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13-year-old boy with autism missing in Madison Heights after school found - WXYZ

Berkley Information from Google News - 57 min 44 sec ago


WXYZ

13-year-old boy with autism missing in Madison Heights after school found
WXYZ
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) - There were tears and smiles outside the MicroCenter store in Madison Heights Tuesday night. That's because 13-year-old Anthony McClain was reunited with his family at the store parking lot after missing for more than ...
Autistic boy missing after being dropped...WDIV Detroit
Found: Missing Teen Last Seen Getting Off Bus In Madison HeightsCBS Detroit

all 3 news articles »

Categories: Berkley Area News

Stephen King Has A 'Gentle' Message For Trump Voters

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 2 min ago


Author Stephen King has a message for people who voted for President Donald Trump and still support him.



I say this gently and kindly: If you voted for Trump and still think he's doing a good job, you haven't been paying attention.

— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 26, 2017


The horror master is likely referencing recent polls that showed Trump voters weren’t having any second thoughts about their pick for president. A Washington Post/ABC News poll found only 2 percent had any regrets.


At the same time, Trump approaches his 100-day mark as president with a record-low approval rating overall and a fairly meager list of accomplishments.  


King has long been critical of Trump. In March, he mocked the president’s unproven wiretapping claims in a series of tweets. And last year, prior to the election, King shared this: 



My newest horror story: Once upon a time there was a man named Donald Trump, and he ran for president. Some people wanted him to win.

— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 21, 2016

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

'Donald Trump' Gets Trevor Noah To Admit The 'Daily Show' Is Fake News

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 37 min ago




Trevor Noah completely trashed Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office on Monday, so when the “Daily Show” host went after Trump again on Tuesday ― this time targeting his ever-changing plans for a border wall ― the “president” decided to talk to Noah himself.


“I don’t know why Trump and his people don’t just lose the whole wall idea,” Noah said. “Just admit that the whole thing is ridiculous and move on. At the end of 100 days the president should be talking about his legislation not his stupid wall.”


That’s when President Trump, as portrayed by comedy writer Anthony Atamanuik, interrupted the show. POTUS’ arrival elicited both cheers and moans from the crowd, and Trump was as pompous and orange as ever.





Trump confronted Noah for saying “some very not nice things about me,” before hurling his signature insult at the late-night TV host.


“This isn’t just a show,” he said. “This is fake news.”


Noah’s rebuttal was simple: “Yeah, but that’s the point. We’re a comedy show, Mr. President.”


Atamanuik’s appearance as Trump sets the stage for Comedy Central’s upcoming late-night series “The President Show,” which makes its debut Thursday night. The new show gives the “president” a chance to unpack the day’s news headlines and stand up for himself as a late-night host ― while all the other late-night shows tear him down. 


Prepare yourself for Trump’s induction into the world of late night by watching Noah face off with POTUS in the clip above.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Stephen Colbert Mocks The Soap Opera That Is Sean Spicer's Press Briefings

Huffington Post News - 4 hours 7 sec ago




Life is just an endless soap opera episode for White House press secretary Sean Spicer. At least that’s how President Donald Trump reportedly imagines it.


According to the Washington Post, Trump won’t fire Spicer because he “gets great ratings” and likened the press secretary’s daily news briefings to “a daytime soap opera,” an analogy that intrigued Stephen Colbert. 


On Tuesday night, the “Late Show” host presented viewers with scenes from “The Bold and the Babbling,” which interspersed moments from Spicer’s press briefings with soap stars delivering some seriously high drama. 


Check out the video above.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Cranbrook graduates have big ideas for annual student show - Detroit Metro Times

Berkley Information from Google News - 4 hours 32 min ago


Detroit Metro Times

Cranbrook graduates have big ideas for annual student show
Detroit Metro Times
Lee DeVito; Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate student Philip Košćak installs a sculpture for the annual student exhibition. Fundamentally, metro Detroit's two most prominent art schools — the College for Creative Studies and the Cranbrook Academy of ...

Categories: Berkley Area News

New Version Of Obamacare Repeal Would Gut Pre-Existing Condition Guarantee

Huffington Post News - 4 hours 53 min ago



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Apparently yanking away the funds that allow millions of people to get health insurance isn’t enough for some House Republicans.


Now they also want to gut the Affordable Care Act’s protection for people with pre-existing conditions.


Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) on Tuesday formally unveiled an amendment to the American Health Care Act, the bill to repeal Obamacare that Republicans tried to get through the House last month. The amendment, which HuffPost’s Matt Fuller first reported last week, is the product of negotiations among key Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence.


A main goal of the proposal is to win over conservative House members who last month opposed the GOP repeal bill because, in their view, it still left too much of the 2010 health care law in place. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-S.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, helped to craft the amendment. And although he has not yet declared support for it publicly, a few other conservatives have signaled they may be ready to switch from no to yes.


It’s easy enough to see why. If enacted, it would allow states to re-create the conditions that existed before the Affordable Care Act took effect ― a time when insurance premiums were cheaper, chiefly because insurers didn’t have to pay the big medical bills of people with serious conditions.


At the same time, the new proposal leaves intact most of the initial bill’s big financial changes. Those include shifting the law’s health insurance subsidies, which would offer less help to poor people, and dramatically cutting funds for Medicaid, which would free up money for tax cuts for the wealthy.


But conservative dissension wasn’t the only obstacle to passage last time around.


Moderate Republicans also objected to the bill, citing, among other things, the huge loss of insurance coverage it would cause. The Congressional Budget Office predicted that the number of uninsured Americans would climb by 24 million if the law took effect ― partly because people would lose financial assistance they need to pay for health insurance, and partly because people depending on Medicaid would no longer be eligible for it.


Instead of addressing those concerns ― say, by pulling back on the huge Medicaid cut ― this proposal seems to make repeal even less palatable to moderates. By gutting the protection for people with pre-existing conditions, the proposal attacks a feature of the health care law that has been wildly popular, even with Republicans. It also violates a key promise that virtually every Republican, including President Donald Trump, has made repeatedly.


How The Proposal Guts Pre-Existing Condition Protections

The measure’s supporters insist that their proposal would not harm people with serious medical problems. In fact, a clause states explicitly: “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health insurance issuers to limit access to health coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions.”


But that is exactly what it would do.


By now, most people know that the Affordable Care Act protects people with pre-existing conditions. But not everybody realizes that the law accomplishes this through several mechanisms that interact.


The law doesn’t simply prohibit insurers from denying coverage outright to people with medical problems, it also prohibits insurers from charging those people more ― or from selling policies that skimp on or leave out key benefits, rendering insurance useless to people who depend on those benefits.


Under the new proposal, insurers still couldn’t reject people who have pre-existing conditions. But states could allow insurers to charge those people higher premiums ― and to sell policies without Obamacare’s essential benefits.



This approach provides access to people with pre-existing conditions in theory but not in practice.
Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation


Conservatives have long objected to these features of the Affordable Care Act, because they drive up premiums for younger and healthier people. What conservatives fail to mention is that, without these provisions, people with medical problems end up paying a great deal more for their health care, because they face much higher premiums or can’t find policies to cover their medical needs. Ultimately, many end up with no insurance at all.


A recent analysis by researchers at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress examined the likely effects of such a proposal on premiums for people with medical conditions. For conditions like asthma or diabetes without complications, the researchers predicted, insurers would seek premiums more than twice as high as the standard rates. For people with metastatic cancer, the researchers concluded, insurers would ask for premiums 35 times higher than usual ― pushing premiums well beyond $100,000 a year. Needless to say, that’s more than virtually anybody could or would pay for insurance.


“This approach provides access to people with pre-existing conditions in theory but not in practice, since they’d be charged astronomical premiums if states allow it,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, said Tuesday evening.


The proposal comes with plenty of caveats, like requiring states to seek waivers from the Department of Health and Human Services before eliminating those rules on insurance. These protections don’t appear to mean a whole lot, however, because the conditions for getting the waivers are broad and easy to satisfy.


