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From today, April 24, 2019
- Armed border group's leader said to have assassination plans
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) ? The leader of an armed group that has been detaining asylum-seeking families from Central America near the Mexican border said two years ago that he was training supporters to assassinate Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and billionaire Democratic supporter George Soros, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.
- Elizabeth Warren's plan to end student debt is glorious. We can make it a reality
We fully support the 2020 nominee?s student debt relief proposal. But to make it happen, we?ll need to kick our efforts into higher gear ?Elizabeth Warren?s proposal is a stunning, visionary plan that would transform our educational system and dramatically improve millions of people?s lives.? Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP This week, Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, announced a proposal to cancel student debt for millions of people and make public college free. This is a stunning, visionary plan that would transform our educational system and dramatically improve millions of people?s lives. But like every other progressive proposal now being touted by presidential hopefuls, from Medicare for All to the Green New Deal, the call for debt relief and free education first came from the grassroots. And if we want a real student debt jubilee to actually happen ? to go from policy paper to reality ? the grassroots will need to continue to push for it. Fortunately, it?s a battle that can be won. Raising our voices is how we got this far. Ten years ago, student debt, even as it soared, was not seen as a serious issue. Writers including Tamara Draut and Anya Kamenetz were early to sound the alarm, exposing young people?s disproportionate indebtedness as a structural issue. Scholars such as Darrick Hamilton and Tressie McMillan Cottom would later go on to document the racially disparate impact of student loans, which burden women and people of color most of all. But it took the Occupy Wall Street movement to make public how profoundly the pinch of monthly payments was felt by an entire generation. Sign up to receive the latest US opinion pieces every weekday In April 2012 a group of Occupiers organized a ?1T Day? protest to mark the day student debt in America surpassed $1tn. Seven years later, that number has ballooned to more than $1.5tn. That protest represented a watershed moment, the point when student debt went from being a personal problem to a political one, the result of decades of disinvestment in public colleges and universities that turned education into a consumer product instead of a public good. Some of the organizers of that event would go on to help launch the Debt Collective, a union for debtors that I co-founded. We kicked things off with the Rolling Jubilee fund, a public education campaign that bought and cancelled more than $30m in medical, student debt, payday loans and private probation debts. Then, in 2015, the Debt Collective launched the country?s first student debt strike. Since the strike was announced, we have won more than $1bn (and counting) in student debt cancellation for people who attended fraudulent for-profit colleges. Our team accomplished this by building a membership base of for-profit borrowers themselves. These debtors, a multiracial group of working-class people from across the country, led a campaign to pressure the Department of Education to cancel their loans. Their victory ? and the fact that our primary demand of a debt jubilee and free college is now on Warren?s platform ? demonstrates the power of grassroots organizing. The precedent-setting significance of the Debt Collective?s work is clear and cannot be overstated: Warren knows that student loans can be cancelled because they already have been on a smaller scale for for-profit college borrowers. That said, Warren?s plan, as bold as it is, is hardly inevitable. Her proposal of canceling student debt and ensuring free college seems contingent on the passage of a millionaire?s tax that, barring a miracle, is likely to be stymied by an intransigent Congress. In order to win a jubilee, then, we will have to kick our grassroots efforts into a higher gear. Debtors must continue to fight for their rights and advocate for the best possible solutions. We are preparing to do just that. Since 2016, along with our partners at Harvard Law School?s Project on Predatory Student Lending, we have been working out a roadmap that would allow all federal student loans to be cancelled without waiting for Congress to act. Congress, it turns out, has already given administrative agencies the power to cancel debts. Just as the Securities and Exchange Commission can cut low-dollar deals with banks that break the law, for example, the secretary of education can settle with debtors for a fraction of what they owe or suspend the collection of student debt altogether. When it was first given the power to issue and collect student loans in 1958, the Department of Education also received the power to ?compromise, waive, or release any right? to collect on them. And when the Higher Education Act of 1965 made student loan authorities permanent, it solidified their power to compromise. Nothing in the law prevents the secretary of education from using compromise and settlement authority to address the worst effects of decades of failed higher education policy. But only a movement with that as its goal can get us there. Student debt abolition and free college would be a win-win for the entire country To win a jubilee, we need a movement focused on motivating candidates to commit to using the full powers available to them in office to address this emergency and stop collections on all student loans. While millionaires and billionaires should be taxed at a much higher rate, in the short term we should not let a Congress bought off by the super-rich prevent us from doing what?s right and legal ? and economically beneficial. Indeed, student debt abolition and free college would be a win-win for the entire country. Not only would debtors get relief, academic research shows it would be a significant stimulus that might ?supercharge? the economy and help address the racial wealth gap. Money currently used to pay back loans with interest would be redirected to other goods and services. But the win would be more profound than just an economic boost. Education could finally be a public good and not a commodity (or worse, a debt trap). This transformation would help inaugurate a new political vision that redefines liberty as the ability to freely access the social services that we all need to survive and thrive. The Debt Collective has been leading this fight for years ? and our growing membership will continue to do so. Grassroots organizing is what got us this far, and it?s the only thing that can get us to the finish line: an end to student debt and free public college for everyone, once and for all. Astra Taylor is a writer, organizer, and documentarian. Her books include the American Book Award winner The People?s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age and Democracy May Not Exist, but We?ll Miss It When It?s Gone. Her most recent film is What Is Democracy?
