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  • Trump has sparked a shift in how some conservatives talk and think about abortion

    Trump has sparked a shift in how some conservatives talk and think about abortionThere is a robust argument being made, by prominent public figures but also among everyday Americans, that the white evangelical movement has made a Faustian bargain by supporting the GOP, and President Trump, in exchange for promises to eliminate abortion.


  • FBI Tells Congress It ?Has Nothing to Add? to Ratcliffe?s Claim that Hunter Biden Emails Not Disinformation

    FBI Tells Congress It ?Has Nothing to Add? to Ratcliffe?s Claim that Hunter Biden Emails Not DisinformationThe FBI said in a letter to Congress on Tuesday that the agency has "nothing to add" to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's claim that the emails by and to Hunter Biden, revealed last week by the New York Post, are not part of a disinformation campaign.The Post disclosed various emails and documents purportedly from the laptop of Hunter Biden, and reported that a Delaware computer repair shop owner turned the laptop over to the FBI in 2019. Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the FBI on Sunday inquiring whether the agency possesses "material from Hunter Biden?s laptop."Meanwhile, Democrats have denounced the revelations as possible disinformation. However, DNI Ratcliffe told Fox Business on Monday that the emails are "not part of some Russian disinformation campaign."Jill C. Tyson, director of the FBI Office of Congressional Affairs, responded to Johnson's inquiry by pointing to Ratcliffe's public statements on the matter."Regarding the subject of your letter, we have nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence," Tyson wrote in the letter. "If actionable intelligence is developed, the FBI in consultation with the Intelligence Community will evaluate the need to provide defensive briefings to you and the Committee."The FBI is in possession of Hunter Biden's laptop, two senior Trump administration officials told Fox News on Tuesday.One 2015 email revealed by the Post appears to show a senior adviser of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, thanking Hunter Biden for the "opportunity" to meet his father. Joe Biden was leading the Obama administration's Ukraine policy at the time, while Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma from 2014 to 2019.


  • Joe Biden supporter who was installing BLM sign arrested for allegedly shooting at passing Trump supporter and son

    Joe Biden supporter who was installing BLM sign arrested for allegedly shooting at passing Trump supporter and sonNeighbours said the political signs supporting Democrats had been previously pulled down on multiple occasions


  • Marines remove general investigated over alleged racial slur

    Marines remove general investigated over alleged racial slurThe Marine Corps has removed a two-star general from command of Marine forces in Europe and Africa based on an investigation into allegations that he used a racial slur during a training event, officials said Tuesday. The decision to relieve Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary of command of Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, headquartered in Germany, was made by the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger. ?Neary was relieved due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to serve in command,? the Marines said in a brief written statement.


  • Ghislaine Maxwell Deposition, Discussing Sex Life and Jeffrey Epstein, Ordered Released by Thursday at 9 a.m.

    Ghislaine Maxwell Deposition, Discussing Sex Life and Jeffrey Epstein, Ordered Released by Thursday at 9 a.m.Transcripts of interviews conducted with alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell that referenced her former boyfriend, the dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and contain intimate details about her sex life, should be made public no later than 9 a.m. ET Thursday, a New York judge ordered Tuesday.The controversial transcripts, long sought-after by some of Epstein?s victims and the media, are expected to shine an unprecedented light on Maxwell and Epstein?s life together and come from two days of depositions in 2016 for a since-settled libel case filed against Maxwell by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Maxwell?s legal team has argued the deposition contains ?intimate? information about her sex life and other personal matters. Federal prosecutors say they believe Maxwell may have perjured herself during the testimony.The transcripts run to more than 400 pages.Tuesday?s order by District Judge Loretta Preska marks what appears to be a final and resounding defeat to Maxwell?s persistent attempts to keep the deposition secret. On Monday, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that Preska properly decided that the public had a right to access documents from legal proceedings and that transcripts should be unsealed because arguments by Maxwell?s lawyers were meritless.Her lawyers have argued that the unsealing of the deposition could interfere with Maxwell getting a fair trial next year; Preska has firmly come down on the side of those seeking its unsealing. Preska on Tuesday gave Maxwell?s team an opportunity to make ?minimal redactions? to block personally identifiable information that would reveal the names of non-parties or their families, but directed ?the material previously ordered unsealed shall be posted on the docket no later than 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2020.? Before Maxwell pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding Epstein?s sexual abuse and committing perjury this year, she was sued by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre for defamation in 2015, after Maxwell denied Giuffre?s claims of abuse.The civil case was settled in 2017, but Maxwell?s April 2016 testimony in that case will now, despite her lawyers? best efforts, be made public.According to court papers previously filed by her lawyers, in the deposition Maxwell made statements about ?consensual, and intimate conduct with other adults.?Maxwell has been incarcerated since her arrest at a luxury mansion in New Hampshire in early July after dodging police for several months. She is being held at Brooklyn?s Metropolitan Detention Center after she was denied bail in July.If convicted, she could face as much as 35 years in prison.Epstein, 66, was arrested and charged with sex trafficking. He died by suicide in August 2019 at a federal jail in Manhattan.In 2008 in Florida, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution. He spent 13 months in jail, paid settlements to victims, and remained a registered sex offender.?An earlier version of this report inaccurately said the Maxwell deposition would be released at 9 a.m. Thursday. The judge?s ruling states it must be made public by that time.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


