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Bernie Sanders - USA Politics News Today

Bernie Sanders: “What we need to do is to look at somebody who four years ago had the courage to break new ground in this. We’re continuing to break new ground today.”

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US Democrats

As Democrats try to win control of the White House and the Senate in 2020, they face a geographical puzzle — the path to the presidency may conflict with the one to a Senate majority. Democrats’ best shot at the White House is to win back their old turf — the Rust Belt states heavy with working-class white voters who have become increasingly difficult to hold in the party’s tent. But the path to winning the Senate travels through what many believe is the Democrats’ territory of the future. College-educated suburbanites, young people and minorities make up the winning coalition in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and North Carolina, the states where Democrats will need to pick up seats to wrest control of the Senate from the GOP. The tensions between the two contests — the two paths to two different victories — highlight the geographic concerns that have long bedeviled Democrats. The party has successfully built support in the growing West and Sun Belt states, but not yet enough to put the fight over the Rust Belt in the rearview mirror. “They’re kind of stuck between their past and their future,” said William Frey, a demographer at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. “It’s an interesting conundrum.” For Democrats wrestling with picking their nominee, it’s more than just a head-scratcher. Senate races and presidential races are linked — Senate candidates rarely win when their party’s presidential candidate loses their state. If the party wants to win the White House andContinue reading

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Robert Mugabe - Zimbabwe News Today

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was feted as an African liberation hero and champion of racial reconciliation when he first came to power in a nation divided by nearly a century of white colonial rule. Nearly four decades later, many at home and abroad denounced him as a power-obsessed autocrat willing to unleash death squads, rig elections and trash the economy in the relentless pursuit of control. Mugabe was ultimately ousted by his own armed forces in November 2017. He demonstrated his tenacity — some might say stubbornness — to the last, refusing to accept his expulsion from his own ZANU-PF party and clinging on for a week until Parliament started to impeach him after the de facto coup. His resignation triggered wild celebrations across the country of 13 million. For Mugabe, it was an “unconstitutional and humiliating” act of betrayal by his party and people, and left him a broken man. Confined for the remaining years of his life between Singapore, where he was receiving medical treatment, and his sprawling “Blue Roof” mansion in Harare, an ailing Mugabe could only observe from afar the political stage where he once strode tall. The Twitter account of Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Friday that Mugabe had died at age 95. “It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe,” a post said. It gave no details. In November, Mnangagwa said Mugabe was no longer able to walk when he wasContinue reading

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War, Israel, Iran, Middle East

The long shadow war between Israel and Iran has burst into the open in recent days, with Israel allegedly striking Iran-linked targets as far away as Iraq and crash-landing two drones in Hezbollah-dominated southern Beirut. These incidents, along with an air raid in Syria that Israel says thwarted an imminent Iranian drone attack, have raised tensions at a particularly fraught time. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to project strength three weeks before national elections, while Iran has taken a series of provocative actions in recent months aimed at pressuring European nations to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions. Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, vowed to retaliate after a drone crashed on the militant group’s Beirut media office and another exploded midair early Sunday. Israeli forces along the border with Lebanon are on high alert, raising fears of a repeat of the 2006 war. Netanyahu has warned Nasrallah to “relax,” saying Israel “knows how to defend itself and how to pay back its enemies.” The Israeli leader has also addressed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the architect of its regional entrenchment, telling him to “be careful with your words and be even more careful with your actions.” Israel said Soleimani masterminded the alleged drone attack. Another commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohsen Rezaei, dismissed the Israeli allegations as a “lie.” Israel has also blamed Iran for recent rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, and on Monday struck a Palestinian base inContinue reading

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Donald Trump Now Campaigns - USA News Headlines

About 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s overall job performance, according to a new poll released Thursday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which finds some support for the president’s handling of the U.S. economy but gives him weak marks on other major issues. Just 36% of Americans approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president; 62% disapprove. The numbers may be ugly for a first-term president facing reelection in 14 months, but they are remarkably consistent. Trump’s approval rating has never dipped below 32% or risen above 42% in AP-NORC polls since he took office. No other president has stayed within so narrow a band. Since Gallup began measuring presidential approval, Trump is the only president whose rating has never been above 50%. Still, several — Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — logged ratings worse than Trump’s lowest rating so far at some point during their time in office. Trump’s poor grades in the AP-NORC poll extend to his handling of several key issues: immigration, health care, foreign policy and guns. Views of the Republican president’s handling of the economy remain a relative bright spot despite fears of a potential recession, but at least 60% of Americans disapprove of his performance on other issues. The consistency suggests the president’s weak standing with the American people is calcified after two years of near-constant political crises and divisive rhetoric at the White House.Continue reading

