February 14th 2020

Kansas New Voting Chief Sparks Own Voting Rights Dispute


TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas' top election official says the state needs another year to prepare before it can give voters a choice of polling places on Election Day, even though it has been nearly 10 months since the Legislature enacted a law aimed at making voting more convenient and boosting turnout.

Even some of Secretary of State Scott Schwab's fellow Republicans believe that at least Sedgwick County, which is home to the state's largest city, Wichita, is ready to allow voters to cast their ballots at any of its dozens of polling places. Democrats accuse Schwab of dragging his feet, and one lawmaker said during a lunch meeting with him and other lawmakers Wednesday that Schwab is engaged in a “voter suppression program.”

The simmering dispute shows how voting rights issues remain contentious in Kansas even though firebrand conservative Republican Kris Kobach left the secretary of state's office early last year after losing the 2018 governor's race. Kobach successfully pushed for some of the nation's toughest voter ID laws, including a now-on-hold proof-of-citizenship requirement for new voters, making Kansas a magnet for lawsuits.

This New York Deli Offers Customers Free Food, Provided They Can Answer a Simple Math Problem

Ahmed Alwan

New York (CNN)A sandwich, a soda or maybe even a chocolate bar to satisfy a midnight craving: These are some of the many things you'd expect to find at a New York deli and convenience store.

But customers at Lucky Candy in the Bronx get an entirely different experience, and it's all thanks to cashier Ahmed Alwan.To his customers, the 20-year-old college student is easily recognizable, and it's not just because of his bright smile and cheerful energy. Two weeks ago, Alwan decided to start playing a game with shoppers -- and it's since gone viral.

The rules are simple: If you can solve a math equation, you get five seconds to grab anything you want off store shelves and have it for free. The one thing you're not allowed to grab? His cat. (Yes, someone tried.)

‘In Italy I Kept Meeting Guys’: The Black Women Who Travel for Love


Italy, a country known for its language of love and for its men who publicly shower overtures on women like a centuries-old art form, is often associated with romantic encounters of the kind portrayed in the movies, from “Roman Holiday” to “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” So some black women ask, why shouldn’t it be the same for them?

Latrese Williams is one such black traveler. When Ms. Williams goes out in Chicago or pretty much anywhere else in the United States, she said, she often feels ignored by men who seem to barely register her existence. But when she walks into a room in Italy, all eyes are on her — and to her, that’s a good thing. These polar reactions occur, she said, because she is black.

“Even though I would behave in the same way at home and abroad, in Chicago I felt invisible,” Ms. Williams said in her home in the Monti neighborhood of Rome. “But in Italy I kept meeting guys.”

In November, she moved in with her Italian boyfriend, whom she met on Tinder in Rome.

US Reaches ‘Reduction In Violence’ Deal With Taliban In Afganistán


The U.S. says it has reached a deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan that lays out what could be the first steps toward ending America's longest-running war.

Administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity at the Munich Security Conference, say there will be a seven-day "reduction in violence," but did not specify when it would start. The seven days are meant as an initial confidence-building measure.

The next step would involve the Taliban agreeing to intra-Afghan talks that would aim to determine the future of Afghanistan and the role the Taliban could play in it. 

Once these two steps have begun to the satisfaction of all sides, a peace deal will be signed by the U.S. and Taliban, likely later this month or early next month. The details of that agreement have not yet been made public. 

The U.S. military will monitor the reduction in violence, according to a senior administration official.

A weeklong decline in violence would be an abrupt shift from one of the most violent years of the 18-year conflict. A deal with the Taliban would lay out a 135-day timetable for drawing down U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 from around 12,000.

Damn Shame: Ancient Native American Burial Site Blasted for Trumps Boarder Wall

Native American Burial Site Blasted all because of Trump

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Red-lettered signs warning of "BLASTING" began appearing over the past week at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a remote desert region in southwestern Arizona bordered by Mexico to the south and a Native American reservation to the east.

Crews have been blasting the hillside while excavators and backhoes clear a path for the towering sections of border wall fast-tracked by the Trump administration — a pace that has environmental groups worried that sacred burial sites and ancestral lands are at risk of being irreversibly harmed.

Canadian Pipeline Forces Closure Of Major Rail Link


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An indigenous-led anti-pipeline protest has shut down a vital cross-continent rail line in Canada, disrupting freight and passenger service and costing millions of dollars in lost revenue, officials say.

The Mohawks of Tyendinaga are protesting the 416-mile, $4.68 billion (6.2 billion Canadian dollars) Coastal GasLink pipeline running from northern British Columbia to a natural gas facility near Kitimat, British Columbia. They've used snowplows, barrels and wooden barricades to block the tracks, forcing Canadian National Railway to temporarily close the line.

Protests in Ontario have also taken place in support of the indigenous chiefs.

The pipeline passes through the traditional territory of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation near Houston, British Columbia, in the Canadian west.

The blockades went up last week after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police tried to enforce a court order demanding that construction workers be allowed access to the land. Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their supporters refused to move. In a series of confrontations at various protester camps, the RCMP arrested more than two dozen people.

February 13th 2020

Georgia is adding more Democratic-leaning Voters Faster than. Republicans can Purge Them

Stacy Abrams

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Georgia Republicans have been working hard to get voters off the rolls, and indeed, they reduced their numbers by 7% in last year's purge

The bad news for those Republicans, however, is that nearly as fast as they throw voters off the lists, new ones—in large part younger and more racially diverse—are registering.

There was a 3% increase in registered voters in the last year, and new voter registrations outpaced the purges of 2016-2018, with 902,000 new voters replacing the 797,000 removed during that time. Another 98,000 were purged late last year, in what was a limited win by Stacey Abrams' group Fair Fight Georgia: The original plan had been to delete more than 300,000.

This is GREAT: U.N. Publishes List of Firms Doing Business With Israeli Settlements

UN publishes list of the firms contributing to cruel treatment of Palestinians

GENEVA — The United Nations on Wednesday published a much-delayed and contentious list of 112 companies doing business with Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, drawing praise from human rights groups and denunciations from Israel.

Publication of the list was seen as a victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which has sought to pressure Israel economically over the settlements, which most of the world considers a violation of international law.