“Essentially, any state that wanted a waiver would get one,” Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University, wrote in a blog posted Tuesday evening for the journal Health Affairs. And even states that wanted to keep the existing consumer protections in place could be under enormous pressure from insurers to change them.


Defenders of the Republican proposal are likely to insist, as they always do, that so-called high-risk pools can take of people with pre-existing conditions. But few experts familiar with the history of health policy take this vow seriously because such high-risk pools existed before and rarely worked well.


And, of course, the high-risk pools wouldn’t do much good for the millions who now depend on either Obamacare’s financial assistance or its expansions of Medicaid for coverage ― and would lose it once the money for those programs was taken away from them.


Curiously, the bill would leave the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections in place for members of Congress and their staffs, as Sarah Kliff of Vox reported.


It’s Hard To Know How Serious This Is

Exactly how House Republicans will react to this proposal remains to be seen. In the last few weeks, moderates within the GOP caucus have become, if anything, more outspoken about their determination to keep some of the law’s consumer protections in place. And House leadership has been relatively quiet about the negotiations, which have apparently been driven by the White House.


Meanwhile, polling has detected a clear shift in public opinion away from repeal. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that came out Tuesday, 61 percent of Americans said they prefer Congress “keep and try to improve” the 2010 health care law, while 37 percent say they want Congress to “repeal and replace it.”


The same poll found that 70 percent of Americans favor requiring all states to prohibit higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions, while 62 percent favor requiring all states to make plans cover essential benefits including “preventive services, maternity and pediatric care, hospitalization and prescription drugs.”


In other words, strong majorities oppose both of the key provisions in this new plan. That doesn’t mean it can’t pass. But it means that Republicans voting for it would be risking a pretty big political backlash ― while making insurance less accessible for some of the people who need it most.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Pope Francis Calls For 'Revolution Of Tenderness' In Surprise TED Talk

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 11:54pm




Pope Francis delivered a stern warning to the world’s powerful, saying they need to be more humble or face ruin, and he called on the masses to join him in a “revolution of tenderness.” 


In a surprise appearance via video at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, Canada, on Tuesday evening, the pontiff said that tenderness is “the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women.”



“Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility. Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.”



The Washington Post reports that Bruno Giussani, TED’s international curator, spent a year trying to snag the pope for a talk. The newspaper reports that when the pontiff appeared on screen, “the room erupted in applause.” 


He spoke in Italian, with the comments translated in subtitles, from Vatican City. 


Francis spoke of being from a family of migrants, urged more “equality and social inclusion” in science, decried the “culture of waste” and called on people to listen to the “silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted earth.”


He also said we all have the capacity to “react against evil.” 


“Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.” 


But the pope’s unifying message for a conference themed “The Future You” was one of a revolution of tenderness ... a revolution, he said, that begins with hope.


“A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And then there will be another ‘you,’ and another ‘you,’ and it turns into an ‘us.’ And so, does hope begin when we have an ‘us’? No. Hope began with one ‘you.’ When there is an ‘us,’ there begins a revolution.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

White House: Trump's Trade Call With Trudeau 'Amicable.' Canada: Not So Much.

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 11:48pm



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Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump spoke on Tuesday amid increased trade tensions, but summaries of both sides of the conversation could make one wonder if the two world leaders were on the same phone call. 


Earlier this week, the U.S. announced that it would impose a tariff of about 20 percent on softwood lumber imported from Canada, a move Trump characterized as his “tough on trade” presidential style.



Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017


“We don’t want to be taken advantage of by other countries, and that’s stopping and that’s stopping fast,” Trump said Monday before signing an executive order on an agriculture task force. 


On Tuesday, Trudeau and Trump spoke on the phone about the lumber disagreement as well as complaints over dairy trade. Trudeau’s office released a 213-word statement after the call, saying the prime minister “refuted baseless claims” about Canada’s softwood lumber industry and rejected the decision to impose “unfair duties.”


The White House described the call as “amicable.”


A side-by-side comparison of the drastically different summaries made the rounds on Twitter. 



Left: Prime Minister's office readout of Trudeau's phone call with Trump

Right: White House readout of the very same call

Um… pic.twitter.com/asAxPMGhMp

— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 26, 2017



ME: The date went well, I think

YOU: He set fire to the table and then disappeared with my doghttps://t.co/n4Anrz1wmB

— Mark Berman (@markberman) April 26, 2017


According to the Canadian Press, disputes over lumber pricing between the two countries typically come up once every 10 years and usually result in negotiated settlements.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Fox News Anchor Among Group Alleging Racial Discrimination In Class-Action Suit

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 11:14pm



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A group of 11 current and former Fox News employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the television network on Tuesday, claiming years of “abhorrent, intolerable” racial discrimination.


The suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx, amends an earlier complaint filed in March by two women who, at the time, cited “top-down racial harassment,” The New York Times notes. The suit now includes Kelly Wright, who is co-anchor of “America’s News Headquarters” on Fox News, and eight others. It specifically targets the company’s lawyer, Dianne Brandi, and then-comptroller Judith Slater, and cites the behavior of former network superstar Bill O’Reilly.


“The only consistency at Fox is the abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination ... more akin to plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment,” the suit reads.


The complaint says O’Reilly refused to allow Wright to discuss growing racial tension in the U.S. on “The O’Reilly Factor,” instead saying the host should call up network executives and “offer to sing the national anthem at the Fox News Town Halls.”


“Despite his outstanding performance, and because he is black, Mr. Wright has been effectively sidelined and asked to perform the role of a ‘Jim Crow’ ― the racist caricature of a black entertainer,” the suit continues. “Rather than viewing Mr. Wright as the two time Emmy Award recipient that he is, O’Reilly saw Mr. Wright as an entertainer and utility player.”


In a statement, a Fox News spokesperson rejected the allegations in the complaint, saying the network would “vigorously defend these cases.”


“Fox News and Dianne Brandi vehemently deny the race discrimination claims in both lawsuits. They are copycat complaints of the original one filed last month,” the spokesperson said in an email.


The amended complaint also says that Slater, Fox News’ comptroller, mocked and berated employees over their pronunciation of certain words, such as “mother,” “father” and “month.” When employees tried to address the behavior with company lawyers, the suit says, they were told “nothing could be done because Slater knew too much about senior executives.”


Lawyers for Slater told the Times that the lawsuit was “meritless and frivolous” and that claims against her were “completely false.”


Fox News has faced a litany of legal action over the past year, including a lawsuit by former host Gretchen Carlson that led to the ouster of Chairman Roger Ailes. A separate complaint was filed against the former executive this month by a current Fox contributor, Julie Roginsky, who accused Ailes of harassing her and the network of retaliating against her for rebuffing him.


Similar complaints led to the shocking downfall of O’Reilly earlier this month, prompting the network to make stark changes to its lineup. Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of parent company 21st Century Fox, sent a memo to Fox News employees this week addressing the turmoil:


“I know the last few weeks have been tough for everyone here, but our passion for news and commitment to our viewers continue to lead us through. Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Canada And The U.S. Face Off As Trade War Heats Up

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 9:41pm



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OTTAWA, April 25 (Reuters) - The United States and Canada faced off on Tuesday in a renewed battle over softwood lumber that threatened to spill over into multiple other sectors, though President Donald Trump said he did not fear a trade war.


Canada vowed to resist Washington’s move on Monday to impose tariffs on lumber that mostly feeds U.S. homebuilding, noting trade authorities have consistently sided with Ottawa in the long-standing dispute.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Trump on Tuesday to reject “the baseless allegations” against Canada’s industry and the “unfair decision” to impose tariffs, said a statement from Trudeau’s office.


“The Prime Minister stressed the government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry,” said the statement, which nevertheless added both men agreed that a negotiated settlement was important.


The heated rhetoric came amid fresh attacks from the U.S. president against Canada’s dairy industry, and just two months after the two leaders held a warm meeting where Trump said the bilateral trade relationship only needed “tweaking.”


“People don’t realize Canada’s been very rough on the United States ... They’ve outsmarted our politicians for years,” Trump said during a meeting with agricultural leaders.