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UK Colonialism Legacies

We are still reminded of the consequences of British colonialism with the ongoing volatile situations in places such as Indian-controlled Kashmir and Hong Kong. Hong Kong and Kashmir share the same legacy, that of imperialism in Asia, and the locals are still paying for the mess that the British left behind during its days of unbridled colonialism. Unlike Hong Kong, India – including Kashmir – went from being a colonial subject to an independent country. Following independence, the unique cultural region of Kashmir turned out to be a very difficult problem for India and its policy of assimilation. So, New Delhi resorted to the same conceptual tactics perpetrated against them while under British rule: military occupation and limitations on free speech. Hence, earlier this month, a presidential decree revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution, which guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority Kashmir region, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters, except defense, communications and foreign affairs. Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, in return, censured India’s ‘illegal’ Kashmir move, vowing to fight the decision, including at the UN Security Council. Khan said the move was in breach of international law, adding that he feared ethnic cleansing by India. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has merely expressed “concern” about India’s decision to strip Kashmir of its special status, which was guaranteed by Article 370 of the Indian constitution. Meanwhile, heading into 11 weeks of demonstrations in Hong Kong, Britain has consistently supported anti-ChinaContinue reading

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Kim Jong Un - North Korea Politics News

There’s no question that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in full control of his nation. But a recent change to the way he’s being formally described in the North Korean Constitution may allow him even more diplomatic leverage as he steps with increasing confidence onto the world stage for negotiations over his powerful weapons program. Despite a flurry of unprecedented summits between Kim and the world powers that surround him, the outcome of that crucial diplomacy is very much in question amid currently deadlocked nuclear disarmament talks and an outburst of North Korean weapons tests in recent weeks. North Korea on Friday said that its rubber-stamp parliament will hold its second meeting of the year on Aug. 29. It follows weeks of intensified North Korean weapons tests and belligerent statements over U.S.-South Korea military exercises and the slow pace of nuclear negotiations with the United States. Kim has said he said he would seek a “new way” if Washington doesn’t change its hard-line stance on sanctions relief by the year’s end, though experts doubt he’ll fully abandon diplomacy and give away his hard-won status as a global statesman. President Donald Trump on Saturday said that Kim wrote him a “beautiful” three-page letter in which he expressed desire to meet once again to “start negotiations” after U.S.-South Korea military exercises end, and also apologized for the flurry of short-range missile tests. The North’s new constitutional changes, which show Kim’s further consolidation of his already formidable powers, could allow himContinue reading

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Vladimir Putin Making Toast - Russia News Headlines

Twenty years ago on Friday, Russian president Boris Yeltsin appointed his fourth prime minister in less than 18 months: Vladimir Putin, then a relatively unknown security services chief with scant experience of politics. The departing Yeltsin was casting around for a successor and few could have predicted that two decades later Putin would still be ruling Russia, having taken on a dominant role in world affairs. But the anniversary comes at a time of uncertainty in the leader’s reign. Putin’s approval ratings remain at a level most Western leaders would envy but they have taken a hit from a stalling economy and declining living standards. A protest movement in Moscow has meanwhile seen thousands arrested in recent weeks — the largest crackdown since a wave of demonstrations against Putin returning to the Kremlin in 2012 after another spell as prime minister. The 66-year-old is meanwhile facing a succession drama of his own. This is his last term in office according to the Russian constitution but — after stamping out the competition and taking control of most of the media — there is no obvious figure to replace him. Analysts say it is unlikely that Russia’s longest-serving leader since Joseph Stalin will give up power completely when his current term ends in 2024. Putin the liberalThe picture was very different when Putin won his first presidential election following Yeltsin’s early resignation on New Year’s Eve, 2000. “Russia, despite its poverty and problems with criminality, was still a democratic, liberal country,” saidContinue reading

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Donald Trump Signs

Rosita Lopez said armed gang members demanded money from her and her partner at their small grocery store on the Guatemalan coast and threatened to kill them when they couldn’t pay. When her partner was shot soon afterward, they sold everything and fled north. Lopez was eight months pregnant when the couple arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border last year with their 1-year-old daughter. Just over a year later, an immigration judge in Los Angeles heard her case, denied her asylum and ordered her deported. “I’m afraid of going back there,” she told the judge. The decision for 20-year-old Lopez — who now has an American-born baby — was swift in an immigration court system so backlogged with cases that asylum seekers often wait years for a hearing, let alone a ruling on whether they can stay in the country. But her case is one of 56,000 in a Trump administration pilot program in 10 cities from Baltimore to Los Angeles aimed at fast-tracking court hearings to discourage migrants from making the journey to seek refuge in the United States. The administration selected family cases in those cities from the past 10 months. Immigration lawyers who often complain that it takes too long to get a court date said the new timetable is too fast to prepare their clients to testify and get documents from foreign countries to bolster their claims. “The families that are all ready to go and desperate, ready with counsel, have survived multiple atrocities can’t seem toContinue reading