The Israeli government views the B.D.S. movement, which has supporters in many countries including in the United States, as an anti-Semitic plan to delegitimize Israel. B.D.S. supporters deny that accusation.

Sinn-Fein’s Surprise Surge and the Woman Behind It

Mary Lou McDonald

With one riposte, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald may have changed the course of Irish history.

It was debate night in the middle of the general election campaign, and rival party leaders Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin were attacking her party’s tax-and-spend promises, ignoring their own at times questionable economic record.

“Listening to these men you’d never imagine that one had crashed the economy and that the other is so fiscally irresponsible that he’s producing the most expensive hospital in the world,” McDonald witheringly told them, drawing wild applause from the audience.

Democrats Must Make an Example of Attorney General Barr


The Democrats almost got this right. On Wednesday, they shredded what little credibility Bill Barr had left during a five-hour hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that, at times, bordered on a cross examination. By the end of his testimony, Barr’s carefully manicured disdain gave way to thinly veiled wrath. 

Pushed in the hearing’s closing minutes by Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal—who asked about the just-released letter from Robert Mueller critical of the attorney general’s handling of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference—Barr finally snapped. “The letter’s a bit snitty, and I think it was written by one of his staff people,” he croaked.

It was, as The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wrote, a slip-up. Barr had spent the day claiming that Mueller hadn’t been mad at him at all, but was instead concerned about the media coverage of Barr’s controversial summary of the report. The “snitty” comment let the cat out of the bag. Barr had been caught spinning—the text of the letter from Mueller, moreover, contained zero references to media coverage of the summary

‘Ghost’ DNA In West Africans Complicates Story of Human Origins


About 50,000 years ago, ancient humans in what is now West Africa apparently procreated with another group of ancient humans that scientists didn't know existed.

There aren't any bones or ancient DNA to prove it, but researchers say the evidence is in the genes of modern West Africans. They analyzed genetic material from hundreds of people from Nigeria and Sierra Leone and found signals of what they call "ghost" DNA from an unknown ancestor.

Our own species — Homo sapiens — lived alongside other groups that split off from the same genetic family tree at different times. And there's plenty of evidence from other parts of the world that early humans had sex with other hominins, like Neanderthals.

That's why Neanderthal genes are present in humans today, in people of European and Asian descent. Homo sapiens also mated with another group, the Denisovans, and those genes are found in people from Oceania.

CBP Chief Admits Officer’s “Overzealous”: Critics Say Iranians And Others Targeted

Another asshole put in place by Trump

The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection made a surprising admission this week about the agency's Seattle field office.

Last month, officers at a border crossing there pulled aside hundreds of Iranian-Americans — including U.S citizens and green card holders — and held them for hours.

"In that specific office," acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan said at a briefing with reporters in Washington, "leadership just got a little overzealous."

At the time, tensions with Iran were rising after the U.S. air strike that killed a top Iranian general. And field offices had been told to be vigilant. But Morgan says they were not instructed to hold and question everyone from Iran.

"That was not in line with our direction. And so that was immediately corrected," Morgan said. "And it was very unique to that one sector."

But immigrant advocates say this was not an isolated mistake.

February 12th 2020

Women that Changed History

Shirley Chrisom

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The stories, accomplishments and lives of Black women have never traditionally had a place of importance in mainstream history. For centuries, achievements reached by Black women have only ever been celebrated in the Black community, amongst those who knew how big of a deal it was. 

But as the years have gone by, society has learned not only to embrace these milestones, but finally celebrate the noteworthy accomplishments Black women have brought to the table: Althea Gibson was the first Black woman to compete in the Wimbledon Championships (and win, paving the way for Venus and Serena Williams); Michelle Obama became the first Black First Lady of the United States, who used her platform to spread knowledge about equality, nutrition and general kindness.

Good Gracious: All Prosecutor's Resign From Roger Stones Case After Trump Politicized the Verdict

Roger Stone

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The entire prosecution team for Roger Stone’s case abruptly withdrew from that proceeding Tuesday afternoon, just over a week before Stone’s sentencing — in an apparent protest of interference from Justice Department higher-ups over a sentencing recommendation for the longtime Trump adviser.

First, Aaron Zelinsky, who worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and then aided the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in Stone’s trial, told a judge in a filing Tuesday that he was withdrawing from the case and had “resigned effective immediately” from his role in that office, where he was on temporary assignment. 

Now, it does not appear that Zelinsky is resigning from the Justice Department entirely — his regular post is in the US Attorney’s Office for Maryland, and he does not mention resigning from that. 

Yet shortly afterward, a second Stone prosecutor, Jonathan Kravis, told the court he was also leaving the case because he “has resigned as an Assistant United States Attorney.” And then the other two prosecutors on the team, Adam Jed and Michael Marando, announced that they were withdrawing as well (though not resigning). Taken together, the moves are an unmistakable protest against Justice Department leadership. 

How Amy Klobuchar Pulled Off the Big Surprise of the New Hampshire Primary

Amy Klobuchar

CONCORD, N.H. — Senator Amy Klobuchar knew she might have an opportunity in New Hampshire’s presidential primary.

As a fiscally moderate Democrat who opposes the “Medicare for all” and free four-year college plans of her liberal rivals, Ms. Klobuchar was in sync with the smaller-government tilt of plenty of Democrats in the state. Her emphasis on bipartisanship and pragmatism was a fit with New Hampshire’s large number of unaffiliated voters, or independents, who could participate in the Democratic primary. 

And she often mentioned her support for New Hampshire’s two centrist female senators, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.

So in the aftermath of the chaotic Iowa caucuses, where her fifth-place finish might have derailed other candidates, Ms. Klobuchar placed a series of bets on New Hampshire that paid off big on Tuesday night with her surprise third-place finish in the primary. 

While she now has a huge challenge ahead — competing for support from Hispanic voters in Nevada and black voters in South Carolina, where she is far behind in polls — the fact that Ms. Klobuchar has a shot is because of an 11th-hour surge here that is usually the stuff of dreams for candidates.