“We don’t want to be taken advantage of by other countries, and that’s stopping and that’s stopping fast,” he added.


Washington said Monday it will impose preliminary anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, a move that affects some $5.66 billion worth of imports.


The affected Canadian firms are West Fraser Timber Co Ltd , Canfor Corp, Conifex Timber Inc, Western Forest Products Inc, Interfor Corp and Resolute FP Canada Ltd.


Shares in Canadian lumber companies rose as the level of the new tariffs came in at the low end of what investors were expecting. Canada’s main stock index notched a two-month high.


The two countries found themselves on a collision course over lumber ― a subject that has irritated bilateral relations for decades ― after a previous agreement had expired.


In a telephone call earlier in the day with the premiers of Canada’s 10 provinces, Trudeau said Ottawa would use litigation to press its case, a separate statement from his office said.


Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said Canada was mulling options such as a World Trade Organization or NAFTA challenge, and would help companies and workers who lose their jobs because of the tariff.


POINTING AT NAFTA


The tensions, which follow comments by Trump about Canada’s “unfair” dairy system, sent the Canadian dollar to a 14-month low as investors braced for tense negotiations with Canada’s largest market.


U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday called Canada a close ally, but said that did not mean Canadians do not have to play by the rules. Ross said that while no immediate further actions were being contemplated, the disputes point to the need to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement sooner rather than later.


Canada’s Carr rejected any suggestion that Canada was not playing by the rules.


“Independent trade panels have repeatedly found these (U.S. lumber) claims to be baseless. We have prevailed in the past, and we will do so again,” he told a news conference.


The two countries and Mexico are preparing to renegotiate the 23-year-old NAFTA.


Canada’s share of the U.S. lumber market has ranged from 26 percent to 31.5 percent since 2006, when the countries signed an agreement, down from 34 percent, before that, said Duncan Davies of lumber producer Interfor Corp.


“For us, (U.S. tariffs are) a negative effect on our Canadian business, but the real loser in all of this is the U.S. homebuilder and U.S. consumer ... That’s why we think this is such a misguided effort,” Davies said.


A U.S. homebuilder group called the ruling “shortsighted.”


Canadian Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, in China to boost sales of softwood lumber, said there had never been a better time to diversify exports.


“There is enormous potential,” he said from Beijing, citing heavy Chinese demand.


(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr in Ottawa, Alastair Sharp and Fergal Smith in Toronto, Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Allison Lampert in Montreal and Eric Walsh in Washington; Writing by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Sandra Maler)

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Fired Surgeon General Leaves Behind A Mixed Record On Gun Violence

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 9:15pm



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President Donald Trump’s administration relieved Vivek Murthy of his surgeon general post Friday, cutting his four-year term in half. However, it’s not Murthy’s firing but his silence on gun violence that may tarnish his legacy. 


In an April 21 Facebook post about his departure, Murthy highlighted his report on alcohol, drugs and health, as well as the millions of letters he mailed to doctors imploring them to join him in fighting the opioid crisis, as among his accomplishments. 


“While I had hoped to do more to help our nation tackle its biggest health challenges, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have served,” Murthy wrote. “Thank you, America, for the privilege of a lifetime.”


While Murthy will be remembered for shining a light on addiction in America, the way his predecessors highlighted AIDS and smoking as public health problems, he’ll also be remembered for his views on guns, which nearly kept him from being confirmed as surgeon general.


As co-founder of Doctors for America, initially named Doctors for Obama, Murthy had been outspoken about addressing gun violence as a public health problem. (His wife, Dr. Alice Chen, whom he married in 2015, is executive director of Doctors for America and a vocal advocate for gun violence research.) 


After his 2013 nomination by President Barack Obama, Murthy quickly found himself in the crosshairs of the National Rifle Association, and his confirmation took a year. Tweets like the one below from 2012 likely contributed to the impression that he would advocate for gun control. 



Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they're scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue. #debatehealth

— Vivek Murthy (@vivek_murthy) October 17, 2012


The NRA, in its effort to block Murthy, lobbied Senate leaders, alerting them to his views on ammunition limits, gun buyback programs and federally funded gun violence research.  


“Murthy’s record of political activism in support of radical gun control measures raises significant concerns about the likelihood he would use the office of Surgeon General to further his preexisting campaign against gun ownership,” the NRA wrote on its website in 2014.


Murthy’s silence creates mixed legacy on gun violence   

In December 2014, Murthy gained confirmation after promising senators he wouldn’t advocate for gun control as surgeon general. 


“I do not intend to use my office as surgeon general as a bully pulpit on gun control,” he said. 


True to his word, Murthy rarely mentioned firearms or gun violence during his time as surgeon general.


“He has been rather mum on the issue, as has everybody in his administration,” Dr. Sandro Galea, an epidemiologist and a dean at the Boston University School of Public Health, told HuffPost. 


Dr. Mark Rosenberg, the former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, sees that as a missed opportunity. 


“He was a person who was brilliant,” Rosenberg told HuffPost. “He knew about the public health approach. He knew about the cost, the consequences and prevention of gun violence. And yet he made a deal to be silent about this.


“Someone that we needed more than ever made a deal to be silent. I think that was a huge mistake.”


Why calling gun violence a public health problem is controversial 

Referring to gun violence as a public health concern, rather than solely a criminal justice issue, is controversial in Congress. In public health circles, it’s common sense.


“The statements I’ve made in the past about gun violence being a public health issue, I stand by those comments because they’re a fact,” Murthy told The Washington Post in 2015.


“They’re a fact that nearly every medical professional who’s ever cared for a patient can attest to.” 


More than 30,000 Americans die by firearms every year, according to the CDC. That puts doctors who treat gun-related injuries on the front lines of an issue that lacks comprehensive research and data.


And although suicides make up the bulk of these deaths, gun homicides are a significant problem in the United States and far outstrip the gun violence levels in other developed nations.


The NRA spent more than $36 million toward electing Trump and Republican Congress members during the 2016 election, more money than on any election in history, according to The Trace. Trump is scheduled to speak at the NRA’s leadership forum on April 28, making him the first president in 34 years to do so.


Trump has yet to nominate a replacement for Murthy, whose deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, is now acting surgeon general.


It’s not unprecedented for an incoming administration to appoint a surgeon general whose views line up with its own. In 1961, Dr. Leroy E. Burney stepped down to allow the Kennedy administration to nominate a surgeon general. (Burney had served a full four-year term.)    


It remains to be seen whether Murthy will address gun violence now that he’s no longer surgeon general.


“I got into some trouble for saying gun violence is a public health issue,” Murthy told Stat last year. “I was stating what I think is the obvious, and I think most people in the country understand, which is that far too many people die from gun violence. And in my book, every single death from gun violence is a tragedy because it was preventable.”


This reporting is brought to you by HuffPost’s health and science platform, The Scope. Like us on Facebook and Twitter and tell us your story: scopestories@huffingtonpost.com

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Children In Poorest Neighborhoods Most Vulnerable To Fatal Child Abuse

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 8:20pm



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(Reuters Health) - Children in America’s poorest communities have three times the risk of dying from child abuse before age 5 as children in the wealthiest neighborhoods, a new study finds.


“We think our study should inform public health leaders and local clinicians to be aware that children living in high-poverty communities are really a vulnerable group at increased risk of death due to child abuse,” lead author Dr. Caitlin Farrell, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, said in a phone interview.


Farrell and her team analyzed death certificates for young children and U.S. Census poverty data from 1999 through 2014. For children ages 4 and under, counties with the highest concentrations of poverty had more than triple the rate of child-abuse fatalities compared to counties with the lowest concentrations of poverty, the study reported in Pediatrics found.


Nearly 10 out of every 100,000 children died as a result of child abuse in the most impoverished counties, the study found.


African-American children were the most vulnerable regardless of where they lived.


Among every 100,000 young children, eight African-Americans died from assault, shaken-baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, suffocation, strangulation or another form of child abuse, compared to three white children, the study found.


