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Black Americans got the right to vote 150 years ago, but voter suppression still a problem

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 08:33

On the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment, voting rights continue to be assailed. America lacks a national voting right for all citizens.

'We Will All Be Dead' By the Time Navy Gets to 12 Aircraft Carriers Says Acting Navy Secretary

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 08:27

Problem? Under current planning, the Navy won’t grow to 12 flattops until 2065, Modly pointed out during an event at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C.

Bloomberg Super Bowl Ad Inflates Child Deaths to Push for Gun Control

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 08:15

Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg ran a 60-second Super Bowl ad which made the claim that "2,900 children die from gun violence every year," despite data showing that over half that number are actually adults.Bloomberg’s ad, which highlights his gun-control advocacy, makes the claim without citation, but the stat appears to be drawn from a gun-control non-profit, Everytown for Gun Safety, which Bloomberg started in 2013.A report from Everytown states that “nearly 2,900 children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed” annually, a number it pulled from the Center for Disease Control’s online database over the years 2013 to 2017. Bloomberg’s Super Bowl ad omitted the “teen” qualifier from its statement.> Everytown used a five year average of gun deaths between 0-19 years of age in the CDC's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) to come up with 2,887 gun deaths per year among that age group.> > -- Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) February 1, 2020The same data, when reviewed for the same time-frame while omitting legal adults — 18 and 19 year olds — shows an average of 1,499 annual gun deaths for children, or about 51 percent of the number claimed in Bloomberg's ad.Bloomberg spent approximately $10 million for the ad, part of a massive self-funded effort to campaign nationally, with data showing that the former mayor has spent over a quarter of a billion dollars in advertisement efforts so far, despite only joining the race in November.Gun control features prominently on Bloomberg’s platform, which includes universal background checks and “red flag screening” measures.Bloomberg was criticized last month by the armed parishioner who took down a shooter at a Texas church in December, after suggesting at a campaign event that “You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.”

Brazil to declare emergency, quarantine people returning from coronavirus-hit Wuhan

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 07:16

Alarmed by the growing risks of a new coronavirus, Brazil has decided to repatriate Brazilians from Wuhan, China, and will declare a national health emergency, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said on Monday. A chartered plane would be sent to pick up 40 of the 55 Brazilians in Wuhan who have asked to be evacuated from the city at the center of a coronavirus outbreak, Mandetta said. President Jair Bolsonaro said last week that repatriating Brazilians from Wuhan would not be "opportune" as it could put the population back home at risk.

Does 'Never Again' Mean Nothing to the Left?

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 07:16

Antisemitism is antisemitism, period.

How the Democratic Party Missed the Power of Bernie Sanders—Again

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 07:00

Bernie Sanders was standing on stage at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on Saturday night in front of 3,000 cheering supporters waving blue…

China accused the US of spreading global 'fear' over the Wuhan coronavirus, which has now killed 362 people

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 06:32

"All it [the US] has done could only create and spread fear, which is a bad example," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