Inside Mike Bloomberg’s Big Play for Black Voters


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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A meeting with nearly 80 black pastors in Detroit. A speech before a black Democratic organization in Montgomery. A rally at a historically black university. A tour of Martin Luther King Jr.’s church. An early voting kickoff at an African American museum. All in the past two weeks.

While Mike Bloomberg’s rivals battled it out in majority-white Iowa and New Hampshire,the billionaire presidential candidate aggressively courted the black voters critical to any Democrat’s chance of winning of the nomination. The effort, backed by millions of dollars in ads, has taken him across Southern states that vote on March 3, from Montgomery, Alabama, and this week Raleigh, North Carolina, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, states where African American voters can decide a Democratic primary.

His pitch is one of electability and competence — hoping to capitalize on black Democrats’ hunger to oust President Donald Trump. But as he courts black voters he’ll also have to reconcile his own record as mayor of New York and past remarks on criminal justice.

Bloomberg’s outreach aims squarely at former Vice President Joe Biden, who is banking on loyal black voters to resuscitate his bid after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“Who can beat Donald Trump? That’s what people care about,” said former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who is among the black leaders endorsing Bloomberg. Nutter says Bloomberg’s record of accomplishments outweighs the damage of flawed policing.

Mudlarks Scour the Thames to Uncover 2,000 Years of Secrets

The Thames

LONDON — On a finger numbingly cold morning, Lara Maiklem swung open a metal gate tucked behind a pub in southeast London and scrambled down a set of slick stone steps onto the banks of the River Thames.

The river runs through the city west to east, bisecting London as it winds past the new skyscrapers and old docks that line its banks.

But twice a day, the low tide pulls the flowing edges of the Thames back — dropping the river level by 20 feet in some areas — revealing centuries of forgotten London life in the fragments that poke out from the newly exposed land, known as the foreshore.

This is when the mudlarks, like Ms. Maiklem, come out.

“What you are looking for are straight lines and perfect circles,” she said, her eyes scanning the surface of the mud for man-made artifacts. “They sort of stand out from the natural shapes.”

A Black Oregon Man Asked His Boss To Investigate Discrimination at Work. Then He Was Arrested?

Michael Fesser

A black man from Oregon sued the city of West Linn alleging that police officers unlawfully surveilled him at work and then falsely arrested him in retaliation for having raised complaints with his employer about racial discrimination.

Michael Fesser of Portland claimed in the suit, an amended version of which was filed last month in U.S. District Court in Portland, that the incident left him suffering from emotional distress and resulted in economic damages. He sued the city and several members of the West Linn Police Department for false arrest, malicious prosecution, defamation and invasion of privacy.

West Linn police began investigating Fesser in February 2017 after Fesser raised concerns to his boss, Eric Be

February 11th 2020

Trump: Vowed Not to Cut Social Security and Medicare, and His 2021 Budget says Otherwise


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President Donald Trump posted a tweet on Saturday vowing, “We will not be touching your Social Security and Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget.” One day later, the Wall Street Journal published a report indicating that Trump is doing exactly that with his budget proposal.

The Journal’s report, which came a day ahead of the administration officially releasing its budget on Monday, indicates that Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget includes “steep reductions in social-safety-net programs,” including cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security disability programs:

The White House proposes to cut spending by $4.4 trillion over a decade. Of that, it targets $2 trillion in savings from mandatory spending programs, including $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription-drug pricing, $292 billion from safety-net cuts—such as work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps—and $70 billion from tightening eligibility access to disability benefits.

That Trump is proposing cuts to these programs isn’t surprising — his 2020 budget cut all three as well. It’s a long-running contradiction for the president. He often says he won’t touch these entitlement programs, but he’s continued to employ Republican Party officials who make cutting these programs center to their work.

Was This A Thing? Georgia Drops Special Requirements For Drivers Who Are Puerto Rican


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The state of Georgia on Monday agreed to remove an extra layer of requirements for Puerto Ricans to transfer their driver’s licenses to the state as part of a settlement in a federal class-action discrimination lawsuit.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services said it had eliminated the knowledge and road test component of the application process for those who moved to the state from five United States territories.

People from Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands will now be treated the same as license holders from other states who become Georgia residents, the state said.

The change came after a Hinesville, Ga., man, who was born in Puerto Rico sued the driver services commissioner and a licensing inspector in United States District Court in Atlanta last July for discrimination.

How Drones, Sensors, and AI are Patrolling the Southern Border


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In an era of increasingly polarized politics, there are few issues as divisive as President Trump’s proposal to build a physical wall across part of the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border.

The Trump administration has argued that the border wall is a necessary deterrent to drug smugglers and immigrants seeking to enter the country unlawfully. It says unchecked immigration is a national security crisis, and one that needs to be addressed.

Critics, meanwhile, argue that the wall is a wildly expensive, ineffective, and misdirected effort. The actual crisis, they say, is a humanitarian one worsened by Trump’s restrictive immigration policies — about refugees seeking lawful entry into the US to flee violence and poverty in their home countries.

Dame Shame: DOJ Files New Immigration Lawsuits Against Sanctuary Cities


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The Department of Justice on Monday announced a slew of lawsuits targeting New Jersey, California and King County, Washington, over laws and policies that the agency claims make it harder to enforce federal immigration law. 

Why it matters: The administration has long railed against "sanctuary cities" and has been rolling out retaliatory actions against states, counties and cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement. 

  • California recently passed a state law banning the use of private detention facilities.
  • New Jersey state laws prohibit state and local law enforcement from sharing certain information about immigrants in criminal custody. 
  • King County prevents the Department of Homeland Security from deporting immigrants using the county's international airport. 

Driving the news: Attorney General Bill Barr announced some of the lawsuits in a speech to the National Sheriffs' Association on Monday. He said the Justice Department is "reviewing the practices, policies and laws of other jurisdictions across the country" to determine whether they comply with laws that prohibit "harboring or shielding" unauthorized immigrants.

Pangolins Are Suspected as a Potential Coronavirus Host


In the search for the animal source or sources of the coronavirus epidemic in China, the latest candidate is the pangolin, an endangered, scaly, ant-eating mammal that is imported in huge numbers to Chinese markets for food and medicine.