- Libya PM Says Foreigners Are Arming Strongman?s Tripoli Push
Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj declined to identify the countries. Sarraj says he won?t negotiate until Haftar withdraws his forces, and that he?s disappointed by the muted international reaction to the assault. U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to Haftar last week, recognizing his role in combating terrorism, as Washington and Russia stymied a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire.
- Death toll from Sri Lanka bombing attacks rises to 359: police
The death toll from the Easter Sunday suicide bombing attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka rose to 359, police said on Wednesday without providing any further details. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera released the toll but did not give a breakdown of casualties from the three churches and four hotels hit by suicide bombers. The attacks were claimed on Tuesday by the Islamic State militant group, which said they were carried out by seven attackers but gave no evidence to support the claim.
- President Trump Bragged About the Border Wall to a Group of Children at the Easter Egg Roll
- WWII shipwreck discovered off Australian coast
- Washington poised to become first state to allow eco-friendly 'human composting'
- Demoted and sidelined: Google walkout organizers say company retaliated
Staff who organized mass protests say in internal letter their roles were changed after November 2018 demonstration Workers protest against Google on 1 November 2019 in Mountain View, California. Photograph: Noah Berger/AP They helped to organize an unprecedented global protest that saw tens of thousands of Google employees walk off the job in November 2018. Now two Google employees, Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, are alleging that Google is retaliating against them and other employee activists. ?Google has a culture of retaliation, which too often works to silence women, people of color, and gender minorities,? reads a letter from Whittaker, Stapleton and 10 other employees that was published internally on Monday and seen by the Guardian. ?Retaliation isn?t always obvious. It?s often confusing and drawn out, consisting of icy conversations, gaslighting, project cancellations, transition rejections, or demotions. Behavior that tells someone the problem isn?t that they stood up to the company, it?s that they?re not good enough and don?t belong.? Stapleton, a nearly 12-year veteran at Google, wrote that two months after the walkout, she was demoted, had a previously approved project cancelled, and was ?told to go on medical leave, even though I?m not sick?. ?Only after I hired a lawyer and had her contact Google did management conduct an investigation and walked back my demotion, at least on paper,? she wrote. ?While my work has been restored, the environment remains hostile and I consider quitting nearly every day.? Whittaker, who co-founded the AI Now Institute, wrote that after Google decided to scrap its AI ethics council, she was told that her ?role would be changed dramatically?. ?I?m told that to remain at the company, I will have to abandon my work on AI ethics and the AI Now Institute,? she wrote. Neither Whittaker nor Stapleton responded immediately to a request for comment. The letter was first reported by Wired. A Google spokeswoman said that the company has already investigated these cases and determined there was no retaliation. ?We prohibit retaliation in the workplace, and investigate all allegations,? the spokeswoman said in a statement. ?Employees and teams are regularly and commonly given new assignments, or reorganized, to keep pace with evolving business needs. There has been no retaliation here.? Google employees have been at the forefront of a wave of tech worker activism that has swept the industry over the past year. Employee-organized protests have taken aim both at the company?s business decisions ? such as its work for a Department of Defense drone project or plans to build a censored search engine for China ? and its treatment of employees and contractors. The November walkout was sparked by a New York Times report that revealed that a former executive, Andy Rubin, had received a $90m severance package despite being forced out over an allegation that he had forced a female employee to perform oral sex. The report unleashed a flood of anger and frustration among Google employees who had faced harassment or discrimination. In Monday?s letter, the organizers say that they ?collected over 350 stories? during the walkout, and discovered a ?sad pattern?: ?People who stand up and report discrimination, abuse, and unethical conduct are punished, sidelined, and pushed out. Perpetrators often go unimpeded, or are even rewarded.? The organizers are planning to host a Retaliation Town Hall for workers on Friday. They have reserved conference rooms and plan to live stream the discussion internally. Have you experienced retaliation for workplace activism in the tech industry? Contact the author: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Samsung delays Galaxy Fold indefinitely as it tries to fix multiple severe problems