  • Where recreational marijuana is legal, data show minimal impacts on teen use and traffic deaths

    Where recreational marijuana is legal, data show minimal impacts on teen use and traffic deathsAs voters consider recreational legalization, the outcomes of legal marijuana in Colorado, Washington and California help show what would happen.


  • ?She hit her face!? Watch a Delta passenger smack a flight attendant on board plane

    ?She hit her face!? Watch a Delta passenger smack a flight attendant on board planeAnother day, another on-board confrontation.


  • US Army base claims its Twitter account was hacked after suggestively tweeting at an OnlyFans creator

    US Army base claims its Twitter account was hacked after suggestively tweeting at an OnlyFans creator"Our account was hacked. We apologize to our followers," the US Army's Ft. Bragg said on Twitter before the account was deactivated.


  • Electoral college explained: how Biden faces an uphill battle in the US election

    Electoral college explained: how Biden faces an uphill battle in the US electionTrump won the presidency in 2016 despite Clinton receiving almost 3m more votes, all because of the electoral college. How does the system work? Who elects the US president?When Americans cast their ballots for the US president, they are actually voting for a representative of that candidate?s party known as an elector. There are 538 electors who then vote for the president on behalf of the people in their state.Each state is assigned a certain number of these electoral votes, based on the number of congressional districts they have, plus two additional votes representing the state?s Senate seats. Washington DC is also assigned three electoral votes, despite having no voting representation in Congress. A majority of 270 of these votes is needed to win the presidency.The process of nominating electors varies by state and by party, but is generally done one of two ways. Ahead of the election, political parties either choose electors at their national conventions, or they are voted for by the party?s central committee.The electoral college nearly always operates with a winner-takes-all system, in which the candidate with the highest number of votes in a state claims all of that state?s electoral votes. For example, in 2016, Trump beat Clinton in Florida by a margin of just 2.2%, but that meant he claimed all 29 of Florida?s crucial electoral votes.Such small margins in a handful of key swing states meant that, regardless of Clinton?s national vote lead, Trump was able to clinch victory in several swing states and therefore win more electoral college votes. Biden could face the same hurdle in November, meaning he will need to focus his attention on a handful of battleground states to win the presidency.A chart showing electoral college votes by state The unequal distribution of electoral votesWhile the number of electoral votes a state is assigned somewhat reflects its population, the minimum of three votes per state means that the relative value of electoral votes varies across America.The least populous states like North and South Dakota and the smaller states of New England are overrepresented because of the required minimum of three electoral votes. Meanwhile, the states with the most people ? California, Texas and Florida ? are underrepresented in the electoral college.Wyoming has one electoral college vote for every 193,000 people, compared with California?s rate of one electoral vote per 718,000 people. This means that each electoral vote in California represents over three times as many people as one in Wyoming. These disparities are repeated across the country. A visual of population per electoral vote by state Who does it favour?Experts have warned that, after returning two presidents that got fewer votes than their opponents since 2000, the electoral college is flawed.In 2000, Al Gore won over half a million more votes than Bush, yet Bush became president after winning Florida by just 537 votes. In all, the US has had five presidents who lost the overall popular vote but won the election.A chart showing recent election outcomes by popular vote and electoral college marginsProfessor George Edwards III, at Texas A&M University, said: ?The electoral college violates the core tenet of democracy, that all votes count equally and allows the candidate finishing second to win the election. Why hold an election if we do not care who received the most votes??At the moment, the electoral college favours Republicans because of the way Republican votes are distributed across the country. They are more likely to occur in states that are closely divided between the parties.?Under the winner-takes-all system, the margin of victory in a state becomes irrelevant. In 2016, Clinton?s substantial margins in states such as California and New York failed to earn her enough electoral votes, while close races in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Michigan