The market in pangolins is so large that they are said to be the most trafficked mammals on the planet. All four Asian species are critically endangered, and it is far from clear whether being identified as a viral host would be good or bad for pangolins. It could decrease the trade in the animals, or cause a backlash.

It is also far from clear whether the pangolin is the animal that passed the new virus to humans. Bats are still thought to be the original host of the virus. If pangolins are involved in disease transmission, they would act as an intermediate host. 

The science so far is suggestive rather than conclusive, and because of the intense interest in the virus, some claims have been made public before the traditional scientific review process.

Klobuchar Roars Into Contention on Eve of New Hampshire Primary's


Finishing in front of either Biden or Warren in Tuesday’s primary would add new life to Klobuchar’s candidacy, following a fifth-place result in Iowa. Finishing in front of both of them would almost certainly have a catalytic effect on the Minnesota senator’s campaign.

“I don’t have the biggest bank account in this race, I didn’t have the biggest name ID going into this,” Klobuchar said at a rally Monday. “But what I have is grit.”

It is possible that Klobuchar’s late surge is coming too late. She is polling in low single digits in the next two nominating states, Nevada and South Carolina, where her competitors have been amassing organizations for months. 

It is unclear whether Klobuchar will have the money or the time to catch up, or an organization that can capitalize.

February 10th 2020

Amazon Wants Trump To Testify About JEDI Military Contract Awarded to Microsoft


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Amazon wants President Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper to testify about a massive military tech contract that the company lost to Microsoft, according to court documents unsealed Monday.

Amazon has taken the Pentagon to court, alleging "unmistakable bias" on the government's part in awarding to rival Microsoft the $10 billion cloud-computing contract, known as JEDI. 

The contract award process had been mired by months of delays, investigations and controversy — at first over allegations of cozy relationships between Amazon and the Pentagon, and later over Trump's public criticism of the company, its role in the JEDI bidding and its CEO Jeff Bezos. Bezos owns The Washington Post, whose news coverage Trump often criticizes.

Newly unsealed documents show Amazon Web Services, Amazon's cloud arm, is seeking to depose Trump "about conversations or other involvement he had regarding the JEDI bid process or efforts to harm Amazon or AWS." The request acknowledges that deposing a sitting president "presents unique circumstances."

“Coded Bias’ Explores How Tech Can Be Racist and Sexist


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Facial recognition systems from large tech companies often incorrectly classify black women as male — including the likes of Michelle Obama, Serena Williams and Sojourner Truth. That's according to Joy Buolamwini, whose research caught wide attention in 2018 with "AI, Ain't I a Woman?" a spoken-word piece based on her findings at MIT Media Lab.

The video, along with the accompanying research paper written with Timnit Gebru of Microsoft Research, prompted many tech companies to reassess their facial recognition data sets and algorithms for darker and more female-looking faces.

"Coded Bias," a documentary directed by Shalini Kantayya which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in late January, interweaves Buolamwini's journey of creating the Algorithmic Justice League, an advocacy organization, with other examples of facial recognition software being rolled out around the world — on the streets of London, in housing projects in Brooklyn and broadly across China.

What Does Independence Look Like?


A little more than a year ago, the archival storytelling group came across a photo of a woman carrying on her back a baby holding a tiny Nigerian flag. The year was 1960. It was a powerful illustration of how new independence felt for so many African nations. 

Seventeen countries declared independence that year, which became known as the Year of Africa. And with the coming of its 60th anniversary, the idea for this project was born. 

We selected images — some from The New York Times’s archive and others from various collections around the world — to tell the story of the heady days around the Year of Africa. Each of the 17 countries that gained independence that year is represented here in photographs, but there are also images from countries, like Ghana, with especially rich photographic traditions.

We then invited a group of creative people of African descent to give us their personal reactions to these images. The responses varied, but all of the contributors saw glimpses of home and family in these photographs. All of them, in their own way, were moved by the sparks of power and possibility that are as much a part of their individual stories as of the collective history of a continent being redefined. 

Veronica Chambers, Editor

Africa, a Thunder and Lighting Hot Spot, May See Even More Storms


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Africa is experiencing bigger and more frequent thunderstorms as global temperatures rise, according to researchers at Tel Aviv University.

The continent already has many of the world’s lightning hot spots, with storms that can be extremely destructive and, sometimes, deadly. This month, for example, a conservation group reported that four rare mountain gorillas had been electrocuted by lightningin Mgahinga National Park, Uganda. In a calamitous episode in 2011, a lightning strike on an elementary school in the same country killed 20 children and injured nearly 100.

Mass casualties like that are rare. But meteorologists wondered at the time whether thunderstorms were becoming more common in Africa in the era of climate change.

The answer, according to the new research, published in January in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate, is yes. An increase in temperatures in Africa over the past seven decades correlates with bigger and more frequent thunderstorms, the researchers found.

Her Grandmother Got the Coronavirus. Then So Did the Whole Family


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WUHAN, China — Bella Zhang hung an intravenous drip on a spindly tree branch and slumped down on a large stone planter outside the crowded hospital. Her mother and brother sat wearily beside her, their shoulders sagging, both also hooked up to their own drips.

In recent days, Ms. Zhang, 25, a perfume saleswoman with tinted blue hair, had watched helplessly as one by one, her relatives were sickened by the coronavirus that was tearing through her hometown, Wuhan. First, her grandmother got it, then it spread to her grandfather and mother. She and her younger brother were next.

The family had pleaded for help, but the city’s hospitals, faced with an extreme shortage of beds, could not take them. On Feb. 1, Grandfather Zhang died at home.

How the Iowa Caucuses Became an Epic Fiasco for Democrats


DES MOINES — The first signs of trouble came early.

As the smartphone app for reporting the results of the Iowa Democratic caucuses began failing last Monday night, party officials instructed precinct leaders to move to Plan B: calling the results into caucus headquarters, where dozens of volunteers would enter the figures into a secure system.

But when many of those volunteers tried to log on to their computers, they made an unsettling discovery. They needed smartphones to retrieve a code, but they had been told not to bring their phones into the “boiler room” in Des Moines.