Samsung today officially acknowledged its intention to delay the launch of its highly-anticipated Galaxy Fold smartphone. The news shouldn't come as much of a surprise given that a number of early review units handed out to prominent tech publications suffered from broken displays, a turn of events that can appropriately be categorized as an unabashed PR disaster.The Galaxy Fold is undoubtedly an ambitious device, and while it's always exciting to see companies take measures to raise the bar for innovation higher, it's hard to see the Galaxy Fold, at this point, as anything more than a prototype that was poised for release well before it was ready for prime time.Addressing the Galaxy Fold fiasco for the first time, Samsung today relayed that it needs a bit more time to ensure that the Galaxy Fold user experience is up to snuff. A new release date will be forthcoming soon, the company added.Samsung's full statement, provided to Axios, reads as follows:> We recently unveiled a completely new mobile category: a smartphone using multiple new technologies and materials to create a display that is flexible enough to fold. We are encouraged by the excitement around the Galaxy Fold.> > While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience.> > To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.> > Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.> > We will take measures to strengthen the display protection. We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.> > We value the trust our customers place in us and they are always our top priority. Samsung is committed to working closely with customers and partners to move the industry forward. We want to thank them for their patience and understanding.All in all, the entire Galaxy Fold saga has been nothing short of an embarrassment for Samsung. That said, it's nice to see Samsung take ownership of the issue in a relatively quick and transparent manner. And who knows, perhaps Samsung will defy the odds and actually get the Galaxy Fold out into consumer hands sooner rather than later.
- View Photos of the 2019 Lexus LS500h Hybrid
- Self-styled citizen border patrol abandons New Mexico camp: police
SUNLAND PARK, N.M./TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) - An armed group that has been stopping migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border honored a request to leave their camp in New Mexico on Tuesday and appeared to be heading home, the local police chief said. The group's leader Larry Hopkins appeared in court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Monday to face firearms charges following his arrest on Saturday by the FBI. Sunland Park, New Mexico, Police Chief Javier Guerra said the group left their campsite outside the town following a request by the Union Pacific Railroad, which said they had trespassed on its land.
- Easter Massacre Opens Door for Strongman to Return in Sri Lanka
The star-studded event, featuring both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, underscored the importance of the property beyond simply attracting more tourists: It was also a monument to Sri Lanka?s resurgence following a brutal three-decade civil war between the mostly Buddhist Sinhalese majority and predominately Hindu Tamils. The Shangri-La was built on the old site of the army headquarters, which was shifted outside the city after former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa?s government won a decisive victory in 2009 with tactics criticized by human-rights activists. The Easter Sunday bombings that tore apart the Shangri-La, two nearby luxury hotels and three Christian churches have made security a top-of-mind concern in Colombo once again.
- 'Marsquake' detected for first time, Nasa says
Nasa has detected a probable "Marsquake" for the first time. The suspected seismic event on the Red Planet was recorded using silicon sensors developed in the UK. A dome-shaped apparatus known as Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure [SEIS] landed on Mars last year equipped with the sensors, which were built with £4 million in funding from the UK Space Agency Nasa said the measuring of the quake, which occurred on April 6, marked the "birth of a new discipline - Martian seismology". Chris Skidmore, the science minister, said it was a "testament to the UK?s world leading science and engineering space sector". Professor Tom Pike of Imperial College London, leading the UK contribution, said: "This is what we were all waiting for, the first quivering of the planet picked up by our sensors. Our first investigation of the interior of another planet is now underway." Mars is not nearly as geologically active as Earth and, like our moon, lacks tectonic plates. An image of the Martian surface from Nasa's Curiosity Rover Credit: EPA But thousands of "moonquakes" were detected on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1977 using equipment installed there by Nasa's Apollo missions. The French space agency Cnes, which operates SEIS, said there had been a "weak but distinct seismic signal" on Mars which could shed light on the ancient origins of Earth's neighbour. It added: "We've waited for our first Martian quake for months." The tremor was so faint that an earthquake of the same magnitude in southern California would be virtually lost among the dozens of tiny seismological events that occur there every day, Nasa said.
- Hillary Clinton: Russian interference 'certainly had an impact' on the 2016 election
Amid efforts by President Trump and the White House to downplay the effectiveness of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election, Clinton said it's clear that Moscow's efforts affected the outcome.