The fatality rate for African-American children in the richest counties was higher than the fatality rate for white children in the poorest.


Farrell can’t explain why African-American infants and toddlers were most at risk of dying from abuse. She called for more research and for the development of policies and plans aimed specifically at protecting poor children and African-American children.


During the 15 years covered by the study, 11,149 children died of child abuse before turning 5 years old. Children under the age of 3 comprised the vast majority, or 71 percent, of the deaths, the authors wrote.


African-American children represented a disproportionate 37 percent of the nationwide child-abuse deaths.


“We hope our study can serve as a catalyst for researchers to further explore the complex relationship between community poverty and child abuse,” Farrell said. “Ultimately, this information is needed for policymakers, public health officials and clinicians to enact effective prevention strategies.”


In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Robert Block said the study’s findings should come as no surprise.


“What may be surprising is that although this fact is both intuitive and now statistically proven, given the significant percentage of children living in poverty, the United States has yet to develop a comprehensive plan to address the issue,” he wrote. Block, who was not involved with the study, is a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and emeritus professor at the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa University School of Community Medicine in Tulsa.


Poverty-related factors - such as food insecurity, unemployment and living in unsafe neighborhoods with a high prevalence of gun violence - can lead to frustrations and consequent stressors that can lead to child abuse, Block wrote.


Parenting education could help, as could educating community leaders to address the challenges of poverty in an effort to reduce frustration, drug addiction, family violence and other stresses, he wrote.


“To change the influence of poverty and race on the incidence of child-abuse deaths will not be easy,” Block said in an email. “Early identification of troubled parents as part of comprehensive pediatric evaluations might be a beginning.”


Farrell also called for more preventive measures during children’s wellness checks in pediatric clinics.


One limitation of the study is that it could not tease out pockets of poverty within affluent counties or pockets of wealth within poor counties. The study also could not detect possible bias on the part of the medical examiner in determining the cause of death.


 


SOURCE: bit.ly/2pYx9Bf and bit.ly/2pYLQnL Pediatrics, online April 24, 2017.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Autistic boy missing after being dropped... - WDIV Detroit

Berkley Information from Google News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 7:20pm


WDIV Detroit

Autistic boy missing after being dropped...
WDIV Detroit
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. - Police are searching for a missing 14-year-old autistic boy who was dropped off around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at a bus stop in Madison Heights and didn't return home. Police said Anthony McClain is autistic, but "high functioning.
13-year-old boy with autism missing in Madison Heights after school foundWXYZ

all 2 news articles »

Categories: Berkley Area News

War Hero Senator Challenges Donald Trump With Patriotic Speech

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 7:15pm




Many Americans have challenged President Donald Trump’s bleak vision of the country.


But few have the credibility of Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran who lost her legs in 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit her helicopter.


Duckworth delivered her first speech from the Senate floor Tuesday, offering a nuanced but ultimately optimistic perspective on the United States’ past, present and future. 


Although Duckworth never once mentioned Trump’s name, her remarks were a clear rebuke to the president and his nativist, “America first” view. It also criticizes Republican indifference to health care coverage and the GOP’s uneven record on civil rights.


Here is a key passage:



“America’s greatness has never depended on the strength of any individual person, but on all of us, working together towards a common goal. But when we’ve failed to stay true to our core values ― when we deny another person our nation’s promise of opportunity ― our national strength suffers.


“When a child can’t access the tools to succeed in school, when a woman can’t afford basic health care, when refugees fleeing terror see the door slammed in their face, when we deny civil rights on the basis of skin color or sexual orientation or religion, and when a working family can’t put food on the table, our whole nation suffers.”



Watch the whole speech above.



Contrast that with a key passage from Trump’s inaugural address:



From this moment on, it’s going to be America first.


Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.


We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.



Where Trump sees newcomers and interaction with the world almost exclusively as threats to U.S. prosperity, Duckworth sees them as assets ― and views cutting them as the real threats to the fabric of the country.


Duckworth was elected to the Senate in November, defeating Republican Mark Kirk, 54 to 40 percent. She had served two terms as the congresswoman for Illinois’s 8th District, which includes Chicago’s northwestern suburbs.


Her victory returned an Illinois Senate seat to the Democrats that had once been held by former President Barack Obama.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Press Briefing by Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke on the Executive Order to Review the Designations Under the Antiquities Act

News from the White House - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 7:02pm

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room 


5:11 P.M. EDT


MS. WALTERS:  Hello, everyone.  As you guys knows, we're going to go through an EO for tomorrow.  The speaker this evening is Secretary Zinke.  This is embargoed until 9:00 p.m.  It is on the record, so everything discussed here will be on the record.  The embargo is until 9:00 p.m. tonight.

Again, this falls underneath Kelly's issue area, so if you have any additional follow-up questions, please reach out to Kelly Love.  For those of you on the phone, there will be a handout during this session, so if you would like the handout please email Kelly as well, and we will get it to you.

With that, I'll turn it over.

SECRETARY ZINKE:  So I'll read this and then I'll answer some questions.  Tomorrow, the President will come to the Department of Interior, to my office, and sign the executive order to review the Antiquities Act.  The executive order will direct me, as the Secretary, to review prior monument designations and to suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monuments.  The monument designation period stretches from 1 January 1996 under which the act -- and it has to include acts and monuments that are 100,000 acres or more -- so the beginning date is January 1st, 1996, and the other condition is they have to be a total of 100,000 acres or more.  That should include about 24 to 40 monuments.  That gives you kind of a thumbnail.  

The executive order directs the Interior to provide an interim report to the President within 45 days of the day of the order and a final report to the President within 120 days of that order.  

For the record, in the last 20 years, in particular, that would cover about, oh, tens of millions of acres to include marine area sanctuaries.  Some of these areas were put off limits for traditional uses, like farming, ranching, timber harvest, mining, oil and gas exploration, fishing, and motorized recreation.  

The designations on kind of the bookends are the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument of 1996.  And that was the first BLM land designation, all the way to really the Bears Ears National Monument in 2016, which has been in the news a lot.  So those are the kind of two bookends.  Again, it's monuments that are 100,000 acres or larger, so it hits the big ones.

The President's -- the authority on such matters is singular, so you know.  There's no requirement for public input before the designation of a monument and there's no NEPA requirement.  Normally, when you do a land use project, we normally NEPA.  The Antiquities Act is the exception.  Again, we don’t have to go through legislative process; the President determines it, and it does not have to go through NEPA.

In this case, the administration, as you all know, has heard from members of Congress and states and, in some cases, the designation of the monuments may have resulted in loss of jobs, reduced wages and reduced public access.  And in the case of sign public land use, we feel that the public, the people that the monuments affect, should be considered.  And that's why the President is asking for a review of the monuments designated in the last 20 years to see what changes, if any, improvements can be made, and give states and local communities a meaningful voice in the process.

And I can tell you, from a kid who grew up in Montana, or grew up in the West, where much-needed monuments have taken place, I think today's executive order and review of the Antiquities Act over the past two decades is long overdue.  

And the policy is consistent with the President’s promise to give Americans a voice and make sure their voices are heard.  Like many of the actions he’s taken since assuming the role of the President, the office, this is yet another example the President is doing exactly what he was saying in his campaign promises, and he’s delivering.

The President believes, like I do, that many of the neighbors in the Western states of the federal government can be a good neighbor.  We can protect areas of cultural and economic importance, and they can use the federal lands for economic development when appropriate, just as Teddy Roosevelt envisioned it.  I am a lifetime supporter and admirer of Teddy Roosevelt’s policies, and the President is the same.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 -- and that was under President Roosevelt -- it did give the President the authority to declare historic monuments, landmarks, prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic and scientific interest on federal lands.  Also in the Antiquities Act, authors specified the scope of the authority to “designate the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”  That’s verbiage from the act itself.

So with the average size of the monument’s designations over the past years has increased.  I think that should be worthy of notice.  Since the 1990s, when the act was first used, the average size of the national monuments came from 422 acres to, today, in the millions of acres.  