took Trump over the 270 majority.A visual showing margins and electoral votes by state gained by Trump and Clinton in 2016As candidates easily win the electoral votes of their solid states, the election plays out in a handful of key battlegrounds. In 2016, Trump won six such states - Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin ? adding 99 electoral votes to his total.The demographics of these states differ from the national average. They are older, have more white voters without college degrees, and often have smaller non-white populations. These characteristics generally favour Republicans, and made up the base of Trump?s votes in 2016.For example, 67% of non-college-educated white people voted for Trump in 2016. In all six swing states, this demographic is overrepresented by at least six percentage points more than the national average.default The alternativesSeveral alternative systems for electing the president have been proposed and grown in favour, as many seek to change or abolish the electoral college.Two states ? Maine and Nebraska ? already use a different method of assigning their electoral college votes. The two ?Senate? votes go to the state-wide popular vote winner, but the remaining district votes are awarded to the winner of that district. However, implementing this congressional district method across the country could result in greater bias than the current system. The popular vote winner could still lose the election, and the distribution of voters would still strongly favour Republicans.The National Popular Vote Compact (NPVC) is another option, in which each state would award all of its electoral college votes in line with the national popular vote. If enough states signed up to this agreement to reach the 270 majority, the candidate who gained the most votes nationwide would always win the presidency.However, the NPVC has more practical issues. Professor Norman Williams, from Willamette University, questioned how a nationwide recount would be carried out under the NPVC, and said that partisanship highlighted its major flaws. Only Democratic states are currently signed up, but support could simply switch in the future if a Republican candidate faces winning the popular vote but not the presidency.The NPVC is a solution that would elect the president with the most votes without the difficulty of abolishing the electoral college that is enshrined in the constitution.The current system is also vulnerable to distorted outcomes through actions such as gerrymandering. This practice involves precisely redrawing the borders of districts to concentrate support in favour of a party. The result being abnormally shaped districts that disenfranchise certain groups of voters. Today, an amendment that would replace the college with a direct national popular vote is seen by many as the fairest electoral system.According to Professor Edwards III, ?There is only one appropriate way to elect the president: add up all the votes and declare the candidate receiving the most votes the winner.?default


  • The 2021 IKEA Catalog Is Finally Here!

  • 3 killed, 1 person in critical condition after Texas club shooting

    3 killed, 1 person in critical condition after Texas club shootingA shooting in a Texas club left three dead and a fourth critically injured, police said, hours after another incident in which an officer was shot dead.


  • Trump supporter launches furious rant at Starbucks barista

    Trump supporter launches furious rant at Starbucks baristaThis week a Trump supporter went viral for all the wrong reasons after video surfaced of her yelling anti-Black Lives Matter rhetoric at a Starbucks barista in Santee, California. The clip ? which was taken by a concerned customer ? shows the agitated woman getting into a heated war of words with barista Alex Beckom, 19, after being politely asked her to wear the Trump 2020 mask under her chin, correctly over her face. Instead of leaving quietly, the woman then accused the coffee shop employee of discriminating against her for her political views as a supporter of the president.


  • AP Explains: Trump seizes on dubious Biden-Ukraine story

    AP Explains: Trump seizes on dubious Biden-Ukraine storyLooking to undermine rival Joe Biden two weeks before the election, President Donald Trump?s campaign has seized on a tabloid story offering bizarre twists to a familiar line of attack: Biden?s relationship with Ukraine. The origins of the story also trace back to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has repeatedly pushed unfounded claims about Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.


  • Juror in Breonna Taylor case said grand jury didn't agree fatal shooting was justified

    Juror in Breonna Taylor case said grand jury didn't agree fatal shooting was justifiedThe statement came after a judge ordered records in the proceedings released to show if "publicly elected officials are being honest."


