Hollywood, CA—27 year-old Jennifer Lawrence was gorgeous, seriously talented and her smile captivated millions just like me. What could possibly go wrong?
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Hollywood, CA—27 year-old Jennifer Lawrence was gorgeous, seriously talented and her smile captivated millions just like me. What could possibly go wrong?
Anti-fascist activists come from a variety of backgrounds and are only loosely affiliated. Some are veteran demonstrators. Others are youths in search of a cause, including one who told the Washington Post, “I wanted a purpose.”
When summer began, few Americans had heard of militant anti-fascists, or “antifa.” Then came the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where antifa activists were credited with protecting clergy members from attacks by the alt-right. If Trump’s election has emboldened the far right, it has also energized its enemies, reports the Washington Post. Hidden behind masks, antifa activists remain mysterious. Are they everyday citizens guarding against the rise of a Fourth Reich? Or are they, as Trump has claimed, merely the “alt-left” — a lawless mirror image of the white supremacists they oppose?
On Thursday, Trump claimed recent antifa antics had justified his much-criticized response to Charlottesville, in which he blamed “both sides.” “I think, especially in light of the advent of antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also, and essentially that’s what I said,” he said. Interviews with a dozen antifa activists show they come from a variety of backgrounds and are only loosely affiliated. Some are youths in search of a cause. “I wanted a purpose,” said Sean Hines, a high school dropout from Santa Rosa, Calif. “I wanted to fight for something.” Others have been demonstrating for decades. Many are anarchists, although some vote. They employ a range of peaceful tactics, including publicly exposing white supremacists. While they are all open to using violence, some embrace it — even glorify it. What unites them is the belief that free speech is secondary to squashing fascism before it takes root in the U.S.
As the state’s legislative session comes to a close Friday, lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill aimed at impeding the Trump administration’s efforts to deport illegal immigrants.
Friday is the last day of the California legislative session, and lawmakers are expected to vote on a “sanctuary state” bill aimed at impeding the Trump administration’s efforts to deport illegal immigrants, reports the Wall Street Journal. Lawmakers reached a deal on the proposal after resistance from law enforcement officials and Gov. Jerry Brown. The governor and the bill’s author, Democratic State Senate President Kevin de León, negotiated for several weeks, coming to an agreement on a final bill just days before the state’s legislative deadline. Brown sought more limited protections for immigrants than de León had wanted.
The maneuvering shows the deep political divisions over immigration as states struggle to set their own policies—even in California, a Democrat-majority state that offers an array of benefits to undocumented immigrants. Texas passed a law banning sanctuary cities, setting off suits and countersuits within the state. A federal judge has temporarily blocked the law. President Trump has moved to end an executive action, put in place by President Obama, that shields illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents as children. On Thursday, Trump said he was close to reaching a deal with congressional leaders to give that group legal status.
President Trump promised to run the U.S. government like a business. If that were true, he would pay more attention to the soaring costs of opioids, says The New Yorker magazine.
The human suffering caused by opioid abuse is clear. According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 97.5 million Americans used, or misused, prescription pain pills in 2015. Drug-overdose deaths have tripled since 2000, and opioid abuse now kills more than a hundred Americans a day. But often omitted from the conversation about the epidemic is its harmful effects on the American economy, and on a scale not seen in any previous drug crisis, reports the New Yorker. New research links a decline in the labor force to the use of prescription pain medication by working-age men. Studies suggest the total cost to the economy of the opioid crisis is as high as $78.5 billion annually.
Anupam Jena, a health economist and physician at Harvard Medical School, says that such figures don’t include the most dramatic cost: the economic value of the loss of life. Taking a conservative estimate of twenty to thirty thousand opioid-related deaths a year and multiplying those numbers by five million dollars—a figure commonly used by insurance companies to value a human life—Jena estimated that loss of life alone costs the economy as much $150 billion a year. If President Trump were running the U.S. government like a business, as he often claims to be doing, then he would have made tackling an inefficiency of such scale a priority, the magazine said.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an end to the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. The Crime Report covered a protest that began Tuesday in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan.
The Trump administration announced the end of the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, the Hill reports. The decision, fulfilling a core presidential campaign promise, will ignite a political firestorm.
Protesters of the announcement to end DACA gathered at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Tuesday. Minutes after Sessions announced the decision, seventh-grade teacher Haley Boyce of southern California told The Crime Report, “Most of my students are Mexican, these children are the future of America. Having them unsettled is going to affect the mental stability of our country and is not going to help at all. They are humans, they are not chess pieces. They are innocent victims. They didn’t choose to come here, they’re children. Does that make somebody a bad person?”
Trump has faced strong warnings from members of his own party not to scrap the program. The president has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress rather than the executive branch is responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the president to terminate the program and send the issue to Congress.
Sessions said Tuesday that Obama had “deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions.” He added that, “If we are to further our goal of strengthening the constitutional order and the rule of law in America, the Department of Justice cannot defend this overreach.”
In a nod to reservations by many lawmakers, the White House will delay the enforcement of the decision to end DACA for six months, giving Congress a window to act. Trump tweeted Tuesday members of Congress should “get ready to do your job” on DACA. The decision on DACA is likely to shore up Trump’s base, which rallied behind his broader campaign message about the importance of enforcing immigration laws and securing the border. The move is one of the most contentious of his administration, opposed by leaders of both parties and by the political establishment more broadly.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. was a controversial figure who rose to national prominence with his no-holds-barred conservative rhetoric and full-throated support of Donald Trump’s candidacy. He resigned without notice “to pursue other opportunities.”