So here’s what the executive order does in summary.  It restores the trust between local communities in Washington that the local communities and states will have a voice -- those states that are affected, and local communities.  The executive order puts America and the Department of Interior back on track to manage our federal lands in accordance with traditional multiple use, as laid out by Pinchot and the President, and directs the Department of Interior to make recommendations to the President on whether a monument should be rescinded, resized, modified in order to better manage our federal lands.  And this executive order gives rural communities across America, again, a voice, as his campaign promised and is delivering that.

Here’s what the executive order does not do.  The executive order does not strip any monument of a designation.  The executive order does not loosen any environmental or conservation regulation on any land or marine areas.  It is a review of the last 20 years, and the review has timelines in which I am obligated to uphold.

So I have with me my advisor, Downey Magallanes, with me.  Downey is there, and she’ll help me answer questions if I cannot field them.  So, questions?  Sir.

Q    Does this executive order presuppose that the President has the authority to unilaterally withdraw weigh-ins or revoke a national monument designation?  Or is that one of the issues that --

SECRETARY ZINKE:  No.  As I said in my hearing, it’s undisputed the President has the authority to modify a monument.  It’s pretty premature to suggest we do the review in which I’m going to review and recommend to the President whether to rescind a monument completely or modify it.  It is untested, as you know, whether the President can do that, but at this point, I haven’t gone through the list -- and I’m sure someone is going to ask me how I’m going to go through and review, so I’ll be glad to answer that. 

Yes, sir.

Q    Thank you very much.  First, just to clarify, it was extended to 21 years just to include Grand Staircase in this review?  And secondly, do you believe, at the end of this review process, you’ll recommend changes to the Antiquities Act?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  The bookends really are from the Grand Staircase to Bear’s Ears, so that’s the period of time, roughly -- about 20 years.

Q    So it’s included on purpose?
SECRETARY ZINKE:  Well, it went back 20 years.  So I’m not going to predispose what the outcome is going to be.  How I’m going to proceed is this -- is I’m going to talk to congressional delegations and review the list.  I’m going to talk to governors.  I’m going to talk to the stakeholders involved and formulate recommendations that are appropriate.

Up front, I’m a Teddy Roosevelt guy.  And so I think, when the Antiquities Act came out, I think we should all recognize that, by and large, the Antiquities Act and the monuments that we have protected have done a great service to the public and are some of our most treasured lands in this country.  So this is an enormous responsibility I have to make recommendations that are appropriate, that follow the law.  But no one loves our public lands more than I.  You could love them as much, but you can’t love them more than I do.  And that’s one of the reasons why I love my job.

Q    During your confirmation hearing, you told Maria Cantwell, I am absolutely against the transfer and sale of  public lands, it can’t be more clear.  Do you still believe that?  And I have a follow-up.

SECRETARY ZINKE:  Absolutely, unequivocally, I stand by -- matter of fact, with a recreational guide this morning, I made the same statement again, is that I am opposed to transfer or sale of public land.

What I am strongly supportive of is managing our land.  And there’s no doubt if you -- especially out West.  You look at the catastrophic forest fires, our wildlife corridors, our water management -- that we can do a lot better as a government of managing our land.  And, to a degree, we’ve drifted too far away from multiple use into single use.

Q    Do you worry, though, that this will lead to the transfer of land?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  No.  I’ve heard that argument; I think that argument is false.

Q    It just won’t happen?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  And remember, the monuments before this happened were public land.  And when they designate a monument, what it does is it restricts it and sometimes it restricts it from traditional uses like grazing.  Public access, in some cases, can be restricted because gates go up.

So I think you have to proceed carefully on it.  But multiple use on much of our land was designed under Pinchot to use for the public good for all of us, and not necessarily single use.  And that’s where we are.

Q    You said in your last response that in general you feel like in most of these cases the designations have provided some kind of public service and they’ve done a good job.  Can you talk about the flip side of that coin -- cases where you feel like maybe they actually haven’t?  And then just one clarification -- does this apply to monuments that were designated earlier than 1996 but then modified after 1996?  Apparently there are a number that fall into that category.

SECRETARY ZINKE:  On your second point, if the modification was significant, we’ll look at that.  My understanding is there’s about 30 or so monuments that fall into the category of 100,000 acres or larger and the modification was significant.  But by and large, it’s the bookends we talked about.

I think the concern that I have and the President has that when you designate a monument, the local community that’s affected should have a voice.  And he said that in the campaign, he said that American citizens should have a voice.  The little community, the loggers, the fishermen, those areas that are affected should have a say and a voice.

And so, again, this executive order doesn’t predispose any action other than having the Secretary that he chose -- me --review them.  And I’m going to review it in a transparent matter to make sure, A, we have a voice, the process is transparent.  And at the end of it, we’re going to follow the law as Teddy Roosevelt laid out.

Q    Just want to get back to concern swirling around the EO.  What’s your response to people who believe that the review is setting the stage for an assault on public lands for the purposes of oil and gas development?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  I’ve heard that many times about -- and I think it’s the modern media that we live in today.  We’re so polarized as a country, and action is perceived as doing something that’s not -- and this, the executive order is carefully crafted to review.  It doesn’t predispose an outcome.  

Again, the President -- I was honored to be chosen and confirmed as his Secretary of Interior.  I’ve laid out my beliefs, as well as the President shares, about public land.  But again, the core of this is to make sure the public has a voice.  That’s who I work for.  That’s who the President works for, is the people.  And that’s -- love to get the people a voice on that.  But I think it’s a false narrative that we’re going to predispose any particular action until the review.

Q    Are you anticipating any legal challenges from environmental groups?  And what are you doing to prepare for some pretty staunch opposition from some of these groups opposed to the President’s --

SECRETARY ZINKE:  It’s interesting, in the first days of my office, I think I got sued six times before lunch.  So prudent public policy should be the right policy, and I’m not in fear of getting sued.  I get sued all the time.  I don’t think lawsuits should shape public policy.  I think our public policy should do what’s right.  The courts are free to challenge, and we live in a great country that people are free to challenge.  I’m not going to make my judgments on the basis of getting sued or not sued doing the right thing.  

Q    Mr. Secretary, you referred to lost jobs.  Could you provide a concrete example, going back to 1996, of where there’s community that -- in terms of net job loss, it exceeded the gains from being designated a national monument?  And in terms of your recommendations, obviously, you and White House officials have indicated that it might include legislative recommendations.  To what extent do you think Congress is the one that should redraw the lines based on community input, as opposed to, say, the White House and the Interior Department redrawing any lines for these monuments?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  Great question.  Jobs, that’s part of the study we’re going to look at.  Because you have, on the side -- some jobs would probably be created by recreation opportunities.  So in the parks, we had 330 million visitors last year.  Some of our parks alone are at record capacity.  And so I was this morning in our parks, and I think our economic driver is at $34.9 billion a year.  And if you look at the recreation industry, it’s quite a bit more than that.

So there’s jobs across -- we’ll look at what sectors were affected, plus or minus, and that will be part of the recommendation.  I can’t give you any numbers until we look at it, but jobs -- I recognize on both sides.  

Secondly, I’m sorry, your second point was?

Q    My second question is, to what extent should it be Congress that actually redraws the lines for any of these monuments, or to what extent do you think that the White House and the Interior Department can unilaterally redraw them?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  From an Antiquities Act point -- this is -- the President has singular authority.  But I think the philosophy on public lands should be what’s inscribed in the Roosevelt Arch, Yellowstone Park -- it’s for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.  That’s what’s ascribed in stone at the Yellowstone Arch.  And oddly enough, in one of the pillars, it says “Enacted by Congress.”

So I think it’s appropriate, the three branches of government -- at least the Congress and the President -- should work together.  Certainly in Utah, you have a congressional delegation -- this is the two we’ve talked about in Utah.  I think that the delegation that represents the people should be coordinated with, the governor should be coordinated -- and the principals on the ground on both sides, their voice needs to be heard.