  • Many killed and wounded in Afghanistan visa stampede

    Many killed and wounded in Afghanistan visa stampedeChaos broke out when thousands gathered in a stadium in Afghanistan to apply for visas to Pakistan.


  • British study finds traits tied to enduring COVID-19 symptoms

    British study finds traits tied to enduring COVID-19 symptomsMost people recover from COVID-19 within four weeks, but one in 20 patients is still ill after eight weeks and one in 40 continues to have symptoms after 12 weeks, a new study from Kings College London found, according to BBC News. The researchers pored over self-reported data in the COVID Symptoms Study app, looking for patterns that could predict if a patient who contracts the new coronavirus will have "long COVID" or recover more rapidly. They found several traits that appeared to increase the risk of longer-lasting COVID-19."Having more than five different symptoms in the first week was one of the key risk factors," Dr. Claire Steves at Kings College London told BBC News. Patients with a cough, diarrhea, loss of taste and smell, headaches, and fatigue would be at higher risk than somebody with just a cough, for example. People over 50 also had increased odds of long COVID, as did people with asthma or lung disease, and women."We've seen from the early data coming out that men were at much more risk of very severe disease and sadly of dying from COVID, it appears that women are more at risk of long COVID." Steves said. There are no set symptoms for long COVID, but fatigue is common, BBC News notes. You can find more examples in this new PSA on long COVID from Britain's Department of Health and Social Care. More stories from theweek.com The left embraces rigging democracy The greatest risk for a Biden administration A new constitution? Be careful what you wish for.


  • AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial Brazil volunteer dies, trial to continue

    AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial Brazil volunteer dies, trial to continueBrazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue. Oxford confirmed the plan to keep testing, saying in a statement that after careful assessment "there have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial." AstraZeneca declined to comment immediately.


  • Why the US Supreme Court letting Pennsylvania's extended ballot deadline stand is one of its most important decisions this year

    Why the US Supreme Court letting Pennsylvania's extended ballot deadline stand is one of its most important decisions this yearIt could prevent thousands of votes from being rejected, but Barrett being on the court might have swayed the decision in the other direction.


  • Letters to the Editor: USC is taking strong action against anti-Semitism and other forms of hate

    Letters to the Editor: USC is taking strong action against anti-Semitism and other forms of hateAn ugly fight over social media about racism at USC had one positive outcome: the university president's strong statement condemning anti-Semitism.


  • Record-setting catch of 110-pound catfish in Georgia has angler under fire. Here?s why

    Record-setting catch of 110-pound catfish in Georgia has angler under fire. Here?s whySome aren?t happy about what happened to the catfish


  • Vanessa Guillén, Fort Hood soldier who went missing in April, died 'in the line of duty,' Army says

    Vanessa Guillén, Fort Hood soldier who went missing in April, died 'in the line of duty,' Army saysGuillén's family will receive Army benefits, such as allowances, compensation for expenses, life insurance and a funeral with full military honors.


  • Obama campaigns for Biden in Philadelphia

    Obama campaigns for Biden in PhiladelphiaFormer President Barack Obama spoke at a drive-in rally for Joe Biden, 13 days before the presidential election.


  • A jailed Philippine activist is forced to attend her infant's funeral in handcuffs and a hazmat suit

    A jailed Philippine activist is forced to attend her infant's funeral in handcuffs and a hazmat suitThe death of Reina Mae Nasino's 3-month-old daughter, River, has sparked an uproar over President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown on human rights defenders. The underweight infant was separated from her mother, denying her breast milk that could have prolonged her life.


  • Iran breaks its record for most new virus cases in one day

    Iran breaks its record for most new virus cases in one dayIran on Tuesday reported its highest single-day toll of new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic with more than 5,000 new infections, as the country struggles to cope with a surge in transmission. Iran?s health ministry also reported that 322 people had died from the virus, pushing the death toll over 31,000. Health minister Saeed Namaki made a dramatic appeal for people to follow health guidance measures, saying that without public help, ?the pandemic in this country will not get better and we'll have to collect the bodies," the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.


  • Fake naked photos of thousands of women shared online

    Fake naked photos of thousands of women shared onlineFake naked images of thousands of women are being made from social media photos.


  • U.S. fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Alaska

    U.S. fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near AlaskaU.S. fighter jets intercepted four Russian military aircraft in international airspace near Alaska, NORAD said.