- Rouhani says U.S. must lift pressure and apologize before Iran will negotiate
GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran is willing to negotiate with America only when the United States lifts pressure and apologizes, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, according to state media. Oil prices hit their highest level since November on Tuesday after Washington announced all waivers on imports of sanctions-hit Iranian oil would end next week, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran and further tightening global supply. "We have always been a man of negotiation and diplomacy, the same way that we've been a man of war and defense. ...
- Delphi murders: Here's what we know about unsolved killings of two teen girls in Indiana
- US sanctions over Iran oil will 'intensify Mideast turmoil': China
China warned Tuesday that the US decision to impose sanctions on buyers of Iranian oil will "intensify turmoil" in the Middle East and in the international energy market. The White House announced Monday it was calling an end to six-month waivers that had exempted several countries -- including major importer China -- from unilateral US sanctions on Iranian oil exports. "China firmly opposes the US implementation of unilateral sanctions and its so-called long-armed jurisdiction," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.
- Check Out This Picture: You Are Looking at the Greatest Aircraft Carrier Ever
Shortly before USS Enterprise went to the breakers, a new ship bearing the name was laid down; CVN-65, the world?s first nuclear aircraft carrier. The latter USS Enterprise served for fifty years, before decommissioning in 2012. Another USS Enterprise, CVN-80, is scheduled for completion by 2025.In May 1938, the U.S. Navy commissioned the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the seventh ship to bear the name in American service. The second of three sisters, Enterprise made a central?perhaps the central?contribution to the war effort in 1942. The U.S. Navy began 1942 with six fleet carriers (excluding the small Ranger, which served in the Atlantic). Over the course of the year, Japanese aircraft and submarines would sink four of those carriers and put a fifth (USS Saratoga) out of action for long periods of time. Enterprise fought with distinction in most of the major battles of 1942, and survived to contribute for the rest of the war.(This first appeared several years ago.)In short, USS Enterprise (CV-6) was the finest ship ever to serve in the U.S. Navy.Construction
- Walgreens to hike minimum age for store tobacco sales
Walgreens has decided to raise its minimum age for tobacco sales several weeks after a top federal official chastised the drugstore chain for violating laws restricting access to cigarettes and other tobacco products.
- Google, Facebook, Twitter have to do more to fight fake news: EU
The monthly reports follow a pledge made by the tech giants and advertising trade bodies in October last year to combat the spread of fake news and avoid more heavy-handed regulations. The EU has warned of foreign interference during campaigning for the European Parliament elections and national elections in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine in recent and coming months. "Further technical improvements as well as sharing of methodology and data sets for fake accounts are necessary to allow third-party experts, fact-checkers and researchers to carry out independent evaluation," the EU executive said.
- Kamala Harris Vows to Impose New Gun Limits by Executive Action
The California Democrat?s proposals to bypass Congress with actions that include expanding requirements for background checks and revoking licenses for gun manufactures and dealers found to have broken the law would almost certainly face legal challenges. "Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws, and if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action," Harris said Monday night at a town hall event hosted by CNN in New Hampshire, site of the first primary in the 2020 nomination contest.
- Who was behind the Sri Lanka bombings? Everything we know so far about the Easter Sunday attacks
Easter Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and four hotels killed 310 people and wounded around 500, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago. The explosions, some of which officials said were suicide bomb attacks, led to an immediate clampdown, with the government declaring a curfew and blocking access to most major social media and messaging sites. What happened? The powerful blasts - six in quick succession and then two more hours later - wrought devastation, including at the capital's well-known St Anthony's Shrine, a historic Catholic Church. The three hotels hit in the initial attacks were the Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. pic gallery The first six explosions were all reported within a short period in the morning just as church services were starting. Hours later there were two further attacks in the outskirts of Colombo. Police the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers. Who were the victims? The death toll rose to 310 on Tuesday after several people died of their injuries overnight, a police spokesman said. There were hundreds of people injured in hospitals. There were eight British citizens killed in the attack, two of whom had dual US nationality. Ben Nicholson said his wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11, had been killed as they sat at a table for breakfast in the Shangri-la Hotel in Colombo on Easter Sunday. "Mercifully, all three of them died instantly and with no pain or suffering," Mr Nicholson said. Ben Nicholson (right) with the other members of his family who were killed Daniel Linsey, 19 and his younger sister Amelie, 15, were having breakfast with their father Matthew at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel when the suicide bomber struck. Dr Sally Bradley and her husband Bill Harrop were staying in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel when one of the seven suicide bombers struck. The Manchester couple had been living in the Australian city of Perth since 2013 where Dr Bradley was practising medicine, but were due to return to the UK soon. Read more | Sri Lanka attacks Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, said