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. — the controversial, Stetson-wearing official who rose to national prominence with his no-holds-barred conservative rhetoric — resigned his office Thursday, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Clarke, who is in his fourth term, submitted a resignation letter to the county clerk. He said in a statement, “After almost 40 years serving the great people of Milwaukee County, I have chosen to retire to pursue other opportunities.” An adviser said Clarke would make an announcement about his future next week. Politico reported Thursday that Clarke is expected to take a job in the Trump administration. But sources close to the sheriff disputed that, saying Clarke is looking at opportunities outside of government that support the Trump agenda and keep Clarke in the public eye.
Earlier this year, he was passed over for a job in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Clarke, a frequent surrogate for Trump during his successful 2016 campaign, also interviewed last year for a job in Trump’s cabinet. Gov. Scott Walker will appoint Clarke’s successor. For now, Inspector Richard Schmidt will serve as acting sheriff. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who has had a fractured relationship with Clarke, said he was given no notice of his resignation. Abele said this will give the county the opportunity to find a sheriff who is “more interested in integrating with the rest of the community and maybe more focused on solutions and allies than enemies and fights.”
The president said this week that America will be able to stop the flow of incoming drugs “once the wall is up” on the Mexican border. But a DEA report suggests that smuggled narcotics are more likely to arrive by truck, boat or airplane.
President Trump says his wall at the U.S.-Mexico border will help stem the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. But a DEA intelligence report says the drugs coming into the U.S. Northeast often arrive by plane, boat, or hidden in vehicles, according to Foreign Policy. A 24-page report prepared by the DEA in May found that drugs coming from Mexico often enter through the southwestern border, but they do so concealed in vehicles, like tractor-trailers. Drugs coming from Colombia are more often transported by plane and boat, the reports notes.
Transnational criminal organizations “generally route larger drug shipments destined for the Northeast through the Bahamas and/or South Florida by using a variety of maritime conveyance methods, to include speedboats, fishing vessels, sailboats, yachts, and containerized sea cargo,” the reports reads. “In some cases, Dominican Republic-based traffickers will also transport cocaine into Haiti for subsequent shipment to the United States via the Bahamas and/or South Florida corridor using maritime and air transport.” On Monday, Trump said, “The drugs are pouring in at levels like nobody has ever seen…We’ll be able to stop them once the wall is up.” But the DEA report said many drugs arrive inside the U.S. via airplanes, often carried by human couriers on commercial flights, sometimes with the help of airline employees. Other drugs are transported by boat from the Bahamas or Venezuela through Miami.
A national police union official says cops were beaten down by a “constant drumbeat of criticism” during the Obama administration. While police are newly emboldened, critics say Trump is blind to the potential abuse of law enforcement power.
Seven months into Donald Trump’s presidency, police groups are reveling in what they see as newfound support from the federal government, says the Associated Press. The administration, which touts a “law and order” agenda, has revived a controversial program that lets local police seize cash and property with federal help and pulled back on federal scrutiny of local law enforcement. And police groups checked another item off their wish lists when Attorney General Jeff Sessions told local police departments this week that they could once again have access to free grenade launchers and large-caliber weapons cast off from the U.S. military.
Sessions views federal support of local police as key to driving down the violence afflicting some cities, a top priority of the Justice Department. But critics say Trump’s recent moves, including his pardoning of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, display a troubling lack of skepticism about police power. And civil rights advocates, who found an ally in the Obama Justice Department, say they are left wondering how the administration will side if another racially charged confrontation becomes a flashpoint in the debate over police treatment of minorities. James Pasco of the Fraternal Order of Police said Trump’s support is a refreshing change from what he saw as a “constant drumbeat of criticism and villainization of police officers” under Obama. Trump seized on that in wooing political support from police unions, promising he would roll back Obama-era restrictions on law enforcement. Pasco said the “vocal and demonstrative” support of police by Trump and Sessions “is a huge morale boost.”
The Obama policy limiting police procurement of federal military surplus prohibited only weapons of war, such as bayonets, grenade launchers and tank-like armored vehicles. No police agency “could reasonably defend the use of that equipment,” said one expert.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants you to believe that the Obama administration made it impossible for police departments to obtain federal surplus military gear —and that Donald Trump, by signing an executive order that reverses that policy, is triumphantly turning the faucet back on, according to a Slate analysis. But the Obama policy in no way prohibited law enforcement agencies from obtaining most surplus items. It merely asked them to provide assurances that the gear would be used safely and appropriately. “The prohibited list is a tiny list of equipment that, honestly, when we talked to law enforcement agencies no one could reasonably defend the use of that equipment. Truly no one,” said Roy L. Austin, who served on Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
The Obama policy went into effect in 2015 after demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., provoked local authorities to send terrifying military vehicles and police officers dressed in riot gear to confront Black Lives Matter protesters. Obama’s executive order set forth two categories of military equipment: “prohibited equipment” and “controlled equipment.” The first category, which law enforcement agencies could no longer procure, included such weapons of war as bayonets, grenade launchers and tank-like armored vehicles. The second category was broader, and included items like riot helmets, battering rams, Humvees, drones, and helicopters.
Trump, suffering from low approval ratings, has been eager to seize the moment by engaging with the disastrous damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. But will he manage to master the delicate politics of natural disasters, which proved to be a Waterloo for the George W. Bush presidency during Hurricane Katrina?
George W. Bush never recovered from his flyover of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. Barack Obama got a bipartisan boost late in his re-election campaign for his handling of Superstorm Sandy. Now, President Donald Trump confronts the political risks and potential gains that come with leading the federal government’s response to a deadly and destructive natural disaster, reports the Associated Press. Hurricane Harvey, the massive storm that has dumped torrents of rain across Texas, flooding Houston and other cities, is the first major natural disaster of Trump’s presidency, and the scope of the damage appears likely to require a years-long federal project.