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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,639

Journal Archives

Obamas Protections for L.G.B.T. Workers Will Remain Under Trump

Source: NY Times

WASHINGTON — The White House said on Monday that President Trump would leave in place a 2014 Obama administration order that created new workplace protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

In a statement issued in response to growing questions about whether Mr. Trump would reverse the Obama order, the White House said the president was proud to embrace gay rights.

“President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement said. “The president is proud to have been the first ever G.O.P. nominee to mention the L.G.B.T.Q. community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”

The decision to keep the order, the statement added, was Mr. Trump’s. It uses stronger language than any Republican president has before in favor of equal legal protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, though that is not likely to quiet Mr. Trump’s critics on the left.

Read more: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/us/politics/obama-trump-protections-lgbt-workers.html

Isis destroys more of Palmyra including Roman amphitheatre, say Syrian authorities

Source: The Independent

Isis has inflicted more damage on the ancient Roman city of Palmyra in Syria, the Damascus government has said.

Satellite imagery analysed by an NGO dedicated to preserving Syria and Iraq's cultural heritage shows that the famous cubic-shaped Tetrapylon and part of the facade of the site's amphitheatre have been destroyed, probably with dynamite, during an attack on Wednesday.

New stone debris can been seen scatted across the amphitheatre's stage, as well as damage to the facade's backdrop, the Boston-based ASOR group said on Thursday. Two of the Tetrapylon's four columns and the majority of the structure's centre have been severely damaged, ASOR added.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-destroy-palmyria-central-syria-ancient-city-roman-amphitheatre-antiquities-islamic-state-a7536686.html

Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman extradited from Mexico to US

Source: BBC

Notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is being extradited to the US, the Mexican government confirmed on Thursday.
Mexican media reported he was at Ciudad Juarez airport

Mr Guzman is wanted in the US on charges of smuggling vast amounts of drugs into the country.

The leader of the Sinaloa cartel was facing two extradition requests - one from California and another from Texas, where he could face the death penalty.

A Mexican government source told Reuters he was being taken to New York.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-38686379

Le Pen Moves Into Lead in French Race, Le Monde Poll Shows

Source: Bloomberg

Marine Le Pen is gaining support in France and has taken the lead in a major survey of voters’ intentions for the first round of the presidential election.

The populist leader of the National Front had between 25 percent and 26 percent support compared with 23 percent to 25 percent for Republican candidate Francois Fillon, according to an Ipsos Sopra Steria poll for Cevipof and Le Monde. In mid December, Fillon led with about 28 percent and Le Pen around 25 percent.

Since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president on Nov. 8, the French race has been closely-watched as another crucial battle between populist and establishment forces. Under the French electoral system, the two leading candidates face each other in a run-off vote on May 7, presenting a significant hurdle to Le Pen. The poll didn’t include data for the second-round vote.

European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, a French Socialist, said in Davos Thursday that there’s little chance of Le Pen securing the broad support needed for victory.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-19/le-pen-moves-into-first-in-french-race-le-monde-poll-shows

IMF Boosts Growth Forecast for US, Cites Trump Impact

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund is raising its forecast for the U.S. economy this year and in 2018, reflecting an expected boost from the economic policies of President-elect Donald Trump.

The IMF also increased 2017 growth projections for a number of other countries including China, Germany, Japan and Britain, but warned that the global economy faced a number of downside risks including rising protectionist trade pressures.

The 189-nation global lending agency's latest economic outlook, released Monday, took note of the significant impact Trump's election has already had in giving a boost to U.S. stock prices, interest rates and the dollar. The new outlook puts U.S. economic growth at 2.3 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2018. That would be an improvement from lackluster U.S. growth around 1.6 percent in 2016.

Read more: https://mobile.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/01/16/us/politics/ap-us-world-economy-imf.html


Millennials earn 20% less than Boomers did at same stage of life

Source: USA Today

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) — Baby Boomers: your millennial children are worse off than you.

With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

The analysis being released Friday gives concrete details about a troubling generational divide that helps to explain much of the anxiety that defined the 2016 election. Millennials have half the net worth of boomers. Their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher.