  • How Jaime Harrison thinks he can knock off Lindsey Graham

    How Jaime Harrison thinks he can knock off Lindsey GrahamThe Democratic vessel of anti-Trump outrage knows that taking on the president directly is a losing gambit in South Carolina.


  • 26 Neutral Rugs That Make the Case for Beige

  • TikTok explicitly calls out white nationalism, white genocide theory, and male supremacy as hate speech

    TikTok explicitly calls out white nationalism, white genocide theory, and male supremacy as hate speechBig Tech platforms are rushing to update policies and try and stem a flood of hate speech.


  • Miami Springs nursing home with 52 COVID deaths fined $67,000, but not stripped of license

    Miami Springs nursing home with 52 COVID deaths fined $67,000, but not stripped of licenseFair Havens nursing home in Miami Springs, where 52 died of COVID-19, was issued a $67,000 fine by the state of Florida but also allowed to resume taking in new residents.


  • Australian soldiers killed Afghan prisoner as only six could fit on American helicopter, US marine claims

    Australian soldiers killed Afghan prisoner as only six could fit on American helicopter, US marine claimsA United States Marine Corps helicopter crew chief has accused Australian special forces of shooting dead one of seven bound Afghan prisoners because there was only space for six on the US aircraft due to collect them. The chief, ?Josh?, flew 159 combat missions for the Marine Corps? Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469. He told Australia's ABC Investigations he was a door gunner providing aerial covering fire for the Australian soldiers of the 2nd Commando Regiment during a night raid in mid-2012, north of his squadron?s base in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. The raid was part of a broader joint Australian special forces-US Drug Enforcement Administration campaign targetting drug operations financing the Taliban. Josh told the ABC: ?We just watched them tackle and hogtie these guys and we knew their hands were tied behind their backs?. He said the Australian commandos then called for the US aircraft to pick them and seven prisoners up. ?The pilot said, 'That's too many people, we can't carry that many passengers.' And you just heard this silence and then we heard a pop. And then they said, 'OK, we have six prisoners'.? The USMC chief said it was ?apparent to everybody involved in that mission that they had just killed a prisoner that we had just watched them catch and hogtie?.


  • Former Mexican defense minister ordered held in U.S. jail without bond

    Former Mexican defense minister ordered held in U.S. jail without bondMexico's former defense minister, Salvador Cienfuegos, was ordered held in U.S. custody without bail on Tuesday, pending his trial on drug trafficking charges in a case that could have far-reaching implications for U.S. and Mexican anti-cartel strategy. A U.S. magistrate judge also ordered Cienfuegos, 72, sent to New York to stand trial. Cienfuegos was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport last week.


  • Human remains found in search for Tulsa massacre victims

    Human remains found in search for Tulsa massacre victimsOne set of human remains, and perhaps a second, have been found in a Tulsa cemetery where investigators are searching for victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Oklahoma state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck said Tuesday. ?We do have one confirmed individual and the possibility of a second? body found, Stackelbeck said. The confirmed human remains were found little more than 3 feet (90 centimeters) underground in an area known as the ?Original 18,? where funeral home records show massacre victims are buried.


  • ?Cheer? star Jerry Harris was warned before child porn arrest by the owner of a gym featured on ?AGT,? lawsuit claims

    ?Cheer? star Jerry Harris was warned before child porn arrest by the owner of a gym featured on ?AGT,? lawsuit claimsCheer Athletics co-owner Angela Rogers warned 'Cheer' star Jerry Harris about a possible investigation into his conduct, according to a lawsuit.


  • What you should know about gender pronouns, how to use them, and why they're important

    What you should know about gender pronouns, how to use them, and why they're importantToday is International Pronouns Day, a day to honor the importance and necessity of using trans and non-binary people's correct gender pronouns.


  • Donald Trump is getting desperate ? and his mental pathology is getting worse every day

    Donald Trump is getting desperate ? and his mental pathology is getting worse every dayAs mental health professionals, we see a disturbed and destructive man whose psyche is unraveling before our eyes


  • Saudis shun 'made in Turkey' as rivalry deepens

    Saudis shun 'made in Turkey' as rivalry deepensFrom pickled vine leaves to coffee and cheese, Saudi supermarkets are taking Turkish products off the shelves after calls for a boycott, as rivalry between Riyadh and Ankara heats up.