The More Macron Does, the More Unpopular He Gets

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 03:52

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- “Remember when we all believed in Emmanuel Macron?” The question comes not from an angry trade unionist but a stand-up comedian in central Paris, facing a crowd of thirty-something urbanites cut from the same cloth as France’s 42-year-old president. A collective groan of “yes” rises from the audience, many of whom spent the winter struggling through transport strikes triggered by a flagship pension reform that crippled the city. Only one dismissive “no!” rings out. “There’s always one person who voted for Jean-Luc Melenchon,” the comedian shoots back, referring to a far-left leader who’s one of Macron’s most scathing critics.While highly unscientific, the groan-o-meter fits with the bigger national picture for Macron, who seems to get less popular the more he achieves. The president’s approval ratings declined after his election in 2017 amid a flurry of reforms, and sank below 30% in late 2018, when the Gilets Jaunes protests that spawned from anger over plans to hike gasoline prices were at their peak. He’s still polling at around 25%, even after striking a compromise with France’s biggest trade union to ease the gridlock on public transport. Disappointment is now starting to seep into his core fan-base of young, urban professionals — the bloc bourgeois of center-left and center-right white-collar workers who are pro-reform and pro-EU. Paris, where Macron got 90% of votes in 2017, may well re-elect its Socialist mayor in March.The barometer of anti-Macron feeling, ranging from quiet disillusionment to violent street protests and death threats against politicians, has little to do with economic performance or a failure to carry out reform pledges. The French economy grew 2.3% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018; unemployment fell to a decade low in 2019; and business investment has rebounded. A surprise contraction in the fourth quarter of last year put annual growth in 2019 at 1.3%, but Barclays economist Francois Cabau expects that to be a one-off and is cautiously optimistic. The 91 reforms passed by the Macron administration and its ruling party, En Marche! (Onward!), should start to bear fruit soon. They have moderately or largely kept their promises 69% of the time, according to think-tank iFRAP.Yet Macron has managed to lose the French people in the process. Some of it is personal: His star-pupil attitude, combining youthful arrogance and Jupiterian haughtiness, grates. Some of it is institutional: If Macron behaves like a monarchical, top-down ruler, it’s also because the Fifth Republic concentrates a lot of executive power in the presidency and has no mid-term elections to worry the ruling party in parliament. And some of it is political: The first-timers that stuff the ranks of Macron’s party got over-confident in long-term planning, completely underestimated the Yellow Vest movement and failed to do the groundwork necessary to negotiate pension reforms.There’s also the changing nature of French society. Life is becoming less comfortable than it used to be, as Pierre Brechon of Sciences Po Grenoble puts it. Since 2000, several bells have tolled for the establishment: A rise in the far-right vote that almost won the presidency in 2002; a “ no” referendum vote on an EU constitutional treaty in 2005; and the respective failure of both Right and Left to win re-election in 2012 and 2017. Despite relatively low income inequality and a cradle-to-grave welfare state, France hasn’t stamped out divisions among socioeconomic and cultural lines, which author Jerome Fourquet says has created an “archipelago” of disparate social islands. The postwar era’s influences of Catholicism and communism are fading, traditional media is on the wane, and conspiracy theories like “chemtrails” and anti-vax arguments spread by social media are on the rise. Macron was a net beneficiary of this anti-elitist atmosphere in 2017, as a relative newcomer leading a new party. In 2020, he is on the receiving end. Ambivalence now reigns supreme. Macron’s reform agenda was promoted as a soft, Scandinavian-style answer to France’s woes — now it’s viewed as harsh medicine that will leave winners and, more importantly, losers in its wake. True believers who think France has changed since 2017 and will change in the coming years are in the minority, between 30% and 40%. That doesn’t mean revolution is in the air. Support for the pension protests is split, while the proportion of people who defined themselves as Yellow Vests in late 2018 and early 2019 oscillated at 10%-20%. Either way, the pace of reform is likely to slow. Macron’s government has already given up budgetary rigor.It’s still too early to write off Macron but, if recent history is any guide, this kind of unpopularity is almost impossible to reverse. The backlash against globalization and a lack of social mobility are powerful forces, as they are in Trump’s America and Brexit Britain. Whoever wins the presidential election in 2022 will either hit upon a new narrative that binds the Parisians of the bloc bourgeois to other parts of French society — maybe with a nod to the environment — or, as far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Melenchon and his far-left party France Unbowed are already doing, declare war on them entirely. To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Pompeo tells Kazakh reporter that barring NPR reporter sent 'a perfect message about press freedoms'

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 03:20

After the State Department revoked the press credentials of NPR's Michele Keleman for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's trip to Europe and Central Asia, in apparent retaliation for questions Pompeo didn't like from NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, there were concerns about what kind of message Pompeo sent to the world about America's commitment to press freedoms. On Sunday, when Pompeo was in Kazakhstan — which has a dismal zero press-freedoms rating from Reporters Without Borders — Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reporter Aigerim Toleukhan asked Pompeo. He said the episode sends "a perfect message about press freedoms."Pompeo can be heard telling Kelly in their interview that he only wanted to discuss Iran, not Ukraine and whether he stood up for America's former ambassador to Kyiv when President Trump and his allies smeared her. Kelly said after the interview, Pompeo took her into a separate room and berated her at length, using profanities.Pompeo told Toleukhan he didn't have a "confrontational interview" with Kelly and insisted that reporters "get to ask me any questions, all questions." As for barring Keleman from his trip, Pompeo said he always brings "a big press contingent, but we ask for certain sets of behaviors, and that's simply telling the truth and being honest. And when they'll do that, they get to participate, and if they don't, it's just not appropriate" or even "fair to the rest of the journalists who are participating alongside them." That's when Toleukhan asked about what message that sends to the world, and Pompeo said "a perfect message."After Kelly told NPR listeners about Pompeo berating her, Pompeo accused her of lying twice, once while "setting up our interview" and again by not honoring her agreement keep their "post-interview conversation" private. Kelly said she never agreed to go off-the-record — it's unclear why she would — and she released emails showing she told Pompeo's staff she intended to ask him about both Iran and Ukraine.More stories from Mitch McConnell's rare blunder John Bolton just vindicated Nancy Pelosi All the president's turncoats

Hong Kong suspends four more border crossings to curb spread of virus

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 02:19

Hong Kong's leader announced the closure of four more border crossings with mainland China on Monday, leaving just three checkpoints open, but stopped short of demands for the entire border to be closed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Hong Kong has 15 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which emerged in central China in December and has killed more than 360 people there and sent jitters through global markets. Carrie Lam, chief executive of Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, was speaking hours after more than 2,500 workers from the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance (HAEA) went on strike to call for the border to be shut and better protection for hospital staff, among other demands.