she lost a relative in the attacks. "It is all so devastating," she wrote on Twitter. "Solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka." The first American victim of the Sri Lanka terror attack has been named as 40-year-old Dieter Kowalski. Mr Kowalski, from Denver, Colorado, checked into the luxury Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo just hours before it was targeted by the bombers. Sri Lanka?s foreign ministry said the nationalities of 11 foreigners killed in the Easter Sunday blasts have been verified. Three Indians, one Portuguese and two Turkish nationals were killed, while a further nine foreigners were also reported missing. A Dutch national and a Chinese national also have been reported among the victims. Read more about the victims. Who was behind the attacks? A police spokesman said on Tuesday 40 people were now under arrest in connection with the attacks. A Sri Lankan government official said the attacks were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a domestic militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath. There was no claim of responsibility on Monday. All of the bombers were Sri Lankan citizens, but authorities suspect foreign links, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at a news conference. Earlier, Ariyananda Welianga, a government forensic crime investigator, said an analysis of the attackers' body parts made clear that they were suicide bombers. He said most of the attacks were carried out by a single bomber, with two at Colombo's Shangri-La Hotel. Documents seen by AFP show that Sri Lanka's police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days ago, warning that suicide bombers planned to hit "prominent churches". "A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama'ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo," the alert said. The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked last year to the vandalism of Buddhist statues. Sri Lankan police were holding a Syrian national in custody for questioning, three government and military sources told Reuters on Tuesday. "The terrorist investigation division of the police arrested a Syrian national following the attacks for interrogation," a source said. Two other officials with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the detention. "He was arrested after interrogation of local suspects," a second source said. Key intelligence on a possible terrorist attack was not passed onto the Sri Lankan government weeks before the attack. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged late on Sunday that ?information was there? about possible attacks, adding that ?we must also look into why adequate precautions were not taken.? How did Sri Lanka react? The government beefed up security and imposed an immediate and indefinite curfew across the country. It also put in place a "temporary" ban on social media platforms "in order to prevent incorrect and wrong information being spread". Security at Colombo's airport was also enhanced, according to Sri Lankan Airlines, which advised its passengers to arrive four hours before their flights. It added that passengers with passports and tickets will be able to reach the airport during the curfew. he front page of a Sri Lankan newspaper, showing coverage of the Easter Sunday blasts, hangs at a newsstand in Colombo Credit: AFP The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka's government to "mercilessly" punish those responsible "because only animals can behave like that." Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka also condemned the church attacks. The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said it mourned the loss of innocent people in the blasts by extremists who seek to divide religious and ethnic groups. The All Ceylon Jammiyyathul Ulama a body of Muslim clerics, said targeting Christian places of worship cannot be accepted. Embassies in Sri Lanka have warned their citizens to shelter in place. Here is a round-up of the world's reaction to the atrocity.
- Clinton: Trump Would Have Been Indicted If He Weren?t President
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that President Trump would have been indicted over the actions described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report had he not been a sitting president."I think there?s enough there that any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted," Clinton said during her remarks at the Time 100 Summit. "The whole matter of obstruction was very directly sent to the Congress. And if you read that part of the report, it could not be clearer."Mueller concluded in the report that Trump and his associates had not engaged in collusion with Russia but declined to weigh in on whether a number of Trump's actions during the investigation -- including his decision to fire FBI director James Comey and his attempts to have Mueller fired -- constituted obstruction of justice. The report instead left that determination up to Congress."With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President?s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice," the report read.The details of the report have split Democrats on the question of impeachment. Party leaders in the House have continued to insist that no impeachment proceedings are forthcoming, while several 2020 presidential candidates, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, have called for such proceedings to be initiated since the redacted version of the report was released last week.In her remarks Tuesday, Clinton echoed House speaker Nancy Pelosi's view of the matter, saying impeachment should "be something undertaken in a really serious, diligent way, based on evidence," and adding that Pelosi is "right to be cautious" about it.
- UPDATE 2-PG&E get approval to pay employees $350 mln to meet safety goals after wildfires
PG&E Corp can pay employees up to $350 million in bonuses this year to spur them to help meet the bankrupt California power provider's safety goals to prevent wildfires, a judge said on Tuesday. PG&E's management has said the company needs to implement the bonus plan to carry out tasks such as clearing trees and branches around power lines to avert contact that triggers wildfires. While the maximum cost of the plan is $350 million, PG&E has said it expects the likely cost will be around $235 million.