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Ibrahim Yaqoub El Zakzaky, Ibrahim Zakzaky, El Zakzaky, Nigeria News

The Center for Global Peace Initiative (CGPI) has noted with dismay the ongoing twist being introduced into the confrontation between Nigerian security establishment and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) as a Sunni/Shia confrontation, rather as a case of secular breach of the law and the fallouts generated which are nonetheless unfortunate. This was the same way the Boko Haram issue became laden with spurious narratives till it turned out to the Frankenstein monster that it is today. We urge those pushing the Sunni/Shia narrative to desist from the idea and focus on the fallouts of the confrontation which is the use of maximum force to quell a supposedly civil protest. It is appalling to see some individuals as usual trying to make political and/or religious gains out of the entire situation. To be sure, Zakzaky’s Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) is not the only Shiite group in Nigeria and there has never been any history of a clamp down on those who profess Shiism on account of their being distinct from the Sunni majority. We are concerned that this growing wrong narrative has the tendency of importing rivalry brewed in other lands to further compound the security challenges of the country. To be precise, Nigeria does not mirror any of the ’theocratic’ states of Saudi Arabia or Iran to which the confrontation is being tied; and neither is the President under any allegiance or obligation to any of the two protagonist countries as Nigeria maintains diplomatic relations with theContinue reading

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Saudi-Led Coalition Bombing In Yemen - War News

The United Arab Emirates, one of the most powerful parties in Yemen’s war, has begun to draw down its forces, pulling out several thousand troops in a move that leaves the Saudi-led coalition there with a weakened ground presence and fewer tactical options. The UAE isn’t quitting Yemen or the coalition, which it and Saudi Arabia formed in 2015 to stem the advance of Iranian-allied Shiite rebels known as Houthis who took over the north. But the drawdown represents a major step away by the Emiratis from their partner Saudi Arabia’s main policy in the war — to batter the rebels into submission — a strategy that has largely been unsuccessful. The UAE says the reduction aims to boost negotiations with the Houthis to end the war. “Now is the time to double down on the political process,” Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, wrote in The Washington Post this week. The Houthis and internationally recognized government of Yemen, which is backed by the coalition, held talks last week for the first time in months on implementing a U.N.-brokered cease-fire in Hodeida, a rebel-held Red Sea port city that is the entry point for most humanitarian aid. The talks are crucial for opening the way to broader peace negotiations to end the five-year-old war. The war, sparked by the Houthis’ takeover of the capital in 2014, has claimed tens of thousands of lives, thrust millions to the brink of famine and spawned the world’s most devastatingContinue reading

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Donald Trump vs US Democrats Candidates - USA News Headlines

Joe Biden was at a soul food restaurant in Los Angeles on Thursday when he blasted President Donald Trump’s “racist” taunts at a rally the night before. “This is about dividing the country,” the early Democratic front-runner, who has been criticized for his own handling of race , told reporters. “This is about dividing and raising the issue of racism across the country because that’s his base, that’s what he’s pushing.” But Michael Fisher, an African American pastor from Compton who attended the event, warned Democrats to ignore Trump. “They should absolutely not respond to ignorance,” Fischer said. “They should stay focused on the issues.” That tension previews the uncomfortable balancing act Democrats will face in the nearly 16 months before Election Day. Trump’s escalating exploitation of racism puts the rawest divide in American life squarely on the ballot in 2020. Democrats are united in condemning his words and actions, but the question of how to counter them is much more complicated. The party’s passionate left wing is pressing for an all-in battle, arguing that candidates’ plans to combat racism are just as important as their proposals to provide health insurance to every American. But others question whether race should be the centerpiece of the campaign to replace Trump. Several presidential candidates, meanwhile, reject the debate as a false choice, arguing they can criticize Trump for racist tactics while still advancing proposals on health care, education, the minimum wage and more. The emotionally charged developments shook both political parties onContinue reading

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Asylum Seekers in Japan

At the end of June, a Nigerian man in his 40s died at an immigration detention center in Nagasaki. According to a support group, the man had been on a hunger strike to protest his lengthy confinement, which had continued for more than three years. The detention center has yet to reveal the cause of his death. Although some media outlets reported the man’s death, most didn’t go into detail. When the public hears of foreign nationals being detained, they most likely imagine people caught working without permits, since that is the context in which foreign nationals have been discussed lately. According to a Reuters report published in the Asahi Shimbun, of the approximately 1,500 foreign detainees who were being held as of June 2018, 604 were asylum-seekers whose situation is different from that of visa overstayers and so-called illegal workers. Although there was an increase in the number of asylum applicants Japan accepted in 2018, the actual number — 42 — was still miniscule, since there were 10,493 applications. However, the number of applications was down for the first time in eight years. In January 2018, the Justice Ministry introduced a stricter process to screen out people who are applying for refugee status in order to gain employment. The ministry stressed that the 42 whose applications were approved had been admitted to Japan for humanitarian reasons, since it was determined that their lives would have been in danger had they been forced to return to their home countries. TheContinue reading

