Mainstream Media News

Nadler aide Daniel Schwartz told CNN that the congressman “is OK” and that he “seems to have been dehydrated and it was very warm in the room. He is now responsive and receiving a check-up.”

Nadler chairs the influential Judiciary Committee, which is currently conducting an investigation of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, businesses, transition and administration.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Source link

The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday filed suit on behalf of abortion clinics against the state of Alabama to block the most restrictive abortion law in the nation.

The near-total ban, signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on May 15, would criminalize abortion in almost all circumstances — including cases of rape and incest — and punish doctors with up to 99 years in prison. Without any challenges, the law was set to go into effect in as soon as six months.

The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, sets off a chain of events that both sides say is likely to lead to a years-long court battle. State lawmakers have said they passed the law specifically to bring the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, which they see as having the most antiabortion bench in decades. The bill was designed to challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by arguing that a fetus is a person and is therefore due full rights.

In the filing, Yashica Robinson, a doctor at the Alabama Women’s Center — one of four abortion providers in the state — argues that the law “directly conflicts with Roe and more than four decades of Supreme Court precedent affirming its central holding.”

Such a ban would inflict immediate and irreparable harm on patients “by violating their constitutional rights, threatening their health and well-being, and forcing them to continue their pregnancies to term against their will,” Robinson argued.

The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Planned Parenthood Southeast, Reproductive Health Services and West Alabama Women’s Center on behalf of themselves, their patients and physicians.

Over a dozen antiabortion bills are being pushed in other states, but none are as restrictive as Alabama’s.

The Alabama bill would allow a doctor to terminate a pregnancy only when the mother’s life is in danger or when the fetus has a “lethal anomaly,” defined in the bill as a condition “from which an unborn child would die after birth or shortly thereafter or be stillborn.”

On Friday, state Rep. Terri Collins, a Republican from Decatur who sponsored the bill, said that the lawsuit “is simply the first battle in what we hope will ultimately be a victorious effort to overturn Roe and protect unborn babies from harm.”

Eric Johnston, founder and president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition and who helped write the bill, denied that the law would lead to obstetricians being investigated or prosecuted for caring for a woman who is having a miscarriage, and that it would “absolutely not” affect in vitro fertilization, Plan B or emergency contraception.

“I had hours and hours of consultation with the lawyers from the medical association and the hospital association to be sure that the language was such so it would not endanger doctors doing normal medical practice,” Johnston said.

Last week in Montgomery, Republican lawmakers and antiabortion activists celebrated the Alabama vote as a victory for their movement and a step toward a national legal battle over abortion.

The bill passed easily after more than four hours of debate. The chamber’s small group of Democrats spoke passionately on the Senate floor, decrying a bill they said would force crime victims who suffer rapes and incest to give birth to babies that are the progeny of their attackers. They said the anticipated lawsuits over the bill would be a waste of taxpayer money when the state’s schools are the lowest performing in the country, and that the state should invest instead in education and health care for children that were already born.

The GOP-dominated Senate voted down an amendment that would have added exceptions for rape and incest — although four Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the amendment, some of whom had said they were having trouble with the idea of an absolute ban on abortion.

Chip Brownlee contributed to this report.

Read more:

Georgia governor signs ‘heartbeat bill,’ giving the state one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation

Trump touts new faith-based protections for health-care workers at National Day of Prayer ceremony

Could miscarriages land women in jail? Let’s clarify these Georgia and Alabama abortion bills.

Source link

Airman Tori Ash plays taps at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam Monday, May 28, 2018. (Greg Saulmon / The Republican)

What Memorial Day is really about

Flags mark the graves at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam as part of a past Memorial Day observance. (Mark M. Murray / The Republican file)

What Memorial Day is really about

Parcel services

From ‘Images of America Westfield’ Westfield GAR Civil War veterans, memorial Day 1922. From left to right are: ? Smith, unknown, ? Snow, unknow, Jim Noble, ? Beldon, unknown, unknown, ? Douglas, unknown, unknown, unknown, ? Bartlett, Charles Farnham, and George Miner. Harry Cowles is in the background on the right.

Parcel services

Banks

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James Warner, of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment places a flag at a headstone for “Flags In,” at Arlington National Cemetery, Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Banks

Source link

Photo: Paul Zimmerman (Getty Images for Happy Hearts Fund)

In a recently unearthed video, Tony Robbins, an allegedly world-renowned self-help guru, extolled the virtues of shouting out racial slurs in the pursuit of getting your mind free.