Q    Yes, thank you.  Is it your opinion that (inaudible) will be used in the Antiquities Act?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  Well, certainly, that’s a concern.  If you’re out in Utah, the Utah legislature -- on a state side, they’re vehemently opposed to it.  Those out in the West would probably say it’s abused.  My position is I’m going into it and evaluating on a legal basis, and making sure people have a say.  But I’m not going in with a political judgment either way.  I just want to make a firm judgment based on the facts on the ground and giving people a voice.  

Certainly the governor is going to have an influence.  Jobs are going to have an influence.  The congressional folks are going to have an influence on it.  But given my personality, I’m going to be transparent about it.

And, sir, I’m going to give you the last question.

Q    Thank you.  So you said there’s going to be a 45-day interim review.  We’ve seen the President sign other executive orders where he just asks for a final review.  Is there a particular reason why there’s a shorter window for that --

SECRETARY ZINKE:  The 45-day review is pretty much centered on Bears Ears, because that’s the most current one.  My obligation is to wrap up at least my recommendation in 120 days.  The recommendation I could save for further review.  

So that’s part of it, is I have some latitude as the Secretary to look at whether I have the facts on the ground.  Again, a lot of it’s going to be driven on talking to elected officials, local governments, the stakeholders, and making a reasonable decision so we, the people, have a voice.  

And I think it’s appropriate to -- a couple mentions whether the President -- this President has some plan to sell or transfer public lands -- no.  This executive order simply, I think, initiates a review, which is appropriate.  When an  administration comes in -- a new administration, that was one of his campaign promises.  He’s delivering on a promise.  He selected me to review it.  I may be the most popular individual in the world, or I may be the most unpopular position in the world, but it’s a job that -- I can’t be more thrilled being the Secretary of Interior.  I mean, to be the steward of a fifth of our country and the majesty -- it’s an enormous responsibility, but also it’s a gift.  So I’m going to use that authority I think to the benefit of us all.  

So thank you, everybody.

Q    Just to clear up, do you expect to have a decision on Bears Ears in 45 days?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  I expect to have a recommendation.

Q    A recommendation on Bears Ears in 45 days.

SECRETARY ZINKE:  I do.

Q    And are you planning on going in that amount of time?

SECRETARY ZINKE:  I am going to be out there.  There’s no doubt I’m going out there.  And I would have been sooner, but we had the first Cabinet meeting.  I was delayed in the hearings.  So no doubt that my travel schedule is going to be busier than it already is.

Q    Mr. Secretary, just on (inaudible) -- can you just say anything about your philosophy about that upcoming executive order, which we also expect this year?

MS. WALTERS:  We’ll be able to comment on that on Thursday.  We’re going to put together a background briefing.  Thank you.

SECRETARY ZINKE:  Keep the faith.  It’s all good.

Q    Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  

Q    Thank you.    

END 
5:34 P.M. EDT

Categories: White House News

Oklahoma Is Urged To Keep Its Execution Ban Until System Is Fixed

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 7:01pm



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Oklahoma should continue its moratorium on executions until it can reform its death penalty system to ensure that no innocent person is put to death, according to the recommendation of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission. 


The commission outlined its recommendation Tuesday as it released a nearly 300-page report. 


(View the full report below.)


“Our primary recommendation, based on our in-depth study and work, is that the state of Oklahoma should extend the current moratorium on executions until significant reforms are accomplished,” former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat who co-chaired the group, said at a press conference Tuesday. 


Henry said that, while some members favor outright abolition of the death penalty and others staunchly support it, the commission’s recommendation to continue the moratorium was unanimous ― and “wasn’t difficult to reach.”


“We were all disturbed by the volume and seriousness of the flaws in Oklahoma’s capital punishment system,” Henry said. 


Executions in Oklahoma have been suspended for 17 months, since a last-minute discovery of an injection drug mixup halted the execution of Richard Glossip. The state had already executed two other prisoners since 2014 with injections that had gone wrong. A damning, multi-county grand jury investigation found that the Oklahoma Department of Corrections used the wrong drug in one and was prepared to use that same incorrect drug on Glossip.



We were all disturbed by the volume and seriousness of the flaws in Oklahoma’s capital punishment system.
Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, co-chair of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission


The 11-member bipartisan commission behind Tuesday’s report included representatives of academia, the legal field and all three branches of government, as well as families of murder victims and families of those who have been wrongfully convicted.


Over 10 full-day meetings plus other interviews, they concluded that Oklahoma’s capital punishment system had “systemic problems” in key areas of forensics, innocence protections, the execution process and the roles of juries, prosecutors, defense and the judiciary. 


The commission issued more than 40 recommendations on how Oklahoma could approach reforms, including broadening the clemency process, reconfiguring the appeals process and raising the threshold for which defendants are eligible for the death penalty. The commission also said that bolstering resources for public defenders would improve Oklahoma’s system by ensuring fairer trials and fewer appeals down the road. 


The prospect of executing an innocent person appeared to weigh heavily on the commission, with Henry repeatedly addressing the need to prevent it.


“You may get innocent people on death row. And we know we have,” Henry said, noting that, since 1973, Oklahoma alone has exonerated 10 people who were on death row. 


“I believe it’s very likely that, at some point, Oklahoma has executed an innocent person,” he said, quickly adding that he couldn’t be certain.  


Lethal injection drugs were another aspect of Oklahoma’s system that the commission said needed better options. Henry said they believed the best protocol “is the one-drug barbiturate rather than the three-drug cocktail we have here.” 


States like Texas use the one-drug method of injecting pentobarbital, but it has become increasingly hard to find. Most active death penalty states use the three-drug method, and it’s the first drug, a sedative, that has caused significant issues. The preferred drug is largely unavailable after drugmakers pulled out of the market. It its place, states have used midazolam, which critics say doesn’t reliably render an inmate unconscious before the paralyzing and ultimately lethal drugs are injected. 


Now, midazolam is becoming hard to find as well; its scarcity is what triggered Arkansas’ current effort to execute eight prisoners in 11 days before its supply of the drug expires. Arkansas has executed three of the eight men in the last week and has a lethal injection scheduled for Thursday. Four of the men have been issued stays.



“We didn’t say ‘abolish the death penalty’ in the report,” Henry notes. “Just that if you want to have it, you must do it correctly.”





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Categories: Political News and Opinion

One State Shows Just How Easy It Is To Get More Americans To Vote

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 6:46pm



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Oregon saw big hikes in voter turnout among youth and voter registration among communities of color in its first election since adopting automatic voter registration, a new report shows.


In early 2016, Oregon was the first state to implement a system in which eligible residents are automatically registered to vote when they have any significant interaction with the motor vehicles department. People have to opt out if they don’t want to register. 


Following the change, Oregon saw some major gains in underrepresented communities, according to the Alliance for Youth Action’s report. Turnout among voters ages 18 to 29 increased by 20 percentage points, from 37 percent in 2012 to 57 percent in 2016. Registration among voters of color increased by 26 points, from 53 percent in 2012 to 79 percent in 2016. 


The Alliance for Youth Action is an advocacy group that supports automatic voter registration generally and Oregon’s law specifically.


The specific increases in turnout among youth and registration among people of color in Oregon were the biggest among the 40 states that make their data publicly available, the report says. The increases in youth registration outpaced Oregon’s population growth in that demographic.


Sarah Audelo, executive director of the Alliance for Youth Action, noted that the campaign to pass Oregon’s law in 2015 was led by young organizers and said even her group was surprised by the size of the increases in turnout and registration.


“Access to the ballot matters. As a country we should be taking a hard look at ourselves to see what are we doing to make sure that our people are able to vote, that they’re able to participate in our democracy,” Audelo told HuffPost. “We absolutely are fighting back hard against efforts to restrict access to the ballot, but oh my gosh, look what happens when we make it easier for people to participate.”


survey by the Black Youth Project found that in late 2012, the most-common reason young Americans gave for not voting was that they were not registered. Nationally, just 45 percent of eligible voters under 29 voted in 2012, compared to 66 percent of eligible voters 30 and older, according to the Alliance for Youth Action report.