As a torrent of results were phoned in from school gymnasiums, union halls and the myriad other gathering places that made the Iowa caucuses a world-famous model of democracy, it soon became clear that the whole process was melting down.

Volunteers resorted to passing around a spare iPad to log into the system. Melissa Watson, the state party’s chief financial officer, who was in charge of the boiler room, did not know how to operate a Google spreadsheet application used to input data, Democratic officials later acknowledged.

February 6th 2020

President Trump: Fact Finder


This  person,  who  a  little  over  45%  of  the  country  voted  for  cant  help  but  repeatedly  lie.

Check  out  the  PolitiFact :  Fact  check  on  this  guy  who’s  the  president  of  this  country.

Trump Unchecked: The Trump Administration Suspends New Yorkers From ‘Trusted Traveler’ Programs


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it will no longer allow New York state residents to enroll in programs intended to expedite international travel because of a state law that blocks immigration authorities from accessing motor vehicle records.


New York's "Green Light" law, which took effect in December, allows immigrants without legal status to apply for driver's licenses. It also includes a provision barring state DMV officials from sharing data with immigration authorities unless a judge orders them to do so. 

"If sanctuary city politicians and sanctuary state, as well, won't keep their people safe, we'll do the best we can to keep them safe," Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy DHS secretary, said on a call with reporters today. 

Cuccinelli said the New York law makes it more difficult for federal law enforcement officers to determine whether they're dealing with dangerous criminals. In response, Cuccinelli said New York residents will be prohibited from enrolling in several DHS programs for "trusted travelers," including Global Entry and NEXUS, which are intended to expedite security screening at ports of entry. (TSA PreCheck is not affected.)

Who Really Killed Malcom X?

Malcom X aka El-Hajj Malik Shabazz

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For more than half a century, scholars have maintained that prosecutors convicted the wrong men in the assassination of Malcolm X.

Now, 55 years after that bloody afternoon in February 1965, the Manhattan district attorney’s office is reviewing whether to reinvestigate the murder.

Some new evidence comes from a six-part documentary called “Who Killed Malcolm X?,” streaming on Netflix Feb. 7, which posits that two of the men convicted could not have been at the scene that day.

Instead it points the finger at four members of a Nation of Islam mosque in Newark, N.J., depicting their involvement as an open secret in their city. One even appeared in a 2010 campaign ad for then-Newark mayor Cory Booker.

Johnson and BBC Trade Jabs, as War on the Press Flares


LONDON — When Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a fireside chat last week to mark Britain’s departure from the European Union, he did not ask the BBC to tape it, preferring to use an in-house video crew. The BBC, in turn, refused to air his remarks on that history-making evening.

It was a telling bit of tit-for-tat in the feud between the prime minister and Britain’s public broadcaster — one that has run the gamut from petty snubs, like the boycott of a popular BBC radio show by Mr. Johnson’s ministers, to real economic threats, like a proposal to stop prosecuting people for failing to pay the compulsory license fee that funds the BBC’s operations.

And it comes against a backdrop of deepening hostility between Mr. Johnson, a one-time journalist, and the British press corps, including journalists from newspapers that backed his Brexit campaign.

The rancor has inevitably drawn comparisons to President Trump’s clashes with the White House news media. But Mr. Johnson has avoided Mr. Trump’s inflammatory language, and the primary target of his wrath, the BBC, is a revered institution that occupies a place in Britain unlike the president’s favorite targets, CNN or MSNBC.

Ukraine saga far from over, despite Trump acquittal

Rep. Adam Schiff

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The impeachment of President Donald Trump is over, but it’s far from case closed on Ukraine.

A full accounting of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, stemming in large part from the foreign policy entanglements pursued by personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, remains unfinished despite Trump’s acquittal Wednesday in the Senate.

As the president launches into his reelection campaign, pushing past the charges that threatened his legacy, it’s only a matter of time before fresh details, documents and eyewitnesses emerge, including revelations in a new book from John Bolton, the former national security adviser.

The result could be the start of a prolonged investigation with no clear endpoint, keeping questions about the president’s conduct alive through the election in November. It’s the kind of prolonged fallout that Trump and his GOP allies sought to avoid as they rejected a lengthy impeachment trial.

“More is going to come out every day, indeed it has come out every day and every week,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.

Schiff, the House’s lead impeachment manager, said that no final decisions have been made on whether to subpoena Bolton in the House after the Senate voted not to hear his testimony.

Video From Inside ICE. Detention Center Shows Detainees Being Pepper-Sprayed

He just wants to be heard.

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In the early morning of June 12, 2017, a group of eight Central American migrants decided to go on a hunger strike to protest conditions at the immigration detention center where they were being held in California.

When detainees arrive at the facility, they're given a handbook that states explicitly, "Detention is NOT prison." Immigration detention is where the government holds people while deciding whether to deport them, and most detainees have no criminal record. But this group said the conditions felt like those of a penitentiary.

Among their complaints:

The guards were discriminating against them, they lacked access to clean water, the bonds for their immigration cases were too expensive and they were receiving information only in English.

When detention officers ordered them to return to their beds for a routine population "count," the eight men refused to move from tables in the facility's day room until they could speak to a supervisor or an official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

February 5th 2020

Madam Speaker Had Enough: Shredded his EXTREMELY False State of the Union Speech

Madam Speaker had enough

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday trashed President Trump’s raucous State of the Union address while huddling with rank-and-file Democrats, and explained why she dramatically ripped up his speech as he wrapped up his remarks.

“He shredded the truth so I shredded his speech,” Pelosi told House Democrats during a closed-door caucus meeting, according to sources in the room. Like she did the night before, she called his 90-minute address “a manifesto of mistruths."

“You are supposed to talk about the State of the Union,” Pelosi continued, “not the State of your alleged mind.”

Trump, Pelosi said, “disrespected” the House chamber and used it as a “backdrop for a reality show… to give a speech that had no connection with reality.”

Wednesday’s private remarks marked the first time Pelosi had addressed the Tuesday night incident to House Democrats. Pelosi said she had not planned to tear up Trump’s speech, but she felt “liberated” when she did so. Her actions came after Trump, as he entered the chamber and ascended the dais, appeared to snub Pelosi by ignoring her extended hand.