Basically, picture the worst kind of Kanye tweet, but 300 percent more ludicrous and 1,000 percent more Caucastic.

Now, I know what at least a third of you are thinking: Who the fuck is Tony Robbins?

Imagine a Sam’s Club Josh Brolin, but a jerky-fied version of him. Not jerk, mind you—that would actually be tasty and seasoned and useful—but really terrible jerky: weathered, stringy; the sustenance you get not really worth the effort of eating it.

Anyway, white people love taking advice from “charismatic” white men with strong jaws who tell them they can just Hulk-smash their pain away, so that’s what they’ve been doing—helping propel Robbins to the top of the self-help game during the 1980s and 1990s. He’s also made headlines this week, due to a recent BuzzFeed report detailing a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Here’s a more generous summation of Robbins’ work, from BuzzFeed:

At the core of Robbins’ teachings is the message that his followers should not see themselves as victims, and should instead view their pain as something they have the power to “destroy.” He claims to have revolutionized millions of lives with this philosophy, while building a multibillion-dollar business and working with celebrities from Donald Trump and Bill Clinton to Oprah and the Kardashians. Access to his most exclusive membership program has cost as much as $85,000 a year.

At any rate, this is where Robbins’ racial-slur laden anecdote, filmed sometime in the ’80s during a small-crowd presentation, comes in.

First obtained by BuzzFeed, the video shows Robbins recounting a talk he gave to a room full of “militant black” people, who allegedly challenged Robbins on why his talks were so full of “white examples.”

In Robbins’ own retelling, he started dropping the n-word all over the place to prove a point about mental freedom.

“As long as someone calls you a nigger and gets that kind of response I’ve seen right now, where you’re ready to explode, and what you’ve done is given that person absolute control of you,” Robbins said. “You have no control in your life, you are still a slave.”

“I’d like to have you be free, because I’m free and I’m white, so why don’t we pretend I’m going to get you free right now,” Robbins recalled telling the crowd, before leading them on a call-and-response exercise. “Trust me for a moment, pretend I’m black,” he told the room.

Robbins then launched into a chant and dance, singing “I’m a nigger, you’re a nigger, be a nigger too, oooh be a nigger” and beckoning the crowd to join in with him. In Robbins’ retelling, the audience gleefully did so.

The exercise went swimmingly, he recounted, with black and white members of the audience shouting racial slurs at each other without tension, apprehension, or good sense.

Voila, freedom.

Robbins doesn’t dispute the video. In a statement mailed to BuzzFeed reporter Katie Baker, Robbins’ legal team said: “the presentation was positive and was accepted in the context in which it was conducted: a passionate discussion about racism and how to rise above it.”

They even marshaled in the tried-and-true “BUT HE HAS BLACK FRIENDS” line, pointing out that one of Robbins’ longtime event partners is black.

On Thursday night, Robbins tweeted out a rebuttal to the accusations that he’s racist, sharing a clip of Lora King, Rodney King’s daughter, lauding one of his workshops as “life changing.”

“I did notice that some exercises could have been taken out of context by the media,” King said, adding that she had “always been a fan” of Robbins.

Hiding behind a black woman’s cosign when shit hits the fan—I suppose, if you’re Tony Robbins, that’s how you try to get yourself free.

Source link

A Democratic senator sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Thursday requesting information about why the company retains transcripts of conversations recorded by Amazon Echo devices, even after users have pressed “delete.”

Amazon’s voice-controlled operating system Alexa transcribes the conversations it picks up after users say a “wake word” — “Alexa,” “Echo,” “Amazon” or “computer” — or press a button to enable the Echo, according to a report by CNET. And the company saves those text files on its servers even after users opt to “delete” the audio files from the cloud, a CNET investigation revealed.

Sen. Christopher Coons, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a letter to Bezos that this “renders the option to delete the recording largely inconsequential.”

“For what purpose does Amazon use these transcripts?” Coons asked. 

The Democratic senator from Delaware has raised concerns about data collection by the Amazon Echo before.

Coons, along with then-Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., pressed Amazon on its privacy assurances in 2018, following a press report about a Portland family whose conversations were recorded and sent to a person in their contact list without their knowledge or consent. 