  • A US lab used rockets to launch a semi-truck into a new tractor trailer built to transport nuclear weapons

    A US lab used rockets to launch a semi-truck into a new tractor trailer built to transport nuclear weapons"You've got to be able to ship nuclear assets safely and securely or you don't have a deterrence program," a lab project manager said.


  • Purple pumpkins are making a statement this Halloween. Here?s what they mean

    Purple pumpkins are making a statement this Halloween. Here?s what they mean?There seems to be some confusion about what a purple pumpkin really means?


  • US and Russia Scramble Jets in Another Exchange of Aerial Intercepts

  • Something is fishy about Daniel Cameron and the Breonna Taylor case

    Something is fishy about Daniel Cameron and the Breonna Taylor caseCameron is the Kentucky attorney general who dragged his feet seeking charges against the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, in her home and in her sleep. When the grand jury indicted only one of the four officers ? not for murdering Breonna, but for endangering the lives of the white folks next door ? we knew something wasn?t smelling right.


  • Beheading in France could bolster president's claim that Islam is in 'crisis' ? but so is French secularism

    Beheading in France could bolster president's claim that Islam is in 'crisis' ? but so is French secularismA French high school teacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his class was beheaded on Oct. 16 by an 18-year-old Muslim refugee in what France?s President Emmanuel Macron characterized as an ?Islamist terrorist attack.?The killing is the latest high-profile attack by a Muslim extremist in France, coming after the 2015 massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine and the 2016 truck attack in Nice. It also occurred two weeks after Macron gave a controversial speech defining Islam as ?a religion that is in crisis today all over the world.?France, which colonized many Muslim-majority territories in Africa and the Levant in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Algeria and Mali, has Western Europe?s largest Muslim minority ? 6 million people, or 9% of its population. Macron?s Oct. 2 speech outlined a legislative proposal to fight ?Islamist separatism.? If passed in Parliament, it would essentially ban home-schooling of all children aged 3 and up and prevent foreign-trained imams from leading French mosques. The goal, said the president, is ?to build an Islam in France that can be compatible with the Enlightenment.? Macron?s analysis concludes, simply, that Islam is somehow at odds with modern Western society. But my research on state secularism and religion shows that the reality is much more complicated. French versus American secularismFrench secularism, which is embraced by both the progressive left and the Islamophobic right, goes well beyond the American democratic concept of separating religion and state. Called ?laïcité,? it essentially excludes religious symbols from public institutions. France has banned Muslim women?s headscarves in schools and outlawed religious face coverings everywhere. There are no such bans in the United States.While both America and France have ongoing debates about ?Islamic fundamentalism? and ?Muslim terrorists? and views that can be defined as Islamophobic have some popular support, American democracy generally provides better opportunities for the integration of various religious groups. In France, the Constitution defines the state only as secular, without delineating the boundaries of that secularism. In the United States, the First Amendment restricts the secular state?s engagement with religion, saying the government can neither establish a religion nor prohibit a religion?s free exercise. It would be difficult for the U.S. to announce, as Macron did, a state-sponsored project to ?forge a type of Enlightenment Islam.?Indeed, 11 years before Macron voiced his provocative view, U.S. President Barack Obama gave a famous speech on Islam in Egypt in 2009, attempting to reset the relationship between America and the Muslim world.Emphasizing Muslims? contributions to American society, Obama said, ?It is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit ? for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear.?Obama?s speech reflected an idealized American melting pot, a place where hyphenated identities like Muslim-American are common. French secularism sees no hyphenated identities ? only French or Not French. Islam and the secular stateSome in France also see this rigid secularism as unequal to the challenges of multiculturalism and migration. The eminent scholar Jean Bauberot, for example, defends a more ?pluralistic secularism? ? one that tolerates certain religious symbols in public institutions. France has in fact made many exceptions for Catholics. The government provides substantial public funding to private Catholic schools, which educate about a quarter of all K-12 students, and six of 11 official holidays in France are Catholic holidays. Too often, laïcité translates into an unwillingness to accommodate the religiously based demands of Muslims. In 2015, a Muslim advocacy organization sued a municipal authority in France?s Burgundy region for refusing to offer an alternative to pork in public school cafeterias. The court compelled the town to reverse its policy, but not because it violated religious freedom. The court found the menu violated the children?s rights.France?s founding commitment to equality under the law likewise forestalls meaningful social debate on racial discrimination; its census does not even collect information on race. Although France?s biggest minority is mostly composed of nonwhite Muslim immigrants from its former colonies in Africa and their descendents, Macron?s speech referenced only in passing to French colonialism.[Expertise in your inbox. Sign up for The Conversation?s newsletter and get expert takes on today?s news, every day.] BlasphemyThat said, I find some truth in Macron?s speech. But the ?crisis? facing Islam lies in the historical and political failings of the Muslim world, not in the religion itself.As my 2019 book, ?Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment,? documents, many Muslim countries like Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia have long-lasting authoritarian regimes and chronic underdevelopment. In 32 of the world?s 49 Muslim-majority countries, blasphemy laws punish people who speak sacrilegiously about sacred things; in six countries, blasphemy is a capital offense. These laws, which block freedom of expression, are more rooted in the interests of the conservative clergy and authoritarian rulers than in the Islamic faith, my research shows. They actually contradict several Quranic verses that urge Muslims not to coerce or retaliate against people of other faiths. Still, in Western countries where Muslims are a minority, extremists occasionally take it upon themselves to punish those who, in their view, mock the Prophet Muhammad. That has caused global controversies over cartoons and movies. At times, in France and beyond, it has led to an unacceptable outcome: murder.Such killings, whether perpetrated by the state or by individuals, are tragedies. But to frame them as a purely religious problem ignores the socioeconomic and political origins of Islamic blasphemy laws, and the anti-democratic cultural consequences of authoritarianism in many Muslim countries. It also overlooks the difficult reality that social alienation is an underlying factor in the radicalization of some young Muslims in the West. Multiple secularisms, multiple IslamsMacron?s speech made some gestures toward greater inclusion. ?I want France to become a country where we can teach the thoughts of Averreos and Ibn Khaldun,? he said, referencing two eminent Muslim thinkers of the 12th and 14th centuries, and envisioned ?a country that excels in the study of Muslim civilizations.? That plural in ?civilizations? is meaningful. It acknowledges that Islam is not monolithic. Neither is French secularism. Both are complex systems with varied interpretations. In truth, Macron doesn?t need to ?build an Islam in France that can be compatible with the Enlightenment,? because that already exists. Whether French secularism can adapt to Islam is another question.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Ahmet T. Kuru, San Diego State University.Read more: * Teachers in France, on the front line of defending the values of the Republic * Execution for a Facebook post? Why blasphemy is a capital offense in some Muslim countriesAhmet T. Kuru does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