Ukrainians Are Losing Faith in the US

President Zelenskiy

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Nataliya Gumenyuk grew up in a small town outside of Kyiv during the first hungry years after Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.   Like many Ukrainians of her generation, she was raised on Hollywood movies — but also the American credo of positive social change.

Today Gumenyuk, 36, is a prominent Ukrainian journalist, who co-founded Hromadske, a noncommercial, nongovernmental public broadcaster, during street protests that rocked Kyiv six years ago. 

Gumenyuk, who traveled to the U.S. to cover the last three presidential elections, says America has lost its sheen since Ukraine unwittingly became the focus of President Trump's impeachment process in Washington.

"There was the idea of a moral example, which is definitely no longer there," Gumenyuk says. 

Revelations that President Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden are at the heart of the impeachment trial in the Senate. Trump's decision to freeze military aid to Ukraine over the summer, as well his administration's back-channel efforts to contact Zelenskiy, have shaken many Ukrainians' belief in the U.S. as a steadfast ally and role model.

President Daniel Arap Moi, Kenya’s Longtime President, Dies at 95

President Moi

Daniel arap Moi, who ruled Kenya for nearly a quarter century marked by repression and widespread corruption before he eventually yielded to multiparty democracy and allowed a peaceful transfer of power, has died at age 95.

His death was announced by current President Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of the country's founding father and first president, Jomo Kenyatta, whose death in office in 1978 paved the way for Moi's rise.

"Our nation and our continent were immensely blessed by the dedication and service of the Late Mzee Moi; who spent almost his entire adult life serving Kenya and Africa," Kenyatta said in a statement, using a Swahili term of respect.

Kenyatta announced that flags would be flown at half-staff until Moi's funeral.

"Daniel Toroitich arap Moi ran a good race, kept the faith, and now he is enjoying his reward in heaven," he said.

There was no immediate word on the cause of death, but Moi had reportedly been in and out of the hospital in recent months with breathing difficulties.

It Is Too Much: Get Out to Vote. FACT CHECK on the False State of the Union


(Please  click  on  Article  below  to  see  the  Fact  Check  and  more)  

President Trump delivered his third State of the Union address Tuesday night, the day before his Senate impeachment trial is scheduled to wrap.

It was a highly partisan event. Trump touted his own accomplishments on issues like the economy and paid family leave, lowering the cost of health care, immigration and national security. It was punctuated by made-for-TV moments, including a surprise appearance by a soldier as his family was recognized for their sacrifice. 

Republicans present gave Trump repeated, resounding applause. Democrats, meanwhile, weren't having any of it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even ripped up a copy of Trump's speech at the end of his remarks. 

NPR reporters from across the newsroom added analysis and fact-checking live, below. 

We annotated the Democratic response here.

Migrants in Mexico Face Crackdown, But Officials Say they Are Being Rescued

Strife in Mexico

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The last two weeks have been busy for Mexico's immigration authorities. Since Jan. 18, the Mexican government says it has "assisted returns" of 2,303 Central American migrants back to their home countries.

"Assisted returns" means deported — but much of the official language referring to migration in Mexico remains euphemistic, critics say, even as the government's migration policies have grown harsher.

Mexico has been under pressure from the Trump administration, with threats of tariffs and sanctions, to do more to stop U.S.-bound migrants. Last week, Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli praised Mexicofor its most recent efforts.

Nearly all those deported were Honduran, and most were part of a large caravan that had entered Mexico illegally, with hopes of reaching the U.S. Mexican officials say all the deportations were done according to law and with full respect for human rights.

The Last Days of What this Country Used to Be (on a hill) Now I Fear We Are About to Go On a Treach


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During his opening remarks at the Senate removal trial of Donald Trump, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone lied. Repeatedly.   Cipollone said that Republicans were not allowed in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility to participate in depositions taken during the House’s impeachment investigation.

 That is a demonstrable lie. He accused Representative Adam Schiff of having “manufactured” a “false version” of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. That’s not true. He played fast and loose with the timeline around the Zelensky call, alleging a controversy over the first phone call that never happened.

We, as a country, are used to President Trump lying almost every time he opens his mouth. We are used to his state-sponsored media sycophants going on television and lying for the president every night. We are used to Republicans lying to stay in lockstep with Trump.

But we haven’t seen the Trump people lie so brazenly in court, or something that appears to be court. We haven’t seen them lie after oaths have been taken. A lot of people thought that a trial presided over by the chief justice of the United States would be the moment where the lying stopped.

February 4th 2020

Rep. Veronica Escobar, will give Spanish State of the Union

Veronica Escobar

When U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar delivers the Spanish-language rebuttal to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday, she'll do so from a community health center in her hometown of El Paso, Texas.

The first-term Democrat was thrust into the spotlight last year, as her city became a testing ground for Trump administration immigration policies and the site of the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern U.S. history.

Escobar, 50, made history when she was elected in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Beto O'Rourke. She is one of the first two Latinas to represent Texas in Congress.

Since taking office, she has served as a fierce advocate for her city along the U.S.-Mexico border and harsh critic of policies such as the Migrant Protection Protocols, which require asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico as their cases play out in U.S. immigration court.

This President (Trump) has no shame: Nigerians shocked after Trump extends travel ban....

Beautiful Nigerian woman

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Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Nigerians reacted with shock and anger after Africa's most populous country and largest economy was added to the Trump administration's controversial visa and travel bans list. 

The ban, which is one of the US President's signature policies, now includes five other countries as well as Nigeria which have been blocked from obtaining certain types of visas. Immigrants from Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria will be banned from the US. Tanzanian and Sudan citizens will no longer be able to apply for the "diversity visas," known as the green card lottery, according to the Department of Homeland Security. 

A Nigerian civil group has started a petition to revoke the ban, saying it will affect families. The Association for Credible leadership in Nigeria (ACLN) says in the Change.org petition, "With this new travel ban in effect from February 21st 2020... U.S citizens looking to bring over children, parents or siblings will no longer be able to do so. Also, partners or spouses of American citizens will no longer be able to immigrate to the U.S."