The company stated in its 2018 reply to the senators that the Echo does not stream audio to its servers “unless the wake word is detected or the action button is pressed.” It also said the company gives customers control of their voice recordings.

“Not only are customers able to see and play back the voice recordings associated with their account, customers can also delete those voice recordings one-by-one or all at once,” Amazon’s letter read.

The company did not mention the saved transcripts.

“Unfortunately, recent reporting suggests that Amazon’s customers may not have as much control over their privacy as Amazon had indicated,” Coons wrote in his letter Thursday.

An Amazon spokesman said the company is “reviewing the letter from the Senator” and working on ways to delete the transcripts entirely. 

“When a customer deletes a voice recording, we also delete the corresponding text transcript associated with their account from our main Alexa systems and many subsystems, and have work underway to delete it from remaining subsystems,” the spokesman said in a statement. 

Users can delete the audio files through the Alexa app and on its website.

Coons requested a response from the company by June 30.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.

Source link

YouTube

Ever since “Shape of You,” with its amorphous, vaguely tropical post-genre construction, Ed Sheeran has become the British answer to Drake — a talented artist and trendspotter who nabs radio play by forming his music into the waves of the moment. He’s the reply guy of pop music, for better or worse.

Fortunately, his latest attempt at radio conquest, “Cross Me,” is a good, if merely serviceable, G-funky song of the summer contender — a proposition that sounds a lot more thrilling than “Ed Sheeran goes full mainstream rap” would suggest. (Speaking of G-funk, YG’s also dropped a new album today.)

The hook relies on a sample of Philadelphia rapper PnB Rock’s 2017 XXL Freestyle, a delightfully melodic thing that, honestly, he’s done better on his own. The whole thing is produced by Fred Gibson, a bloke who has worked with BTS, Rita Ora and Brian Eno (!?). Even though Sheeran gets top billing here, Chance the Rapper is probably its real star, dropping by to deliver a verse at his most animated, rapping about kung fu and CrossFit in defense of the most important woman in his life.

It’s the second single from Ed Sheeran’s newly announced No. 6 Collaborations Project, which, if you follow Sheeran lore, is a sequel to an EP he made earlier in 2011 called No. 5 Collaborations Project which featured a fair bit of U.K. grime rappers, including Wiley. If that was a one-off of a then-folkie who knows his way around a good link-up, this latest project looks to be Sheeran coming for DJ Khaled‘s throne.

Source link

Demers added: “Julian Assange is no journalist. This is made plain by the totality of his conduct as alleged in the indictment — i.e., his conspiring with and assisting a security clearance holder to acquire classified information, and his publishing the names of human sources” (a reference to confidential informants relied on by U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials in foreign countries).

Source link

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has formally proposed to revise Obama-era civil rights for transgender people in the nation’s health care system, eliminating “gender identity” as a factor in health care and leaning government policy toward recognizing only characteristics of sex at birth.

The Department of Health and Human Services published its proposed regulation Friday, which eliminates a 2016 regulation inserted by the Obama administration that redefined discrimination “on the basis of sex” to include gender identity.

The Obama administration adopted the rule in question in 2016 to carry out a civil rights provision of the Affordable Care Act, known as Section 1557. That provision prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in “any health program or activity” that receives federal financial assistance. The 2016 rule further defined the term “gender identity” to mean a person’s “internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female, and which may be different from an individual’s sex assigned at birth.”

In December 2016, a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction, ruling that “Congress did not understand ‘sex’ to include ‘gender identity,’” and the Trump administration, rather than appealing, has said it will bring the civil rights provision of the Affordable Care Act into compliance.

“When Congress prohibited sex discrimination, it did so according to the plain meaning of the term, and we are making our regulations conform,” said Roger Severino, the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the department in a statement announcing the new rules on Friday.

“The American people want vigorous protection of civil rights and faithfulness to the text of the laws passed by their representatives. The proposed rule would accomplish both goals,” he said.

Transgender rights groups reacted with alarm.

“The Trump-Pence administration’s latest attack threatens to undermine crucial nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people provided for under the Affordable Care Act,” said David Stacy, director of government affairs for the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement. “The administration puts LGBTQ people at greater risk of being denied necessary and appropriate health care solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Last year, Mr. Severino pushed for a legal definition of sex Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance.