- Former Texas tennis coach expected to plead guilty in court in college admissions scandal
- Woman who claims Biden touched her without permission says his jokes are 'disrespectful'
A Nevada Democrat who accused Joe Biden of touching her without permission says the former vice president has been "so incredibly disrespectful" by joking about the matter. Lucy Flores leveled her criticism Monday on Fox News as Biden nears an announcement of his 2020 presidential campaign.
- How Does the Geely Geometry A Measure Up to the Tesla Model 3?
- Oil prices jump as Trump cracks down on Iranian exports
- Student sues Apple for $1 billion, claims face-recognition caused false arrest
- Bernie Sanders Got It Right on CNN: Felons Ought to Be Allowed to Vote
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyIn their CNN town halls Monday night, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg disagreed on whether current prisoners should be able to vote. Sen. Kamala Harris refused to endorse a plan for expanding the franchise to incarcerated people, but supported voting rights for former prisoners.Sanders was specifically asked about Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and ?those convicted of sexual assault.? What sane person would want them to vote? Our political system is already run by crooks. Do we want to add murderers and rapists too?In European history dating to Roman times, criminals could be stripped of their legal personality after committing a crime. They could not sign contracts or own property. They were outlaws, banished from the city walls. John Locke and other political theorists argued that criminals broke an implicit social contract: a rule-breaker should lose the right to make rules for others. But Locke lived in a time when only white, male, wealthy landowners could vote. Today, the right to vote is enshrined in democratic constitutions and international treaties. In American history, many states? exclusions of those with a criminal record from voting date to the post-Civil War period and were clearly aimed at denying the franchise to African Americans. Criminal justice reform advocates argue that suffering a Medieval-style ?civil death? dehumanizes prisoners, prevents their reintegration into society, and perpetuates inequalities in our political system. We should not assume that prisoners are less knowledgeable about politics than those outside of prison?that?s a pretty low bar, after all. Encouraging prisoners to feel involved in the political process can have real benefits too. Isolating prisoners from the political process during and after their incarceration further stigmatizes and isolates them, and that can encourage reoffending.Prisoners lose many of their rights when they go to prison. They can?t serve on a jury from a prison cell, or own guns; both of those are probably reasonable proscriptions. They probably should not own guns. But prisoners do not lose all their rights in prison. They are entitled to practice their religion and can challenge the conditions of their confinement. Taking away prisoners? liberty is already a heavy punishment. Allowing them to cast an absentee ballot is not an unreasonable privilege.The most important consequence of allowing prisoners to vote is that it would remove the incentives for ?prison gerrymandering.? In most U.S. states, prisoners are counted by the census based on where they are incarcerated, not where they are registered to vote. Because most large prisons are in sparsely populated rural areas, prison complexes have an important effect on gerrymandering. Many prisoners are racial minorities or people who live in urban areas, which means these places lose voting population, while more conservative areas gain nonvoting population. This advantages Republican congressmen in places like upstate New York, who benefit from inflated populations for redistricting purposes, but have nothing to fear at election time. Prisoner disenfranchisement therefore contributes to a structural disparity that causes Congress and state legislatures to be more conservative than the public at large.While many states are in the process of revising their laws to allow ex-prisoners to vote, voting by current prisoners only exists in Maine, Puerto Rico, and Vermont?the latter represented by Sanders in the U.S. Senate. In addition, the trend across the developed world is to allow at least some prisoners to vote. The supreme courts of South Africa, Canada, and Israel have legalized voting for at least some prisoners. The European Court of Human Rights has also rejected blanket prohibitions on prisoner voting, though it has allowed exceptions.The policy options are far broader than a single audience question would suggest. In Germany, prisoners can vote unless they were convicted of terrorism or political violence, an exception that would encompass Tsarnaev?s marathon attack. Other European countries prevent violent criminals, those serving lengthy or life sentences, or war criminals from voting. Exceptions for crimes of dishonesty or fraud might be reasonable as well. In a few countries, only those convicted of misdemeanors can vote, rather than felonies.These are policy debates we should be willing to have. Even if we allowed only persons serving misdemeanor sentences in local jails to vote, this alone might add nearly 300,000 voters to the rolls. Prisoner voting is already underway in some states and developed countries, so it is hardly a revolutionary position. Overbroad restrictions on voting help ensure that politicians select their own voters, rather than voters electing their own politicians.Andrew Novak is Assistant Professor of Criminology Law and Society at George Mason University.Read more at The Daily Beast.