Warm water found at "vital point" under "doomsday glacier"

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 01:05

A news release on the findings called it an alarming discovery.

The death toll for the Wuhan coronavirus has exceeded that of the SARS outbreak in mainland China

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 23:33

With the latest updates from inside China, it appears that the death toll from the new coronavirus has overtaken that of SARS on the mainland.

Klobuchar's claims about black teen's case draw criticism

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 23:02

Civil rights activists and legal experts challenged Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s claims that she was unaware of questionable evidence and police tactics used to send a young black teen to prison for life when she was a top Minneapolis prosecutor. In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Klobuchar denied that she had knowledge of any evidence that would call the conviction into question. Burrell was accused of firing the gun the killed 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in 2002 while she was doing homework at her dining room table in south Minneapolis.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A 'Dangerous' Mistake for Democrats Not to Embrace the Eventual Nominee

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 22:08

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive rockstar who is currently Sen. Bernie Sanders’ most powerful surrogate, warns that Democrats will be making a "dangerous" mistake—and hurt…

China just completed work on the emergency hospital it set up to tackle the Wuhan coronavirus, and it took just 10 days to do it

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 21:49

When work started on the Huoshenshan hospital, 26 people had died from Wuhan coronavirus. When it finished on Sunday, the number had passed 300.

Kerry unloads on NBC after report he was overheard talking about 2020 bid

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 19:38

"A complete and total misinterpretation," the former secretary of State fumes.

Joe Biden Could Be Impeached by GOP Over Ukraine if He Wins, Iowa Senator Says

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 19:05

(Bloomberg) -- Iowa Senator Joni Ernst warned Sunday that Republicans could immediately push to impeach Joe Biden over his work in Ukraine as vice president if he win the White House.“I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened,” Ernst said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for because, you know, we can have a situation where if it should ever be President Biden, that immediately, people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, ‘Well, we’re going to impeach him.’”The grounds for impeachment, the first-term Republican said, would be “for being assigned to take on Ukrainian corruption yet turning a blind eye to Burisma because his son was on the board making over a million dollars a year.”President Barack Obama sent Biden to Ukraine on his behalf to fight corruption, including leading the push from the U.S. and western European powers to remove prosecutor general Viktor Shokin from office. When Shokin was fired in 2016, no congressional Republicans expressed concern about the move. Eventually, though, Shokin began to argue that he was fired because he was investigating Burisma and Biden wanted to protect his son, Hunter, who was on the company’s board. The claim has been debunked.Biden told a Sinclair news reporter in Iowa that her words reinforced his argument that Trump’s interest in Ukraine was meant to damage his candidacy.“Doesn’t that make the case I’m making that from the very beginning that this was all about not wanting to run against me?” he said.Earlier this week, Ernst tied the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to Biden’s chances in Monday’s Iowa Democratic caucus, suggesting that the trial could hurt his case with caucus goers. “I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus goers. Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point? Not certain at that,” she said.Biden has been sure to mention Ernst’s comments during every stump speech he’s made this week, drawing applause as he suggests that Ernst had “spilled the beans” about Republicans’ real intention in raising the Burisma issue to damage Biden’s candidacy. “You can ruin Donald Trump’s night by caucusing with me and ruin Joni Ernst’s night as well,” he’s told Iowa crowds this week.Biden communications director Kate Bedingfield responded to Ernst’s latest comments by again encouraging Iowans to caucus for Biden. “Iowans have the chance tomorrow to say the words that Donald Trump and Joni Ernst fear most: I’m here to caucus for Joe Biden,” she said.(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)(Updates with Biden comment in fifth, sixth paragraphs)To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Epstein in Des Moines, Iowa at jepstein32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Trump Needs To Address This: Why the Federal Budget Is in Such Bad Shape

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 18:30

The debt bomb is coming.

UK vows action after police kill 'convicted extremist' in terror stabbing

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 17:45

The British government promised sweeping changes to the system for dealing with convicted terrorists released from prison, after police shot dead an Islamist extremist who stabbed two people in a busy south London street on Sunday. Police said Sudesh Amman, 20, who was wearing a fake suicide vest, was shot on the busy Streatham High Road packed with shoppers at about 2:00 pm (1400 GMT). Amman was recently given early release from prison where he was serving time for terror offences.

What I learned watching Andrew Yang barnstorm rural Iowa

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 17:13

He's a changed candidate from even a month ago.