What in the World will he say: State of the Union


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Surreal will be the word of the evening as President Trump marches into the same House chamber where he was impeached just seven weeks ago to address the nation even as he is on trial for high crimes and misdemeanors on the other side of the Capitol.

The president’s annual address on Tuesday comes after two weeks of arguments on the Senate floor about whether he should be removed from office and a day before a scheduled final vote. With acquittal virtually assured, Mr. Trump will use his speech to set the terms for the remainder of the year as he heads toward the November election in search of a second term.

The basics.

What we’re expecting to see: Mr. Trump will deliver his third State of the Union address and his fourth speech to a joint session of Congress in the House chamber.

Iowa Caucus Blunders and What will happen Now...


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The Iowa Democratic Party will begin releasing results from the caucuses at 5 p.m. Eastern time. The party blamed a “coding issue” in the app used to tabulate results.


  • Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., among others, have events in New Hampshire throughout the day.

For Lebanon’s Shiites, a Dilemma...

Lebanon Shiites

KAFR RUMMAN, Lebanon — There is a Lebanese phrase that translates, roughly, to “a slapping.” That seems to be what happened to several antigovernment protesters who were caught on TV denouncing Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Islamist militia and political party Hezbollah, in the early days of the now monthslong Lebanese uprising.

The smacking they received from a party that brooks little pushback, and wields tremendous influence in Lebanon’s government, might have been physical or it might have been verbal. Either way, the protesters appeared again on TV a few days later, looking subdued — this time, to apologize.

“Sayyid means a lot to me. There are thousands who admire him, but I’m like No. 100 on the list,” one man said, his voice meek, using a respectful honorific for Mr. Nasrallah, whom the protester had previously accused of letting his community starve.

Kangaroo Island: Can it Survive Australias Fires?


KANGAROO ISLAND, Australia — Kangaroo Island is Australia in miniature.

It is a wildlife haven, with its own varieties of kangaroos, echidnas (a spiny anteater) and cockatoos, as well as a koala population seen as insurance should disaster strike the species on the mainland. It is a tourism magnet, with luxury cliff-top lodges and beaches studded with sea lions. It is a farming hub, producing veal, wool, grain and honey for purveyors at home and beyond.

Now, Kangaroo Island is unrecognizable.

Wildfires that burned for weeks consumed half of the island — more than 800 square miles. Two people were killed, dozens of homes were destroyed, and wilderness parks were turned to cinders, littering the landscape with animal corpses. In a bush land once teeming with the activity of insects, birds, reptiles and mammals, there is only silence, and the scent of rot.

January 27th 2020

Afghanistan Plane Crash: Conflicting Reports From US and Taliban


A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, told NPR that insurgents with the group shot down the plane and that it had CIA officials on board. 

Earlier  Monday,  , Mujahid referred to the plane on Twitter as an "enemy intelligence aircraft" and said the bodies of the intelligence officials were still lying near the crash site in the Sado Khelo region of Ghazni.

The militant group frequently exaggerates battlefield actions, and the claims could not be confirmed. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, Ruhallah Ahmadzai, told NPR that the aircraft was not Afghan — neither civilian nor military. Ahmadzai said Afghan special forces have been deployed to the crash site.

Calls Intensify for Bolton to Testify


Given the extraordinary control that the White House has maintained over testimony and the release of emails, text message and other documents by top Trump administration aides, there has been little evidence in the public domain to back up John Bolton’s claims that top White House advisers repeatedly pressed President Trump this summer to release his hold on the military aid to Ukraine.

But concrete evidence has still emerged that this is what actually took place, particularly in late August, reporting by The New York Times has found.

Career employees at the State Department, the National Security Council and Defense Department held a series of interagency meetings in July to discuss the aid freeze, quickly reaching a consensus that it was against United States’ interest to hold back the money.

How the Fear of Islamophobia Affected An Iranian American Family


The shades in the living room hadn't been installed yet, so the morning sun glared in our eyes. I remember realizing, as I looked out on the street, that anyone could see inside. I prayed one of our neighbors would walk by, just to witness what was happening. But no one seemed to be walking their dog or grabbing the mail.

I felt like screaming for help, but I didn't. None of us did. We simply watched as the men rummaged through our drawers and flipped through our photo albums. They used the VCR in my parents' room to watch our home videos. The sounds of old birthdays, family ski trips and Persian New Year's echoed throughout our mostly empty house. We hadn't yet gotten to fill the house with memories of its own.

At one point, another man arrived, dressed in regular clothing. He began to sort through letters we kept in drawers in the guest room. I could hear him reading out loud, first in Farsi and then English, the words on the faded postcards from family and friends in Iran. Family recipes. Pleas for us to return. Love notes between my mom and dad, starting from when they met at university in Tehran.

The Great Kobe Bryant‘s Brilliant and Complicated Legacy


By the time he walked away from the N.B.A. in April 2016, after an unforgettable 60-point farewell game against the Utah Jazz, Bryant had built an unmatched legacy that persuaded the Lakers to retire both jersey numbers he wore over two 10-season stretches: No. 8 and No. 24. In perhaps the ultimate Bryant flourish, that 60-point game on the final day of the 2015-16 regular season — in which he hoisted 50 shots — upstaged the defending champion Golden State Warriors, who had defeated the Memphis Grizzlies on the same night to secure the best single-season record in league history (73-9).

Bryant is widely expected to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in late August, the first time he is eligible. He led the league in scoring twice and finished his career with 33,643 points in the regular season, which put him at No. 3 among N.B.A. scoring leaders, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928) until the Lakers’ LeBron James passed Bryant on Saturday night in Philadelphia.

’What if we all get sick’: Coronavirus Strains China’s Health System


In major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, many people have to stand in line in the wee hours of the morning to secure appointments with doctors. When they do get an appointment, patients get only a couple of minutes with a doctor. During flu season, residents set up camp overnight with blankets in hospital corridors.

China does not have a functioning primary care system, so most people flock to hospitals. On an ordinary day, doctors  are  frustrated  and  exhausted as they see as many as 200 patients.