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was obtained by The New York Times. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

The department did not propose a definition a sex.

Source link

Anjali Kulkarni, a 55-year-old Indian mountain climber, trained for six years to make it to the top of Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world.

She finally reached Everest’s summit this week, fulfilling a longtime goal. It was coming back down that killed her.

Her son, Shantanu Kulkarni, told CNN that she died after getting stuck in a “traffic jam” on the mountain.

“She had to wait for a long time to reach the summit and descend,” Thupden Sherpa, who organized tours on the mountain, told Agence France-Presse. “She couldn’t move down on her own and died as Sherpa guides brought her down.”

Two other Indian hikers, Kalpana Das, 52, and Nihal Bagwan, 27, also died on Thursday. Keshav Paudel, who organized tours on the mountain, told AFP that Bagwan was “stuck in the traffic for more than 12 hours and was exhausted.”

She is one of at least seven people believed to died on the mountain this week, as a few days of clear weather attracted hundreds of climbers hoping to scale the 29,029 feet to Everest’s peak. This season, Nepal has issued 381 permits for hikers hoping to climb the mountain, AFP reported. They cost about $11,000 each, and hikers are accompanied by local guides.

A chilling photograph from the mountain shows a long line of mountaineers queuing to ascend a steep stretch of the route to the summit. The photo was shot by Nirmal Purja, an avid mountaineer, who wrote in an Instagram caption that he estimated there were 320 people in line.

Traffic jams create dangerous situations for hikers, who are often already exhausted and carrying heavy loads while battling altitude sickness, which can make people dizzy and nauseated.

Earlier this week, American Donald Lynn Cash, from Utah, died after falling sick, possibly from the high altitude. It was unclear what role, if any, the foot traffic jams had in his death.

Séamus Lawless, assistant professor of computer science at Trinity College, went missing on Everest last Thursday when he slipped and fell shortly near the summit. On Friday, Irish newspaper the Independent reported that a second Irish climber, Kevin Hynes, died on Friday.

A 65-year-old Austrian man is also among the dead. Last year, 807 people reached the mountain’s summit, more than had ever reached the top in a single year before.

Read more

Elderly Mexicans are visiting their undocumented children in the U.S. – with State Department approval

The farce of Britain’s European election

Brazil’s highest court votes to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT people

Source link

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]

The case of the mysterious disruptions in the New York City subway system, caused by someone pulling emergency brakes, may have been solved: a man was arrested on Friday and charged in one of the incidents.

The police are now looking into whether he committed dozens of other similar acts in recent months that have upended the lives of thousands of riders.

Isaiah Thompson, 23, of Brooklyn, was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing. Mr. Thompson was accused of riding on the back of a subway train on the No. 2 line on Tuesday in Manhattan and of activating the train’s brakes, the police said.

Mr. Thompson may have also been responsible for another incident on May 16, which involved riding outside a B train and exposing himself to passengers on the platform, the police said. He was also charged with public lewdness for the second incident.

Subway officials have said they believed the brake-pulling incident on Tuesday might have been tied to a broader pattern of mayhem in recent months in which one person — or possibly a group of people — had pulled the brakes on trains dozens of times, delaying hundreds of trains and affecting thousands of riders.

It was not immediately clear if the police believed Mr. Thompson was solely responsible for the dozens of brake pullings or were still searching for other culprits.

The public hunt for the subway brake puller began this week. After reports of cascading rush-hour delays on the 2 and 3 lines in Manhattan on Tuesday night, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that it was the work of a repeat offender.

There had been internal reports going back months noting that a man had gained access to the controller’s chair at the rear of a train and had pulled the emergency brake. The New York Police Department said the saboteur had pulled about 40 emergency brakes since February.

The subway’s leader, Andy Byford, called the behavior dangerous and the culprits “morons.”

“It’s stupid,” Mr. Byford said this week. “It’s dangerous. It’s selfish. And it’s got to stop.” He also said he wanted to ban the culprit from the subway.

Subway officials said the culprit was endangering subway riders, track workers and himself. Riders on stalled trains could have a medical emergency, and subway tracks are notoriously dangerous because of the third rail, a steel column that carries 600 volts of electricity. After pulling a brake, the saboteur would flee onto the tracks.

Source link