman in 50s who likes Trump but not his fiery language, and Sharon, a gung-ho Trump supporter who didn't realize the president's health-care bill would mean her son's insurance would stop covering him due to his serious preexisting condition. 


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Working America proudly shared her editorial where she recounted her visits with locals in a working class neighborhood in Scranton 
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Fonda recalled how she talked to dispirited Trump voters and even shocked one Trump supporter named Sharon by revealing the president's health care plan would mean her son could lose his health insurance 
Fonda says having a respectful conversation opens the door for voters to hear and understand new information on issues they care about, assuring they have a more informed vote. 
The actress says despite 'this mess' on Capitol Hill, the way to clear things up is straightforward - 'We outsmart the Facebook algorithms and digital foreign meddling by holding face-to-face conversations.' 
'I've seen it. The process builds trust, and it sends a message: You matter enough that I'm here on your doorstep,' she said.  
'I’ve seen the power of face-to-face contact since I became an activist five decades ago. In Modesto, California, I met some of the 800 volunteers who knocked on doors for more than a year before the 2018 election,' she said. 
Fonda clarified that fear of reaching out is what can hurt an election. 
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Fonda has devoted herself to activism over the past five years. Pictured above speaking at the Respect rally, which honors the one-year anniversary of the National Women's March on January 20, 2018
'We don’t need to choose between Democratic base voters and swing voters. All working people, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, faith, or sexual orientation or gender identity, need a stake and a say in our society — and they all need to hear that they’re part of "We the People."'
'Talking with them, not at them, is the best way to do it,' she added. 
Now she's urging others to follow suit. 
'I’ve learned over my long life as an activist that people can change... People such as Steve are looking for someone to help them sort things out and to dare to care again. We can start the process of healing and winning back our country one conversation at a time.' 
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Post by Donnamarie on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 14:50

I read Fonda’s opinion piece in the Post the other day. I admire her activism all these many years. She hasn’t gotten it all right (and has admitted it) but she is genuine in her convictions.

I read more than once the back and forth posts on the British Parliament. I’ve never really understood their structure either. Thanks for the tutorial Very Happy

BTW interesting PAN that your takeaway is that many Brits are excited in a positive way about what Boris is doing. My read from articles in ‘The Washington Post’ is that many are furious with what they see as an attack on their democracy ... one quoted likening his actions to a ‘coup’. Is this just a very vocal minority?
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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 15:14

Ha- no it's not that much of a minority either.  But it is very vocal and has a platform for that i e you would expect to read that in the Washington Post.

The Brexit vote had a 72.2% turnout and 52% voted out and 48% voted in. In my opinion every body had their reasons for voting the way they did - and I suspect some had not necessarily checked what it would mean i e the implications for places like Gibraltar etc. In  my opinion the so-called backstop (which I hear was dreamed up by a couple of guys over dinner) could mean that Northern Ireland have it both ways - and the threat of a new IRA may not be helping.

Loads of people seemed unaware of how long it takes just to get out of a treaty (and many lawyers are involved!). And remember other nations of the EU who have their doubts about membership are watching all of this very carefully as well as those who are benefitting.

And looking at it pragmatically the EU do not want us to leave - we are one of a few who have always paid our fees for membership!




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