  • Florida to investigate all COVID-19 deaths after questions about 'integrity' of data

    Florida to investigate all COVID-19 deaths after questions about 'integrity' of dataFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. ? Florida, which has reported the deaths of more than 16,400 people from COVID-19, now says the public may not be able to trust any of those numbers. The state Department of Health on Wednesday ordered an investigation of all pandemic fatalities, one week after House Speaker Jose Oliva slammed the death data from medical examiners as "often lacking in rigor" and ...


  • AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial continues despite Brazilian volunteer death

    AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial continues despite Brazilian volunteer deathBrazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue.


  • Jill Biden Criticizes ?Totally Irresponsible? Trump Fans on ?The View?

    Jill Biden Criticizes ?Totally Irresponsible? Trump Fans on ?The View?Democrats and the Biden campaign have been relentless in attacking President Donald Trump and his campaign for continuing to hold large rallies during the coronavirus pandemic. But during an appearance on The View Wednesday morning, Dr. Jill Biden seemed to imply that Trump supporters are demonstrating a lack of personal responsibility as well.?We can?t do anything until we get this virus under control,? Biden said early in the interview. ?And you?ve heard the scientists and the doctors, that?s who we're following. And they are saying, wear your mask, socially distance, and we?ve got to come together.?She said the COVID-19 response must be a ?public health issue? as opposed to a ?political issue,? adding, ?And if you are not going to wear your mask for yourself, wear it for your neighbor who is undergoing chemotherapy and her immune system is down, wear it for the little boy down the street who has asthma and he could get sick or his grandmom could get sick. Do it for someone else if you are not going to do it for yourself.?That brought co-host Sunny Hostin to the Trump rallies, which stand in sharp contrast to the socially distant or entirely virtual Biden campaign events.?Even with over 220,000 Americans dead from COVID, there are still these angry protests over safety measures and President Trump supporters are still packing into rallies,? she said, asking why those supporters ?still believe [Trump] over our scientists and our trusted experts like Dr. Fauci???Well, I think this administration has made it political,? Biden replied. ?We need to listen to the doctors and the scientists. That?s what we have to do. And I think it?s totally irresponsible that people are going to these rallies and they?re not wearing masks, they?re not socially distancing. It's irresponsible and people will die because of this.?Increases in coronavirus cases related to Trump rallies have already been reported in states like Minnesota and Michigan. Most notably, former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain died from the virus just one month after attending the president?s indoor and maskless rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar Think Trump Is Lying About Having COVIDRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