The generational gap is a central dilemma for the incoming presidency of Donald Trump, who essentially pledged a return to the prosperity of post-World War II America. The analysis also hints at the issues of culture and identity that divided many voters, showing that white millennials — who still earn much more than their blacks and Latino peers — have seen their incomes plummet the most relative to boomers.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/13/millennials-falling-behind-boomer-parents/96530338/

High court questions why refunds arent automatic when a Colo. conviction is overturned

Source: Washington Post

Virtually everywhere in America, the Supreme Court was told Monday, a criminal defendant who has paid fines and other penalties as a consequence of being convicted gets the money back if the verdict is overturned.

The exception is Colorado, where a freed defendant must file suit and prove his innocence by clear and convincing evidence in order to request a refund.

But perhaps not for long.

Practically every member of the court who spoke at Monday’s oral argument seemed to find something to question about Colorado’s procedure, which a lawyer for two defendants said stood the normal burden of proof on its head.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/high-court-questions-why-refunds-arent-automatic-when-a-colo-conviction-is-overturned/2017/01/09/e4418c6c-d69f-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.0041e4fdec11

Smog Police: New Beijing Force Created To Tackle Air Pollution

Source: NPR

Beijing is launching a new police force aimed at tackling its persistent smog problem.

This comes after a month of particularly severe air quality that left the capital and dozens of other Chinese cities blanketed in thick, brown smog.

The city's acting mayor, Cai Qi, announced over the weekend that the new environmental police force will crack down on polluters such as "open-air barbeques, garbage incineration, biomass burning, [and] dust from roads," according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. He didn't offer any more specifics about the squad.

Cai also announced other measures to tackle the persistent problem, including closing the city's only coal-fired plant. In 2017, "coal consumption will be cut by 30 percent to less than 7 million tonnes" and "another 300,000 high-polluting old vehicles will be phased out," the news agency reports.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/09/508965737/smog-police-new-beijing-force-created-to-tackle-air-pollution

Axelrod warns Democrats against obstructionism under Trump

Source: Chicago Tribune

President Barack Obama's longtime political strategist David Axelrod took an oratorical stroll down White House memory lane Monday in a Chicago speech the day before the president's farewell address at McCormick Place.

The veteran Democratic operative also used the opportunity to offer his analysis of the incoming administration of Republican President-elect Donald Trump and the lack of bipartisan cooperation in Washington.

In a question-and-answer session following a City Club of Chicago address, Axelrod said Trump's lack of true political philosophy has created a vacuum that congressional Republicans appear poised to fill by pushing their top issues.

"I think that what Republicans have figured out is that there are not a lot of philosophical things that this new president cares about," Axelrod said as some in the audience laughed. "He's not sitting there mulling over his multiplicity of ideas about how to improve the country. So, they see in the absence of that to pass stuff they want to pass, a very deep tax cut, deregulation, the Obamacare repeal."

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-david-axelrod-city-club-met-0110-20170109-story.html

A 5,000 sq km glacier is about to break off Antarctica

Source: Wired

An iceberg estimated to be 5,000 sq km in size is about to break free from Antarctica after a deep rift rapidly developed last month.

A team of researchers from the universities of Swansea and Aberystwyth has been closely watching and investigating the 350 metre-thick Larsen C ice shelf in West Antarctica as part of Project MIDAS, using imagery from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 radar satellite, data gathered on-site and computer simulations. The team issued a statement to its website over the weekend, warning of the impending break: “After a few months of steady, incremental advance since the last event, the rift grew suddenly by a further 18km during the second half of December 2016. Only a final 20km of ice now connects an iceberg one quarter the size of Wales to its parent ice shelf.”

Footage captured by Nasa’s IceBridge mission in December showed a 70-mile-long, 300-foot-wide rift in Larsen C that cut to the base of the ice shelf. When the glacier inevitably breaks away from Larsen C as is expected, the shelf will lose an estimated 10 per cent of its mass - forming a glacier around a quarter the size of Wales. “This event will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula,” write the Project MIDAS researchers. “We have previously shown that the new configuration will be less stable than it was prior to the rift, and that Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbour Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event.”

Read more: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/a-5000-sq-km-glacier-is-about-to-break-off-antarctica
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