- The 2020 Jaguar XE in Photos
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- House panel chair subpoenas ex-White House counsel McGahn on Mueller inquiry
U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Monday subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the panel in its investigation of possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. In a statement, Nadler, a Democrat, said the committee had asked for documents from McGahn by May 7 and for him to testify on May 21. A report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller publicly released on Thursday by the Justice Department said Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller as he was investigating suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Moscow officials.
- Neo-Nazi linked to group who said Prince Harry was a race traitor for marrying Meghan pleads guilty
Two teenage neo-Nazis, linked to a group that called Prince Harry a "race traitor" for marrying Mehgan Markle, are facing jail after admitting terror charges. Polish national, Michal Szewczuk, 19, admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism and five of possessing documents that could be useful to a terrorist, when he appeared at the Old Bailey. His co-defendant, Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, had previously pleaded guilty to encouraging terrorism. The charges relate to a neo-Nazi group called the Sonnenkrieg Division, which posted extreme racist material on the GAB social media platform. In one post, a picture of the Duke of Sussex was set against a swastika with a gun pointing at his head and the slogan: "See ya later, race traitor!" The group is an off shoot of the American Atomwaffen Division, which encourages terrorism and worships Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson. Szewczuk, who used an online pseudonym, posted comments that called for the "systematic slaughter" of women. He also pleaded guilty to five charges relating to the possession of bomb making documents and other extremist terrorist material. At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Jessica Hart described how Szewczuk and Dunn-Koczorowski had shared the Sonnenkrieg Gab account, with both posting from the same account at different times. Judge Rebecca Poulet QC warned both teenagers they could face custody when they return to court for sentencing on 17 June.
- Amazon customers can now return their items at Kohl's
- Sony's latest TVs range in price from $650 to $70,000
On Monday, Sony announced the pricing of the flagship Master Series televisions as well as that of its new LCD and OLED models originally revealed at CES earlier this year. While the smaller three televisions of the Master segment, the A9G TVs, measure in at 65", 55", and 77" and feature 4K OLED displays with over eight million pixels, the two larger models -- the Z9G TVs -- are 8K HDR televisions with 33 million pixels.
- Ford invests $500 mn in electric vehicle startup Rivian
Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it was investing $500 million in Rivian as part of a strategic partnership with the startup developing electric pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The tieup will enable Ford to develop its own branded electric vehicle using Rivian's "flexible skateboard platform," according to a statement from the two companies. "As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both," said Jim Hackett, Ford president and chief executive.
- Global groundings of Boeing 737 Max lower company's profit, revenue in first quarter
- Iran's Zarif warns U.S. of 'consequences' over oil sanctions, Strait of Hormuz
The United States on Monday demanded buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran's eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes. "We believe that Iran will continue to sell its oil. Reinforcing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's stance, Zarif warned: "If the United States takes the crazy measure of trying to prevent us from doing that, then it should be prepared for the consequences." He did not give specifics.
- Johnson & Johnson Heirs List Hudson Valley Estate with Helipad for $13 Million
- United Airlines employee accused of racial discrimination
- Trump 'repeatedly complains about Obama having more Twitter followers than him'
Donald Trump has reportedly complained multiple times about having fewer Twitter followers than Barack Obama. In a White House meeting with Twitter chief Jack Dorsey on Tuesday, the US president allegedly complained about followers he had lost, and suggested it was part of an anti-Trump agenda by the company.According to sources familiar with the conversation who spoke to US media, Mr Trump said other conservatives had complained to him they were experiencing similar problems on the platform.The Daily Beast also reported sources close to Mr Trump revealed the president has grumbled repeatedly about how Mr Obama has more Twitter followers than he does, despite ? by his own assessment ? being far better than his predecessor at tweeting. Mr Trump?s conversation with Mr Dorsey came just hours after the president baselessly accused Twitter of being ?very discriminatory? towards Republicans and of playing ?political games?. Mr Dorsey reportedly reassured Mr Trump his company was only deleting fake accounts, and like other users, the president?s account periodically sheds followers when Twitter removes them.The meeting came as news broke that Twitter had deactivated roughly 5,000 pro-Trump bots on the platform that pushed out disinformation last week alongside the release of special counsel Robert Mueller?s report on Russia?s influence in the 2016 election.Later on Tuesday, Mr Trump tweeted: ?Great meeting this afternoon at the [White House] with [Mr Dorsey] from [Twitter]. ?Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general. Look forward to keeping an open dialogue!?Mr Trump, an avid Twitter user, has in recent months attacked the US tech industry, and has threatened to regulate Facebook, Google and Twitter over what he perceives as censorship of conservatives.The president?s fixation with social media numbers, particularly in relation to Mr Obama, echoes his apparent fury over the fact he attracted far fewer people to his inauguration in 2017. Mr Trump repeatedly claimed falsely he had a larger crowd than Mr Obama did, and government documents revealed the White House went so far as to edit images of his inauguration to make it look larger.The White House has been contacted for comment.