“Oregon shows us that AVR [automatic voter registration] can be the great equalizer ― and help build a robust electorate that mirrors this country’s make-up,” said Allegra Chapman, director of voting and elections at Common Cause. “The state already had one of the highest turnout rates in the country, and now it’s building an ever stronger voter base. This is definitely the direction in which the country needs to go: amplifying all eligible voices to create a democracy that accounts for all.”


Lawmakers in California, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia have also all enacted automatic voter registration. Colorado and Connecticut did it administratively. And Alaska voters approved a slightly different version through a ballot measure this past November.


Despite signs of success in Oregon soon after the election, Republican governors in a number of states have blocked attempts to pass automatic voter registration. They often cite concerns about voter fraud, although several studies and investigations have shown it is not a widespread problem in the United States. Over the last two years, automatic voter registration bills have been introduced in nearly 30 states.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

List of Foreign Ambassadors Who Participated in Credentialing Ceremony

News from the White House - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 6:36pm


Below is a list of the foreign ambassadors who participated in the credentialing ceremony at the White House with the President yesterday:

His Excellency Meshal Hamad M.J. Al Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar
His Excellency Erzhan Kazykhanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan
His Excellency Njabuliso Busisiwe Sikhulile Gwebu, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Swaziland
His Excellency Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez, Ambassador of the United Mexican States
His Excellency Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
His Excellency Hynek Kmonicek, Ambassador of the Czech Republic
His Excellency Frederic Edem Hegbe, Ambassador of Togolese Republic
His Excellency Akillino Harris Susaia, Ambassador of the Federated States of Micronesia
Her Excellency Lalla Joumala Alaoui, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco
His Excellency Pedro Morenes Eulate, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain
His Excellency Marlon Ramsses Tabora Munoz, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras

 

Categories: White House News

Trump Waves Pen, Piece Of Paper At Rural America

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 6:20pm



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WASHINGTON ― In the past three months, President Donald Trump has signed a number of executive orders that didn’t actually effect substantive changes, but which established task forces to study policy and, eventually, recommend possible courses of action.


On Tuesday, he signed another one, this time about farms.


Tuesday’s order, which Trump signed surrounded by farmers and ranchers, focuses on agriculture and rural development, which the Trump administration claims had been neglected by the Obama administration.


“We continue a very relentless effort to make life better for Americans, and that includes the farmers and the people gathered around this table and including our ranchers and rural community folks,” Trump said at the White House.


The president also complained about Canadian restrictions on dairy imports from the U.S. “This has been going on for a while. We are not going to put up with it,” he said, adding that the U.S. had slapped a tariff on Canadian lumber.


The order Trump signed Tuesday is modest. It terminates a rural council that President Barack Obama created with an executive order in 2011, and replaces that council with a task force that will similarly be chaired by the secretary of agriculture and joined by officials from other agencies in the executive branch.


“The executive order is ― well, it’s just pretty limp when you get right down to it,” David Swenson, an economist with Iowa State University, said in an interview.


As with several other orders Trump has signed, Tuesday’s document doesn’t directly change administration policy. Rather, it asks agencies to come up with policy recommendations at a later time. The order gives the new task force 180 days to “identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to promote in rural America agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life.”


Obama’s rural council had a similar job. Obama’s order told the council, among other things, “to coordinate development of policy recommendations to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America.”


A summary of Trump’s order said Obama’s rural council was “noble in purpose,” but too informal in practice. It also said, however, that the task force would consider whether the council structure was useful after all and should be brought back.


“They’re gonna study it just like the last administration studied it,” Swenson said.


The president’s order comes amid concerns from some farmers and agriculture experts that the Trump administration hasn’t been focused on farm policy and that Trump’s trade agenda could be bad for farmers, who sell a lot of crops for export. A Trump budget proposal earlier this year offered steep cuts for the Agriculture Department, which was the last executive branch agency to get a Cabinet secretary nomination, with Sonny Perdue getting sworn in earlier on Tuesday.


Johnathan Hladik, policy director at the Center for Rural Affairs, a rural advocacy group, said certain aspects of the executive order — especially its mention of technological innovation in rural America — are promising.


On the whole, however, Hladik feels the order will do little to alleviate his concerns with the massive cuts proposed for the USDA ― particularly when it comes to the zeroing-out of rural development initiatives like the agency’s microentrepreneur assistance program and value added producer grants in Trump’s budget proposal.


“To me, it sounds like they’ve ignored rural America for their first 95 days and started to get some flak, so on days 95 and 96 they’re doing these token gestures to show they’re ignoring [rural America] no longer,” Hladik told HuffPost.


The Farm Bureau, America’s largest agribusiness advocacy group, generally supports Trump and his efforts to undo regulations. But the liberal-leaning National Farmers Union was unenthusiastic Tuesday.


Rob Larew, senior vice president of government relations and communications at the NFU, dismissed the order as a “redressing” of previous administrations’ efforts to address rural concerns.


Larew’s group remains focused on how Perdue might push back against proposed cuts to his agency’s budget, and on farming-related policy decisions that have been made in the past weeks and months.


“Everything from immigration efforts to health care have huge implications from the rural and agriculture perspective,” Larew told HuffPost. “So what will [Perdue] do? There are lots of challenges on the horizon, some of which were created by this administration, so he has a lot of things to take care of very quickly.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trump's First-100-Days Agenda Still Under Audit, We Guess

Huffington Post News - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 5:50pm


Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!


Donald Trump has already attacked the disabled and the poor, so it makes sense that he is now going after the meekest, most helpless breed of human: Canadians. The Huffington Post is now HuffPost; “The” and “ington” look forward to spending more time with their families. And Barack Obama accepted $400,000 to speak at an event hosted by a hedge fund, because with his paltry $65 million book advance, a reputation alone isn’t going to feed his family. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, April 25th, 2017:


THE BEST DEALS, JUST THE BEST - Maybe Trump can find a crowd to chant, “APPROPRIATE. THE. FUNDING. IN A. BUDGET-NEUTRAL. FASHION!” Matt Fuller: “Republicans, facing the refusal of Democrats to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall in an upcoming spending bill, seem to have abandoned their wall construction demands as lawmakers work to avert a government shutdown…. Although Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) declined to detail the talks, he and other members of the Democratic leadership team seemed convinced wall funding was now off the table. With that issue settled, Democrats suggested they were making real progress toward passing an omnibus spending bill by Friday, when government funding runs out. ‘The president’s 11th-hour demand [for wall money] threatened to upend the progress. We’re pleased he’s backing off,’ Schumer said. [HuffPost]


But Spicer said they were gonna build the wall!!


JUDGE BLOCKS TRUMP’S SANCTUARY CITY ORDER - Mollie Reilly: “A federal judge has blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order targeting so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions. U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the ruling Tuesday, less than two weeks after he heard the case in federal court. The order, issued by Trump in January, threatened to pull federal funding from cities that refused to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. “ [HuffPost]


Speaking of executive orders: “Though President Trump has declared reviews of a president’s first 100 days to be ridiculous, his White House appears determined to demonstrate that the president’s term so far has been historic. For instance, a news release popped into our inbox titled ‘President Trump’s 100 days of Historic Accomplishment,’ specifically citing the number of executive orders signed by Trump…. The curious thing about this is that Roosevelt is listed as signing only nine executive orders. The American Presidency Project, a website maintained by the University of California-Santa Barbara, shows Roosevelt as signing 3,721 during his presidency, for an average of 307 a year.” [WaPo’s Glenn Kessler]


TERRIBLE PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION TERRIBLE - Somewhere, 2008 inaugural chair Dianne Feinstein is breathing a sigh of relief that this pushes the Purple Tunnel of Doom further into the dustbin of history. Christina Wilkie: “Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee acknowledged late Monday that a final report it filed with the Federal Election Commission this month was riddled with errors, many of which were first identified through a crowdsourced data project at HuffPost…. [T]he scores of mistakes contained in the more than 500-page FEC filing can largely be traced to a fundraising and ticketing system the Republican Party introduced this year, which provided special online access codes to Trump supporters…. Within days, a secondary market for the access codes had sprung up, with some people asking their friends for codes, and others buying them on Ebay…. [E]ach code was tied to a specific address, meaning that if it was passed to someone else, that person’s name would be on the disclosure alongside the original code recipient’s address.” [HuffPost]