Those weaknesses are most pronounced in the poorer areas of China — like Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus. Panicked residents of the city are heading to the hospitals if they have any sign of a cold or cough. Videos circulating on Chinese social media show doctors straining to handle the enormous workload and hospital corridors loaded with patients, some of whom appear to be dead.

Ivory Coast Designer Creates African Emoji to Bring Culture to Smartphones


Lee says she looks for designs that are specific to a culture but universal enough that there's a wide demand. She's consulted with Grebet about putting up a few of his designs for candidacy. She thinks foufou, a starchy paste made with mashed plantains, is particularly promising because it's a staple of many African cuisines.

"What rice and bread and noodles are to certain parts of the world, foufou is to certain parts of Africa," she says.

In the meantime, Grebet has submitted the "I told you so" expression to the Unicode committee.

Lee says emoji is a common language for today's global youth. 

"We always talk about representation the big screen," she says. "Representation on the small screen is also really important because it tells you what exists and what is important in the world."

January 24th 2020

34 US Troops have brain injuries from Iran air strike, according to the Pentagon

Iran strike

Seventeen of the 34 are still under medical observation or treatment, according to Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman.

President Donald Trump had initially said he was told that no troops had been injured in the Jan. 8 strike. The military said symptoms were not immediately reported after the strike and in some cases became known days later. 

Many were in bunkers before nearly a dozen Iranian ballistic missiles exploded, damaging several parts of the base.

After the first reports that some soldiers had been hurt, Trump referred to them as “headaches” and said the cases were not as serious as injuries involving the loss of limbs.

Hoffman’s disclosure that 34 had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, or TBI, was the first update on the number injured in Iran’s missile attack on Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq since the Pentagon said on Jan. 17 that 11 service members had been flown out of Iraq with concussion-like symptoms. Days later, officials said more had been sent out of Iraq for further diagnosis and treatment, but the Pentagon did not provide firm figures on the total or say whether any had been returned to duty.

9/11 Prisoner Used By CIA as ‘Training Prop’ for Torture Techniques


Asked by al-Baluchi's lead attorney, James Connell, if it is customary for people learning interrogation methods to practice on detainees, Mitchell — a former interrogation trainer — replied: "We had them practice on themselves," not on prisoners.

Added Mitchell: "It looks like they used your client as a training prop."

Noting that al-Baluchi's interrogation included "one round of walling," Connell asked Mitchell: "How do you know one round of walling didn't last an hour-and-a-half?"

"I don't," Mitchell replied.

Of the 20 "facial slaps" al-Baluchi was subjected to, Mitchell said: "To me, that seems excessive."

To underscore his point, Mitchell, who personally waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, added that "in my most contentious time with KSM, he was looking at me like he wanted to cut my head off and I slapped him three times and he stopped glaring."

Puerto Rican’s protest in anger over unused emergency aid.


“We’ve had enough,” said 82-year-old Iris Guardiola as she waved a tiny Puerto Rican flag. “The people are tired of the abuse… of the lack of humanity. I am here helping those who cannot be here.”

One former protest leader, Rey Charlie, who jumped to fame after leading hundreds of motorcycle riders in a demonstration last summer, said he will not participate in the most recent one.

“A massive demonstration like the one last year would cause great damage, damage that I think would be irreparable,” he said. “You are holding up the economy, you are holding up aid supplies to victims in the southern region, you are paralyzing the country…You have to think of the consequences.”

Charlie and other critics of the recent protests argue that the most effective strategy is to vote in the upcoming general elections in November, in which Vázquez is seeking a second term as governor. But first, she will face Pedro Pierluisi, a veteran politician who served as the island’s representative in Congress, in the primary of their pro-statehood party. 

Pierluisi was sworn in briefly as governor last year before the island’s Supreme Court ruled that Vázquez was constitutionally next in line after former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigned following massive demonstrations.

Recording indicates Trump wanted to ‘get rid’ of Yovanovitch


Bondy said the recording appears to be “entirely consistent” with Parnas’ recollection of that night. He added that Parnas attended the dinner along with Igor Fruman, another of Giuliani’s business associates.

Both Parnas and Fruman have been indicted on federal charges including violating campaign finance laws.

According to ABC News, on the recording it appears Parnas and Fruman are telling Trump that the U.S. ambassador has been bad-mouthing him, which leads directly to the remarks by the president. The recording was made by Fruman, according to a source familiar with it. 

Trump has repeatedly said he does not know Parnas well.He has also attacked Yovanovitch on Twitter by claiming everywhere she went “turned bad.”

“The recording itself underscores the critical importance of calling witnesses and receiving evidence,” Bondy said.

London Police Are Taking Surveillance to a Whole New Level


Researchers have found problems with many facial recognition systems, including trouble accurately identifying people who are not white men. Civil liberties groups warn that as the technology improves, it will lead to constant surveillance, including an ability to track people as they move and watch who they are speaking with.

“We can look to how London is using this technology as a sign of things to come,” said Clare Garvie, a researcher at Georgetown’s Center on Privacy and Technology who studies government use of facial recognition.

Britain has tested real-time facial recognition for a few years. In the trials, officers were often stationed in a control center monitoring a real-time feed of what was being recorded by nearby cameras. The system sent an alert when it had identified a person who matched someone on the watch list. If officers agreed it was a match, they would radio to other officers positioned on the street to pick up that person.

Last year, an independent review of a police trial found many problems, including its accuracy.

Congress has the Power, Democrats argue


Nadler opened his case on Thursday by quoting from framers of the Constitution reassuring their contemporaries about the then-new presidency of the then-new United States.

Among other things, they said, per Nadler, impeachment would ensure that no chief executive could escape accountability by committing transgressions more nebulous than those defined crisply by criminal law.

Indeed, as Nadler argued, the United States didn't have a formal statute for "bribery," one of the crimes delineated by the Constitution that could trigger impeachment, until decades after its adoption. And, he said, even though the criminal code today is well established — Trump is effectively immune from it.

The Justice Department has opined, in a lesson retaught by the Russia investigation, that prosecutors cannot indict the president.

Nadler read a quote he said was from Attorney General William Barr, whom he said accepted the limitation on accountability for presidents: "That's OK, because they can be impeached ... that's the safeguard."