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Brexit Headline Today

The chance that Britain will leave the European Union without a deal is the highest since October 2017, economists polled by Reuters say, as arch-Brexiteer Boris Johnson looks set to take over as prime minister next week. Johnson was the face of the 2016 campaign to quit the EU and has said he would be willing to leave on Oct. 31 without a deal. The median forecast of that happening was 30% in the July 15-18 poll, up from 25% last month and 15% in May. “The likelihood of a Boris Johnson premiership and the rhetoric which has surfaced during the campaign suggests that this outcome is more likely than we previously believed,” said Peter Dixon at Commerzbank. With Jeremy Hunt, Johnson’s rival for the premiership, also keen to display his credentials as a hard Brexiteer, sterling GBP= has plunged this week to lows not seen in over two years as investors price in the growing risk of a disorderly Brexit. Lawmakers voted on Thursday to make it harder for the next prime minister to try to force a no-deal Brexit, giving some support to sterling, and a strong majority of economists polled still think the two sides will eventually settle on a free-trade deal, as they have since late 2016, when Reuters first started asking the question. But in second place this month was the more extreme option of leaving without a deal and trading under World Trade Organization rules. The third most likely outcome was the other compromiseContinue reading

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Donald Trump Campaigning - USA Headlines

Support for U.S. President Donald Trump increased slightly among Republicans after he lashed out on Twitter over the weekend in a racially charged attack on four minority Democratic congresswomen, a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll shows. The national survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday after Trump told the lawmakers they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” showed his net approval among members of his Republican Party rose by 5 percentage points to 72%, compared with a similar poll that ran last week. Trump, who is seeking re-election next year, has lost support, however, with Democrats and independents since the Sunday tweetstorm. Among independents, about three out of 10 said they approved of Trump, down from four out of 10 a week ago. His net approval – the percentage who approve minus the percentage who disapprove – dropped by 2 points among Democrats in the poll. Trump’s overall approval remained unchanged over the past week. According to the poll, 41% of the U.S. public said they approved of his performance in office, while 55% disapproved. The results showed strong Republican backing for Trump as the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution on Tuesday, largely along party lines, to condemn him for “racist comments” against the four Democratic lawmakers. All four U.S. representatives – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – are U.S. citizens. Three were bornContinue reading

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Donald Trump on D-Day in UK

Even before President Donald Trump’s racist tweets toward four Democratic congresswomen of color, Americans considered race relations in the United States to be generally bad — and said that Trump has been making them worse. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the congresswomen should go back to the “broken and crime infested” countries they came from, despite the fact that all are American citizens and three were born in the U.S. Since his election, polling has shown Americans wary of Trump when it comes to race. But views of the president, racism in the U.S. and what defines American culture vary significantly based on political alignment. What polls show: RACE RELATIONS IN THE TRUMP ERA In January, a CBS News poll found nearly 6 in 10 Americans saying race relations in the country are generally bad. It wasn’t always that way. Positive views of the state of race relations in the country peaked with President Barack Obama’s inauguration, after which 66% of Americans said race relations were generally good in an April 2009 CBS News/New York Times poll. But views started to sour in 2014 following a number of high-profile shootings of black men by police officers and have continued to be more negative than positive in the Trump era. And Americans think Trump is contributing to the problem. A Pew Research Center poll earlier this year showed 56% of Americans saying Trump has made race relations worse. Americans gave similarly poor assessments of the president’s impact on specific racial, ethnicContinue reading

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US 2020 Elections

Pennsylvania’s message was clear: The state was taking a big step to keep its elections from being hacked in 2020. Last April, its top election official told counties they had to update their systems. So far, nearly 60% have taken action, with $14.15 million of mostly federal funds helping counties buy brand-new electoral systems. But there’s a problem: Many of these new systems still run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers. An Associated Press analysis has found that like many counties in Pennsylvania, the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts. That’s significant because Windows 7 reaches its “end of life” on Jan. 14, meaning Microsoft stops providing technical support and producing “patches” to fix software vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit. In a statement to the AP, Microsoft said Friday it would offer continued Windows 7 security updates for a fee through 2023. Critics say the situation is an example of what happens when private companies ultimately determine the security level of election systems with a lack of federal requirements or oversight. Vendors say they have been making consistent improvements in election systems. And many state officials say they are wary of federal involvement in state and local elections. According to an analysis by The Associated Press, states are buying ‘new’ election systems that will soon be running outdated and unsupported software that makesContinue reading

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