- Islamic State Says Its Fighters Carried Out Sri Lanka Attacks
"Those who carried out the attack that targeted citizens belonging to the alliance countries and Christians in Sri Lanka are fighters with the Islamic State," according to a statement on IS news agency Amaq carried by SITE, which tracks jihadist groups. ?Alliance countries? refers to those involved in the U.S.-led military coalition against the Islamic State in Syria, which includes 79 nations from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, although Sri Lanka is not among them. Just last month the U.S. declared the last swath of territory once held by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has been liberated.
- Cardi B rejects plea deal in strip club brawl case, facing up to one year in jail
- Brand new OnePlus 7 specs leak includes an exciting surprise
The OnePlus 7 launch is almost upon us, as OnePlus just announced earlier on Tuesday morning. We're reportedly going to have three different OnePlus 7 versions in stores starting in mid-May, according to trusted leakers, and OnePlus has started sharing some details about the upcoming handsets. But you won't have to wait until the official event in May to find out what the OnePlus 7 phones will have to offer, as we have a brand new specs leak that packs plenty of info -- and a great surprise.A trusted leaker who already shared details about the OnePlus 7 Pro's camera is now back with the full specs list for all three phones. It's almost exactly what you expect for a 2019 Android flagship: we're looking at Snapdragon 855-powered devices and at least 6GB of RAM. In other words, the OnePlus 7 should be even faster than its class-leading predecessor. But Max J. says the OnePlus 7 Pro will have UFS 3.0 flash memory, which is the latest, fastest type of onboard storage for Android devices. The only other phone to feature such speedy flash memory is the Galaxy Fold, a device that Samsung has just postponed.The OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G phones will feature a 6.7-inch 90Hz display with 3120 x 1440 resolution (19.5:9 aspect ratio), the Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB/8GB/12GB of RAM, 128GB/256GB of UFS 3.0 storage, 48-megapixel (f1.5 OIS+EIS), 8-megapixel (f2.4, 3x zoom), 16-megapixel (f2.2 117-degree wide-angle) rear cameras, a 16-megapixel (f2.0) selfie camera, a 4,000 mAh battery with 30W Warp Charge support, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.https://twitter.com/Samsung_News_/status/1120330004464832513The regular OnePlus 7, meanwhile, packs a smaller 6.4-inch display with 2340 x 1080 resolution, Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB/8GB of RAM, 128GB/256GB of storage (but not the UFS 3.0 kind), 48-megapixel (f1.7) and 5-megapixel (depth) rear cameras, and 3,700 mAh battery with 20W fast charging support.https://twitter.com/Samsung_News_/status/1120330016439640065The leaker also mentions new Bullets Wireless 2 headphones, although he says he doesn't have any specific information on those just yet. The OnePlus 7 is only a few weeks away, assuming the recent leaks are accurate, so we'll soon know everything there is to know about the new phones.
- Modi among tens of millions to vote in India's 'Super Tuesday' polls
Tens of millions of Indians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, voted on India's "Super Tuesday" in the latest round of polls when the biggest number of seats are decided in the country's marathon election. Nearly 190 million voters were eligible to vote on 117 seats spread across 15 Indian states, stretching from the Himalayas to the Indian ocean, in the third of the seven phases of the mega polls. Heavy security has been put in place, with violent clashes erupting between rival groups in eastern India's West Bengal state, killing one political worker.
- View Photos of the 211-MPH Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
- Teva stops testing its migraine drug as cluster headache treatment
The drug, known generically as fremanezumab, competes with rival treatments from Eli Lilly & Co and Amgen Inc. Lilly in November received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "breakthrough" status for its migraine drug Emgality in treating episodic cluster headaches. In a late-stage trial, three out of four patients treated with Lilly's drug saw at least a 50 percent reduction in weekly cluster headaches. Teva's decision could be positive for Lilly's drug in differentiating it from its rivals, BMO Capital Markets analyst Alex Arfaei said.
- Elon Musk vows fully self-driving Teslas this year and 'robotaxis' ready next year
- Why Meal Kits Aren't as Bad for the Environment as You Think