  • Radio host Rush Limbaugh announces his lung cancer is terminal

    Radio host Rush Limbaugh announces his lung cancer is terminalOne of the most high-profile conservative talk radio hosts in the United States has announced that his lung cancer is terminal. Rush Limbaugh, 69, told listeners to the 600 radio stations nationwide that air his show that his cancer, announced in February, was not responding to treatment. Lung scans showed ?some progression of the cancer?, he said on Monday, after it was previously reduced to a manageable level. ?You measure a happy life against whatever medication it takes," said Limbaugh. "And at some point you decide, you know, this medication may be working, but I hate the way I feel every day. ?I?m not there yet. But it is part and parcel of this. "It?s tough to realise that the days where I do not think I?m under a death sentence are over.? Limbaugh has been a crusading voice of conservatism since the 1990s, and last year attracted a cumulative weekly audience of 15.5 million listeners, making him the most listened-to host in the country. His hard-line views on homosexuality, race, feminism and climate change have attracted him a cult following, as well as legions of detractors. ?We all know that we?re going to die at some point,? said Limbaugh on Monday. ?But when you have a terminal disease diagnosis that has a time frame to it, then that puts a different psychological and even physical awareness to it.?


  • Watch the US Navy stealth destroyer Zumwalt fire off a missile for the first time

    Watch the US Navy stealth destroyer Zumwalt fire off a missile for the first timeUSS Zumwalt went years without a working combat system, but now the Navy is starting to put its weapons to the test.


  • These men tried to break into two homes within minutes. Here?s what it looked like

    These men tried to break into two homes within minutes. Here?s what it looked likeThe Broward Sheriff?s Office released video on Tuesday of two men they say tried to pull two burglaries from homes within minutes of one another.


  • Obama says White House is probably using pandemic playbook he left 'to prop up a wobbly table'

    Obama says White House is probably using pandemic playbook he left 'to prop up a wobbly table'Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday said dealing with the coronavirus pandemic "would have been challenging for any president, but this idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this up is just not true."Obama made his remarks in Philadelphia during a drive-up rally for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Obama said that South Korea recorded its first COVID-19 case at the same time as the United States, "and its per capita death toll is just 1.3 percent of what ours is. Canada is just 39 percent of what ours is. Other countries are struggling with the pandemic, but they're not doing as bad as we are because they've got a government that's actually been paying attention."Comparing Biden to President Trump, Obama declared that "Joe's not going to screw up testing, he's not going to call scientists idiots, he's not going to host a superspreader event at the White House." The United States is eight months into the pandemic, and cases are again on the rise across the country, but "Donald Trump isn't suddenly going to protect all of us," Obama said. "He can't even take the basic steps to protect himself."Trump can't say Obama didn't try to warn him ? before leaving office, his administration passed along a 70-page document on how to fight pandemics, the former president stated, with information included on novel coronaviruses. "We literally left this White House a pandemic playbook," Obama said. "They probably used it to prop up a wobbly table somewhere."Obama didn't just focus on the pandemic. He also made the pitch for Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), promising voters they "are going to fight for you every day. They care about you and they care about this democracy. ... They believe that no one, especially the president, is above the law. They understand that protests on behalf of social justice isn't un-American, that's the most American thing there is. That's how this country was founded: protesting injustice."More stories from theweek.com The left embraces rigging democracy The greatest risk for a Biden administration A new constitution? Be careful what you wish for.


  • Las Vegas resorts increase security amid shootings, fights on the Strip

    Las Vegas resorts increase security amid shootings, fights on the StripThe city is seeing an increase in violent events amid the COVID-19 pandemic.