CHECK OUT WOKE JASON CHAFFETZ OVER HERE - Tom LoBianco and Manu Raju: “President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser did not properly disclose payments from Russia and may have broken the law, House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings said Tuesday after reviewing Michael Flynn’s application for a security clearance. ‘As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else. And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law,’ Chaffetz said.” [CNN]


SO ARE WE THE HUFFPOST HUFFPOST HILL? - Lydia Polgreen: “We’re doubling down on our bold, splashy style, and serving up the news with a sense of humor, outrage and empathy. We’re also taking the suggestion of our audience across the globe and formally adopting the shorter name they’ve called us for years: HuffPost. In the months ahead you’ll see much more original journalism from across the country. We’re expanding Highline, our ambitious digital magazine, to bring the rigor and depth of their work to you with more frequency and in new formats. We’ll create bold and compelling video that moves you. Expect us to hit the road and listen, from the ground up, to people who may not know HuffPost, or think it doesn’t tell stories for people like them.” [HuffPost]


Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government


Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to eliot@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill


STEP OFF, EH - “Canadian Bacon” said this would happen. Lisa Marie Segarra: “President Donald Trump continued to have harsh words for Canada while signing an executive order to promote agriculture Tuesday. ‘People don’t realize Canada’s been very tough on the United States...they’ve outsmarted our politicians for years,’ Trump said. His remarks come after announcing he would impose a 24 percent tariff on Canada for lumber shipped into the United States. Trump criticized Canada for what he called ‘very unfair’ practices against the U.S.’s dairy industry. Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Andrew Cuomo of New York wrote to him previously asking him to address Canada’s ‘protectionist dairy trade policies.’” [Time]


IF YOU LIKE YOUR OBAMACARE, YOU CAN KEEP IT (...MAYBE) - But do Americans like dying in the streets?!? Amy Goldstein and Scott Clement: “In strategy and substance, the American public disagrees with the course that President Trump and congressional Republicans are pursuing to replace the Affordable Care Act with conservative policies, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Public sentiment is particularly lopsided in favor of an aspect of the current health-care law that blocks insurers from charging more or denying coverage to customers with medical conditions. Roughly 8 in 10 Democrats, 7 in 10 independents and even a slight majority of Republicans say that should continue to be a national mandate, rather than an option for states to retain or drop…. [M]any Americans appear leery in general about a major overhaul to the health-care law often called Obamacare, with 61 percent preferring to ‘keep and try to improve’ it, compared with 37 percent who say they want to ‘repeal and replace’ it.” [WaPo]


IT GETS BATTERED: MIKE ENZI, WARNS LGBTQ KIDS THEY’LL GET BEAT UP - Also, any bar whose patrons wouldn’t be utterly delighted by the presence of a grown man in a tutu isn’t a bar we want to frequent. Ryan Grim and Amanda Terkel: “Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) told a group of high school and middle school students last week that it’s fine to be a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer community ― but if you’re too open about it, don’t be surprised if you get picked on. On Thursday, Enzi was speaking to students at Greybull High School and Middle School when a student asked him what he was doing to support LGBTQ communities in Wyoming. Mathew Burciaga, an editor at the Greybull Standard, was at the event. He said he has audio of the exchange, which the paper plans to release Wednesday. At the event, Enzi offered an anecdote about a man who wears a tutu to a bar and is then surprised that he keeps getting in fights.  ‘Well, he kind of asks for it,’ Enzi said, according to Burciaga.” [HuffPost]


Update: Enzi apologized.


………….click: “Pamela Anderson’s Weirdly Erotic Poem About Donald Trump Wins Today” [HuffPost]


SCHUMER?? I BARELY EVEN NEGOTIATED WITH ‘ER! - Sam Stein: “As Donald Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says he’s been surprised by the failure of the White House to splinter the Democratic Party. In an interview with HuffPost, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) didn’t close the door on bipartisan collaboration with the president. But he criticized Trump for what he said was ‘erraticness and lack of real competence’ in pursuing bills that could have flown through Congress, from trade reform to infrastructure investments. He said he told the president as much when the two talked last week over Canadian dairy policy (yes, Canadian dairy policy).” [HuffPost]


NO, NO, THEY’RE SAYING IVANKA’S BOOOOOOOT LINE IS THIS SEASON’S MUST-HAVE - The first daughter was dealt a PR disaster and also the name of her next terrible fragrance, “Boo By Ivanka.” Marina Fang: “In her first international trip as an official White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, was booed as she attempted to laud her father’s record on women’s rights in front of a mostly female audience. ‘He has been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive,’ she said at the G20 women’s summit in Berlin on Tuesday, after stating she was ‘very proud of my father’s advocacy.’ Trump was part of a panel at the summit on women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, which also included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde. When the audience booed, the panel’s moderator, German journalist Miriam Meckel, asked Trump to respond, noting that her father has a record of misogyny.” [HuffPost]


We *highly* recommend you read Chris Cillizza’s take on this Ivanka fiasco…


TRUMP APPOINTEE APPALLED AT HIS OWN QUOTES, BLAMES OTHERS - It’s obvious why he and the prez are simpatico. Amanda Terkel: “Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green (R), President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next Army secretary, has finally broken his silence about the strong opposition he has faced for his positions and comments about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. In a Facebook post Tuesday, Green went after the ‘liberal left’ for making him out to be a ‘hater.’ … As the civilian head of the Army, Green would oversee a force that’s been fully integrated since June, when the Pentagon ended its ban on transgender people serving openly. If confirmed, he would stand in significant contrast to the previous Army secretary, Eric Fanning, who was the first openly gay person to serve in the position.” [HuffPost]


WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA? Cristian Farias: “The Supreme Court did not receive a formal invitation from President Donald Trump to have dinner at the White House this Thursday, a court spokeswoman and a White House aide confirmed on Monday. ‘An invitation was never extended,’ said the aide, who added that the dinner plans, which were first noted in a weekly agenda sent to reporters early on Sunday, were only tentative and subject to change. Indeed, later Sunday night, the dinner was no longer listed in an updated weekly planner the White House made available to reporters…. Asked about the scrapped dinner plans on Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president’s team had ‘moved some things around’ in Trump’s schedule and was hopeful a dinner would happen at a later date.” [HuffPost]


BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here is history’s most badass child.


(A WHOLE LOTTA) CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN - Charlie Gasparino and Brian Schwartz: “Former President Barack Obama...has agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference run by Cantor Fitzgerald LP, senior people at the firm confirm to FOX Business. His speaking fee will be $400,000, which is nearly twice as much as Hillary Clinton, his secretary of state, and the 2016 Democratic Party candidate, charged private businesses for such events. Obama has agreed to speak at Cantor’s health care conference in September and will be the keynote luncheon speaker for one day during the event, people at the firm tell FOX Business. These people say Obama has signed the contract, but the company, a mid-sized New York-based investment bank, is waiting to coordinate with the former president before making a formal announcement.” [Fox Business]


COMFORT FOOD


- Prom hero falls down stairs.


- Visualizing the undersea cables that connect the internet between continents.


- The Atlantic City landmarks that inspired Monopoly spaces.


TWITTERAMA



"HuffPost." Love the new name. Moving forward, but still staying true to its founder, Helga Hufflepuff.

— Tim Murphy (@timothypmurphy) April 25, 2017



Time for some game theory...

1. Jeb buys Marlins
2. Marlins win World Series
3. Jeb 2020

— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) April 25, 2017



In Pac-Man, were the ghosts originally from Pac-Man's species B4 they died?
Did they know him in their previous lives?
Is it about revenge?

— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 25, 2017


Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (eliot@huffingtonpost.com)

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion