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25 апреля, 09:00

Advocates For Father And Son Imprisoned In Iran Appeal To UN For Help

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WASHINGTON ― A lawyer representing two American citizens imprisoned in Iran appealed to the United Nations on Tuesday to intervene on behalf of his clients. In a 27-page petition submitted to the U.N. Working Group On Arbitrary Detention, Jared Genser argued that the Iranian government is arbitrarily depriving Siamak Namazi, 45, and his father Baquer, 80, of their liberty. Their treatment in Evin Prison amounts to torture, and risks causing “irreversible damage to their physical and mental health, or even death,” wrote Genser, the founder of Freedom Now, a nonprofit that works to free prisoners of conscience. The U.N. working group, established in 1991, can issue opinions on individual cases and urge countries to free prisoners who are being detained unlawfully. It has little ability to compel countries to abide by its recommendations, but a statement on the Namazis from the group could help apply pressure on Tehran. The decision by the Namazi family to make a public appeal to the U.N. group is part of a broader strategy meant to increase public awareness of Siamak and Baquer’s plight and to urge the Trump administration to strike a deal with Tehran to secure their release. Genser released his submission to the U.N. just before a delegation from the U.S. was scheduled to meet in Vienna with counterparts from Iran and the five other countries that helped negotiate a 2015 agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. He and Babak Namazi, Siamak’s brother and Baquer’s son, plan to hold a press conference in Vienna just before the world powers meet to discuss the Iran nuclear deal. “This will be the first face-to-face discussions between the U.S. and Iran since the inauguration of President Trump,” Genser wrote in an email. “We have been informed that the U.S. delegation will raise the Namazi cases directly to the Iranian delegation.” The State Department declined to comment on the Namazis specifically but a spokesman said the agency “continue[s] to use all the means at our disposal to advocate for U.S. citizens who need our assistance overseas.” Until recently, the Namazi family took a very different approach to getting Siamak and Baquer out of prison. When Siamak was arrested in October 2015, his family stayed quiet, hoping to give the previous administration room to negotiate. But when the Obama administration finalized a prisoner swap with Iran last year, Siamak was left behind. The month after the prisoner swap, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Forces arrested Baquer too. In their final days in office, Obama administration officials made a last-ditch effort to negotiate the Namazis’ release, but they were unsuccessful. After quiet patience proved ineffective, the Namazis decided to speak out. Last month, Babak Namazi briefed a group of reporters and human rights activists in Washington on Siamak and Baquer’s condition. He gave a detailed narrative of the family’s saga since Siamak was arrested in 2015 and said he hoped President Donald Trump would be able to accomplish what his predecessor could not. According to the petition filed by Genser, Siamak’s physical and mental state has deteriorated dramatically since he was first imprisoned. He is often kept in solitary confinement in a cell without a bed, forcing him to sleep on the concrete floor. He has been tortured by guards, beaten, hit with stun guns, and forced to watch government propaganda with images of him and his father in prison, Genser wrote. He has lost 26 pounds in prison as a result of a hunger strike. Baquer’s physical health conditions are even more serious. He has a heart condition that caused him to undergo triple bypass surgery before he was imprisoned. He has been hospitalized at least twice since his arrest but has not been allowed to see his heart specialist while in prison. Tehran’s denial of “medically appropriate detention conditions for the Namazis constitutes cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” Genser wrote in the petition. Despite being held in the same prison, Siamak and Baquer first saw each other in February, more than a year since Baquer entered Evin, Genser alleged in the petition. Siamak and Baquer have both been convicted of cooperating with a “foreign state” against Iran ― a reference to the U.S. ― and have been sentenced to 10 years in prison. They were only allowed to meet with the attorneys in Iran for a half-hour several days before the hearing, which was closed to the public and the media. According to Genser, they were not allowed to present evidence, call witnesses, or meaningfully challenge charges or evidence against them. The case against the Namazis appears to rely heavily on their past affiliation with Western organizations. Siamak held fellowships with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the National Endowment for Democracy ― both of which receive funding from Congress. Baquer worked with the humanitarian relief organization UNICEF for over 10 years. At the time of their arrests, Siamak was working at an oil and gas company in Dubai and Baquer was retired and living Iran.   Genser’s petition to the U.N. group is just as much an appeal to the U.S. government to focus on getting Siamak and Baquer released. He is conveying a message to the Trump administration that because of their deteriorating health and Baquer’s age, they don’t have much time to negotiate a deal. During the presidential campaign last year, Trump tweeted that he wouldn’t let Iran imprison Americans and demand money for their release if he became president. Well, Iran has done it again. Taken two of our people and asking for a fortune for their release. This doesn't happen if I'm president!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2016 Earlier this month, the Treasury Department sanctioned the Tehran Prisons Organization and senior prison official Sohrab Soleimani for human rights abuses. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer mentioned Siamak and Baquer by name when he discussed the sanctions. Last week, an American imprisoned for three years in Egypt returned home after the Trump administration negotiated her release. Her release was possible, in part, because of the Trump administration’s willingness to drop pressure on Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to improve the country’s human rights record.  But it’s not clear what leverage the Trump administration will have with Tehran. Unlike in Egypt, where he was eager to patch up relations, Trump has vowed to take a tougher stance in Iran. And he repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for giving up too much in last year’s prisoner swap, which means it would be hard for him to accept significant American concessions to bring Siamak and Baquer home. -- 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.

25 апреля, 07:49

Chobani Sues Alex Jones For Posting Vicious Fake News Stories

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Chobani filed a lawsuit this week against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, accusing the right-wing radio host and his site, Infowars, of posting a fake news story linking the company and its CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, to a 2014 sexual assault case involving refugees.  Ulukaya has long been the target of xenophobic threats and right-wing attacks over business practices that earned him and his company admiration all over the world. In addition to supporting charities that aid refugees and immigration, Ulukaya made it a point early in the company’s history to hire refugees and individuals who had been laid off. “If a refugee has a job, they are no longer a refugee,” Ulukaya, himself a Turkish immigrant of Kurdish descent, told The Financial Times last year. Earlier this month, Chobani argued that Infowars published a falsified report about a sexual assault case in Twin Falls, Idaho, where Chobani owns and operates the largest yogurt plant in the world. The lawsuit says the erroneous report linked Ulukaya to the assault case and accused his company of bringing “crime and tuberculosis to the community.” The fake news stories led to a customer boycott call against Chobani products, the suit says. The article, which carries the headline “MSM [Mainstream Media] Covers For Globalist’s Refugee Import Program After Child Rape Case” has received more than 22,000 views on YouTube, and Jones tweeted the story to his roughly 600,000 Twitter followers. The lawsuit says the story was also given a different headline, “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists,” when it was tweeted by Infowars. “Defendant Alex Jones is no stranger to spurious statements,” the lawsuit states. “The Southern Poverty Law Center described Mr. Jones as ‘almost certainly the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America.’ Mr. Jones has now taken aim at Chobani and the Twin Falls community.” Click here to read the lawsuit, filed in Idaho District Court, in its entirety.   -- 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.

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25 апреля, 07:20

Seth Meyers Delivers Ruthless Verdict For 'Ignorant' Trump's First 100 Days

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President Donald Trump hits his 100-day mark on Saturday, but Seth Meyers isn’t waiting for the weekend to deliver his own grade.  “The 100-day report card is on the way, and like every terrible student Trump is trying to turn an ‘F’ into an ‘A,’” Meyers said on NBC’s “Late Night” on Monday night.  Meyers said Trump seems unaware of even the “political realities” of governing. “Trump is so ignorant, he’s ignorant of his own ignorance,” he said, noting that the president “just learned that there were different factions within the Republican party.” Meyers pointed out that Trump has failed to live up to a number of promises, including his signature campaign rallying cry to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it. Trump on Sunday said, “Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall.” Meyers responded that “Trump’s tweets are starting to sound like the fine print on a contest to win a free cruise.”   See his full takedown 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.

25 апреля, 06:11

The Guide To Becoming Jared Kushner

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NEW YORK ― When Charles Kushner was heading to federal prison in 2005 for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering, his son Jared got some advice from Howard Rubenstein ― the dean of New York damage control ― on how to rehabilitate the Kushner name, Charles would later tell a family friend. Step one: Buy a New York newspaper. Don’t be too particular, Rubenstein told Jared, according to the family friend’s recounting of their conversation with Charles. Any newspaper will do. Step two: Buy a big Manhattan building. Any building will do. Step three: Marry the daughter of a rich New York family. Anyone will do. The younger Kushner went on to do just that. He bought the New York Observer in 2006, made a debt-laden $1.8 billion purchase of 666 Fifth Ave. in 2007 and married Ivanka Trump in 2009. (A Kushner Companies spokesman denied the family friend’s account. Rubenstein said: “That’s preposterous. I never said that or anything like that.”) Whether or not Kushner was indeed working through a checklist, his actions during those years have served him well. They also laid the groundwork for the meticulous public relations strategy that has made possible Kushner’s current paradoxical role in the press, as a blameless yet uniquely powerful member of the Trump administration. Long before he could afford the counsel of someone like Rubenstein, Jared’s father had a sense for how to shape perception to his advantage. In the 1990s, Charles Kushner bought a corporate box at New Jersey’s Giants Stadium on the 50-yard line ― right next to the box reserved for the team’s owners, the Tisch family, according to the Kushner family friend. At the time, the Kushner real estate business was still small, and Charles could barely afford the expense. (A Kushner Companies spokesman confirmed that the family had box seats but denies this characterization.) But he found a way, because he recognized that if you can get close enough to powerful and wealthy people, they’ll assume you are one of them. It’s exactly the sort of maneuver Howard Rubenstein would respect. The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta condensed the highlights of Rubenstein’s client list in a 2007 profile: “George Steinbrenner, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, and Leona Helmsley; the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Whitney Museum; BMW North America, Mount Sinai Hospital, Time Inc., Bloomberg L.P., and the notorious Lizzie Grubman. He has advised the last six mayors and the last four governors.” It’s a remarkable lineup, a who’s who of rich, powerful, nefarious, or just intermittently infamous New Yorkers. Martin Dunn, the former editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News, told Auletta that Rubenstein is “much more of a power broker than a public-relations man.” The Kushners have always had a fleet of PR people working behind the scenes to fluff their image. Rubenstein and his son and protege Steven, who now runs the family business, worked for the Kushners until around late 2011. The Kushners then took their PR business to Matthew Hiltzik, a former aide to Hillary Clinton during her first Senate campaign who went on to work for Bob and Harvey Weinstein at Miramax Films, as well as Glenn Beck, Justin Bieber and Alec Baldwin. It was during his time at a Hiltzik client that Jared Kushner met Josh Raffel, one of the firm’s employees and the man Kushner recently tapped to lead communications for his government-wide innovation project. The White House declined to comment for this story. In late 2014, Kushner stopped working with Hiltzik and began working with Roxanne Donovan, a PR maven the Observer once described as a “younger, sexier Howard Rubenstein.” Kushner also hired Harriet Weintraub, who has a specialty PR company for real estate and luxury brands, before hiring Risa Heller, a former press aide to notoriously media-savvy Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), in November 2015. Heller represented Kushner personally until this January, when he took an official role in the White House. She still represents his family company, where Jared has resigned his role in the family business and divested his ownership in some of the company’s businesses. Donovan, Hiltzik and Weintraub declined to comment for this story; Heller declined to comment beyond statements offered as a spokesperson for Kushner Companies. Kushner now faces his greatest PR struggle yet, as the son-in-law and a senior adviser to a historically unpopular president whose flagship issues so far have included attempting to strip health care from millions of Americans and impose a constitutionally dubious immigration ban. Donald Trump has given Kushner a comically large set of responsibilities ― from setting American foreign policy in the Middle East to ending the opioid epidemic to revolutionizing the operations of the entire U.S. government. While Trump dictates policy by Twitter and spends most of his time making impossible promises, Kushner is rarely quoted on the record. His few public statements consist of bland generalities and unwavering support for his father-in-law. Kushner rarely speaks on camera, a point “Saturday Night Live” recently mocked by having Jimmy Fallon play him for an entire sketch with no lines. A source close to Kushner said it’s simply part of his personality to let his actions speak for him. The few existing videos of Kushner speaking on camera suggest a possible reason he doesn’t do it more: He’s not very good at it. Two brief videos from 2014 ― one from a real estate conference and one for the Jehovah’s Witnesses talking about his $700 million purchase of the group’s former Brooklyn headquarters ― show Kushner in his familiar uniform of a gray suit and dark tie, speaking blandly and without much conviction. With his soft voice and Tri-State Area accent, he sounds remarkably like his brother-in-law Eric Trump. “I don’t talk to the press,” he told Forbes in December. But someone is clearly shaping his image in the media as a beacon of moderation, the man working to pull Trump toward consensus-minded policies and socially liberal politics. Kushner and Ivanka “helped kill a proposed executive order that would have scrapped Obama-era L.G.B.T. protections,” The New York Times reported in February, based on “people familiar with the issue.” They also “intervened to strike language about the climate deal from an earlier draft of the executive order,” The Wall Street Journal reported a few weeks later, “according to multiple people familiar with the move.” Ivanka was in favor of bombing Syria, her brother Eric said, and Kushner supported the strike as well, according to unnamed sources. The exact same nuggets that seem engineered to elicit sympathy for Kushner and his wife from one group ― the public writ large ― are why other White House insiders reportedly mock them as “globalists” who are Democrats in all but name. (That moniker is also supposedly bestowed on Goldman Sachs alums Gary Cohn, Trump’s National Economic Council director, and Dina Powell, who ran Goldman’s charitable activity and now serves as a deputy adviser on the National Security Council. The term “globalist” is widely understood to have anti-Semitic connotations, and Kushner, Ivanka and Cohn are Jewish.) What the press anecdotes from unnamed sources don’t do ― the ones in this story included ― is explain Jared’s political beliefs. He keeps his views so hidden that it’s not clear whether he actually has any at all. The White House’s on-the-record statements aren’t much help in figuring out what Kushner thinks. For instance, when The Associated Press ran a story on March 29 noting that Kushner’s ability to escape close scrutiny might be coming to an end, White House director of strategic communications Hope Hicks offered this: “Jared is a visionary with an endless appetite for strategic, inventive solutions that will improve quality of life for all Americans.” -- 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.

25 апреля, 05:58

Arkansas Carries Out First Double-Execution Despite Claims First Death Was 'Inhumane'

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Lawyers for one of two prisoners executed by lethal injection Monday night in Arkansas had appealed for a stay of execution, alleging that the execution that took place earlier that night appeared “torturous and inhumane.” Attorneys for Marcel Williams filed for an emergency stay of execution after claiming problems occurred in the earlier execution of Jack Jones. While U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a temporary stay of Williams’ execution following the lawyers’ petition, she lifted the stay less than an hour later. Williams was ultimately executed and pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. CDT at the Arkansas Department of Corrections’ Cummins Unit outside of Little Rock. Williams and Jones were initially scheduled for execution just one hour apart. Jones was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 7:20 p.m. CDT. But lawyers for Williams and the state appeared to disagree about what happened during Jones’ execution.  Williams’ lawyers claimed in their petition for a stay that the corrections staff “tried unsuccessfully to place a central line in Mr. Jones’s neck for 45 minutes before placing one elsewhere on his body.” During the “consciousness checks” following the administration of the first drug in the three-step process, the sedative midazolam, Jones was “moving his lips and gulping for air,” the lawyers added. But the office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge disputed that characterization and called the request for a stay “baseless.” “The claim that Jones was moving his lips and gulping for air is unsupported by press accounts or the accounts of other witnesses. The drugs were administered to Jones at 7:06 p.m. and he was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. There was no constitutional violation in Jones’ execution,” Arkansas Deputy Solicitor General Nicholas Bronni wrote in a petition. It continued: “Plaintiff’s account of Jones’ execution is inaccurate. Both Jones and his lawyer consented to central line. ADC staff tried unsuccessfully to place a central line in Jones’ neck, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Plaintiff’s claim that ADC then placed the central line elsewhere is false. At Jones’ request, ADC placed two IV lines and the execution proceeded with two IV lines, just as Plaintiff’s execution will proceed.”  function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Earlier on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court had declined to hear either man’s case and denied their requests to halt their executions. Jones had been on death row for 22 years after he was convicted of the 1995 rape and murder of 34-year-old bookkeeper Mary Phillips in Bald Knob, Arkansas. But Jones’ lawyers argued that his previous attorneys failed to present mitigating evidence that could have spared him a death sentence and said evidence of mental health issues Jones suffered should have been presented at trial. With his last words, Jones apologized to Phillips’ daughter, Lacy, who was 11 when Jones badly beat her alongside her mother. Jones also made a handwritten final statement for his attorney to read. “There are no words that would fully express my remorse for the pain that I caused,” he concluded. Last words and final written statement of Jack Jones who was executed today. He was pronounced dead at 7:20 pm CT #ARexecutions pic.twitter.com/PEEa5oFdeA— Phil McCausland (@PhilMcCausland) April 25, 2017 Williams had been on death row for 20 years after he was convicted of the 1994 kidnapping, rape and murder of Stacy Errickson, a 22-year-old mother of two whom Williams abducted just outside of Jacksonville. Williams’ attorneys argued, much like Jones’, that he was not adequately defended by previous counsel. Williams’ earliest attorneys didn’t present mitigating evidence of his abusive and traumatic childhood that included being pimped by his mother to men and women in exchange for food and money. Williams was denied clemency at his hearing earlier this month. He apologized before the clemency board, saying: “I am so sorry. I wish I could take it back, but I can’t. To those I hurt, sorry is not enough.”    Monday’s back-to-back executions are part of the state’s unprecedented effort to kill eight inmates over 11 days before its supply of midazolam expires. Midazolam is a controversial sedative that’s been blamed for botched executions in other states, including Arizona and Oklahoma. Critics argue it does not reliably render the prisoner unconscious before the second drug, pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the body (including breathing) is administered. The third drug, potassium chloride, stops the heart. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said it was uncertain whether the state could procure more of the increasingly hard-to-find midazolam. Last week, Ledell Lee, 51, was the first Arkansas prisoner to be executed in more than a decade. Four other prisoners have received individual stays of execution. Kenneth Williams, 38, is scheduled to be executed Thursday. Both Hutchinson and Rutledge released statements following each execution Monday night offering comfort to the prisoners’ victims and championing the executions as justice. Amnesty International, which opposes capital punishment, called the state’s efforts “shameful.” “The sentences of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are another heinous example of how the death penalty is applied to people with severe mental impairments and history of abuse. This conveyer belt of death must stop immediately by commuting the remaining sentences, and abolishing the death penalty once and for all.” -- 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.

25 апреля, 05:22

Anderson Cooper Warns: Don't Be 'Desensitized' By Trump's 'Fake Facts'

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AC: We shouldn't be desensitized to the president saying things that simply are not true #KeepingThemHonest https://t.co/Xet4hiVBFJ— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 25, 2017 Don’t be desensitized.  That’s the warning from CNN’s Anderson Cooper, noting that President Donald Trump once again implied ― incorrectly ― that he beat Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.  “I don’t even know that I need to say this, he did not beat Hillary Clinton in the popular vote,” Cooper said on “Anderson Cooper 360” on Monday. “She beat him by almost 2.9 million votes.” He added: “This might seem like a minor point, sour grapes from Democrats, old news not even worth mentioning. But let’s just think for a moment how unusual it should be for a president of the United States to cavalierly and repeatedly say things that are simply not true. It isn’t something we should be desensitized to.” Cooper listed several other unfounded claims made by Trump, including his belief that millions of votes were cast illegally, and that Trump Tower was wiretapped by President Barack Obama.  “I should point out he won, election polls said he wouldn’t,” Cooper said. “It was a historic win. He doesn’t need to make up fake facts.”  -- 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.

25 апреля, 04:32

CNN's Tapper: Trump 'Cramming Like A College Kid' To Show Something For His 100 Days

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Donald Trump has fulfilled so few campaign promises as he nears his first 100 days in office that he’s “cramming like a college kid” to dredge up something as he races to the deadline, quipped CNN’s Jake Tapper. The president is obviously edgy about the milestone that he’ll hit Saturday. He’s already anticipating bad reviews from the press, insisting in a tweet that no matter how good a job he’s done, the media won’t appreciate it. Besides, 100 days is such an arbitrary period that it’s a “ridiculous standard,” he has complained. No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017 But that’s not what he said during the campaign, when he promised on video that he would honor a “contract” with the American voter — “my 100-day action plan” — to deliver much in his first 100 days, noted Tapper, who replayed Trump’s campaign vow on “The Lead.” “I’m not saying that contract’s in breach, but most of those items on that action plan have yet to come to fruition,” said Tapper. “So the Trump administration is right now cramming like a college kid during finals week in an attempt to deliver on some of the promises that brought his voters to the polls.” For those “keeping score,” only one of the promises for legislation has even emerged: the failed Obamacare replacement. So Trump has gone from “I alone can fix it” to “nobody knew issues like health care could be this complicated,” scoffed Tapper.  In the last several days, the Trump’s administration has stepped up the pressure to shake loose a commitment from Congress to pay for the border wall, which threatens to unhinge funding talks to keep the government operating past Friday. Trump also said he would unveil his basic tax reform plan this week — but Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said actual details won’t be ready until June. At least Trump has the polls, which he somehow finds comforting, even though they show that he has the lowest approval ratings (41 percent, according to Gallup) of any president elected to his first term since World War II. But his bedrock supporters seem to be holding strong, with 96 percent saying they would vote for him again. New polls out today are very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative. Would still beat Hillary in .....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2017 ...popular vote. ABC News/Washington Post Poll (wrong big on election) said almost all stand by their vote on me & 53% said strong leader.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2017 Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, prompting Tapper to note about Trump’s tweet: “Still beat Hillary in popular vote? Kind of an odd comment, ’cause he never beat Hillary in the popular vote.” type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58fe1925e4b018a9ce5d3896,58f9e5c4e4b018a9ce5a3713 -- 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.

25 апреля, 04:21

Trump Tax Push Raises Questions About Scope Of His 'Reform'

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President Donald Trump’s zeal to unveil a tax plan before his 100th day in office is raising questions about just how thorough his “tax reform” plans will be, amid signals that his focus for now is on slashing tax rates. Trump has directed aides to move quickly on a plan to cut the corporate income tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, a Trump administration official said on Monday. With his 100th day nearing on April 29, Trump has been ordering studies and signing executive orders. But he has yet to introduce a major bill to the Republican-controlled Congress on any topic or win passage of someone else’s that he supports. He has promised a “big tax reform and tax reduction” announcement on Wednesday. Some analysts said this may consist of a proposal to cut the corporate rate to 15 percent, cap the individual tax rate at 33 percent, repeal the estate and alternative minimum taxes and cut taxes for the middle class. In earlier days, Trump vowed to oversee the biggest “tax reform” since President Ronald Reagan’s in 1986, a legislative feat that has since defied every president. Wall Street analysts say Trump may instead offer a package of rate reductions, like those backed by Reagan in 1981 and President George W. Bush in 2001, which left the tax system intact. If that is the case, it “is not tax reform. It is a tax cut,” Chris Krueger, analyst at financial firm Cowen & Co, said in a research note. On Wednesday, Krueger said, “We will get some vague benchmarks about rate levels... with likely no detail on how to finance those reductions except for the assurance that the growth projections will take care of it.” The announcement could also show whether Trump is turning away from a Republican plan backed by House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan that would pay for tax cuts with an import tax and by killing a business interest deduction. Ryan and other Republicans will get a preview of Trump’s plan on Tuesday at a Capitol Hill meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, aides said. Trump’s announcement, however, could be a disappointment for investors seeking clarity. “I don’t know that it will shed a great deal of light beyond what the administration has already said,” noted Peter Cohn, analyst at financial firm Height Securities. function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); -- 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.

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25 апреля, 03:33

Arkansas Executes Jack Jones As Part Of First U.S. Double Execution In 17 Years

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Arkansas has executed the first of two men scheduled to die in the first U.S. double execution since 2000.  Jack Jones Jr., 52, was the first prisoner put to death Monday night. Jones was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 7:20 p.m. CDT at the Arkansas Department of Corrections’ Cummins Unit outside of Little Rock. Lawyers for Jones petitioned all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court but were ultimately denied both a stay of execution and a petition to have the high court hear his case. His lawyers argued that Jones’ previous attorneys failed to present mitigating evidence that could have spared him a death sentence and said evidence of mental health issues Jones suffered should have been presented at trial.  Jones had been on death row for 22 years after he was convicted of the 1995 rape and murder of 34-year-old bookkeeper Mary Phillips in Bald Knob, Arkansas.  Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called Jones’ execution justice in a statement following his death. “The Phillips family has waited far too long to see justice carried out, and I pray they find peace tonight,” said Rutledge, a Republican, whose office had vigorously opposed the inmate’s petitions for a stay. Earlier this month, Jones did not appear for a clemency hearing. At the hearing, his attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, read a letter addressed to Phillips’ daughter. “Your wish is and always has been that I die,” he wrote. “And I could never, ever deny you this.” Marcel Williams, 46, was scheduled to be execution one hour after Jones. The executions are part of the state’s unprecedented effort to kill eight inmates over 11 days before its supply of one of the execution drugs expires. Last week, Ledell Lee, 51, was the first Arkansas prisoner to be executed in more than a decade. Four other prisoners have received individual stays of execution. Kenneth Williams, 38, is scheduled to be executed on April 27.  Amnesty International, which opposes capital punishment, called the state’s efforts “shameful.” “The sentences of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are another heinous example of how the death penalty is applied to people with severe mental impairments and history of abuse. This conveyer belt of death must stop immediately by commuting the remaining sentences, and abolishing the death penalty once and for all.” This is a developing story. Check back for updates. -- 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.

25 апреля, 03:07

Jaywalker Beaten In Street By Cop Claims Abuse Continued In Jail

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function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); A black man punched repeatedly by a Sacramento, California, police officer who confronted him for jaywalking claims he was later stripped naked, beaten and taunted by jail guards.  Nandi Cain Jr., 24, says in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Monday against Sacramento city and county officials that the “racially biased” abuse violated his constitutional rights and left him with an untreated concussion, black eye, broken nose and mental condition.  A witness video recording shows Cain on April 10 exchanging words on the street with the officer, identified in the lawsuit as Anthony Figueroa. As Cain removes his jacket, the video shows Figueroa tackle him and punch him several times.  Cain was charged with resisting arrest. He also was charged with previously missing a Fresno court date stemming from a trespassing case from his days as a homeless 19-year-old.  After he was taken to the Sacramento County Jail, the lawsuit says, several sheriff’s department deputies joined Figueroa in a fresh attack. Figueroa forced Cain to lie face-down on the floor of a cell, and the group of officers kneed him in the ribs as they removed his clothing, according to the suit. Cain says feared he would be sexually assaulted and began sobbing.  “After robbing Mr. Cain of his manhood and basic human dignity, the men left him alone in his cell, without medical attention, food or the opportunity to make a phone call,” the lawsuit says.  Authorities released Cain hours later, citing insufficient evidence for the resisting-arrest charge.  His attorney, John Burris, said the only thing Cain did wrong was “walking while black.” Pedestrian advocates agreed, telling the Sacramento Bee that video shows no reason for the officer to accost Cain.  “The conduct was wrong and inappropriate,” Burris told HuffPost of the cops’ behavior. “He was traumatized emotionally.” Cain, who lives with his girlfriend, has not returned to work as an electronic-parts salesman. Being outdoors makes him paranoid, and he feels uncomfortable being “that dude who got beat up by police on the internet,” he said in an interview with the Sacramento Bee on Sunday. Sacramento police declined to comment on the lawsuit. The sheriff’s department did not answer HuffPost’s inquiries. Police previously criticized the officer, but declined to identify him, saying only that he was a two-year veteran. “The actions of the involved Sacramento Police Officer are disturbing and does not appear to be reasonable based upon the circumstances,” the department said two weeks ago. Figueroa has been suspended with pay during the investigation. The police account of the confrontation said Cain challenged the officer to a fight, and “the officer charged at the pedestrian to take him into custody.”  Cain’s lawsuit says the officer approached with his hand on his gun, so Cain removed his jacket to show that he was unarmed. Cain “informed the officer that if he wanted to pick a fight the officer should at least be a man and remove his duty belt and fight Mr. Cain fairly, as opposed to making up false accusations to justify unwarranted police harassment,” the lawsuit says.  The police department says that Cain, even after he was handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a police cruiser, remained combative by kicking the seats. Cain acknowledges kicking the seats in his lawsuit, saying he had “an overwhelming feeling of being helpless and abused.” He says he passed out en route to jail.  “I’ve been embarrassed and discriminated against, when all I’ve been trying to do is go home from work,” Cain said at a press conference Monday.  -- 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.

25 апреля, 03:06

Trump Admin Plans To Impose 20 Percent Duties On Canadian Softwood Lumber

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WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday his agency will impose new anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports, a move that escalates a long-running trade dispute between the two countries. Speaking to Reuters by phone a day ahead of the expected announcement, Ross said that the duties would affect $5 billion worth of softwood lumber imports from Canada. “It’s about 31.5 percent of the total U.S. market, so it’s a pretty big deal in terms of the Canadian relationship,” he said. The trade case was filed at Commerce against Canadian lumber producers by their U.S. competitors, who argued that Canadian timber grown on public lands receives an effective subsidy from the government that is unavailable to the U.S. firms, who cut timber grown largely on private land. A Commerce Department fact sheet on the pending announcement seen by Reuters shows that West Fraser Mills will pay the highest duties at 24.12 percent, followed by Canfor Corp at 20.26 percent. Resolute FP Canada Ltd will pay a 12.82 percent duty, while Tolko Marketing and Sales and Tolko Industries will pay a 19.50 percent duty and J.D. Irving Ltd, will pay 3.02 percent. All other Canadian producers face a 19.88 percent duty, according to the document. The preliminary determination directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits for the duties on all new imports as well as softwood products imported over the past 90 days. To remain in effect, however, the duties need to be finalized by Commerce and then confirmed by the U.S. International Trade Commission after an investigation that includes testimony from both sides. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by 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.

25 апреля, 02:57

Right-Wing Broadcaster Calls For Killing Of 'Globalists At CNN'

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A conservative network is apologizing for comments made by a host who suggested it was “time to kill the globalists” who run CNN. Nick Fuentes, a host for Right Side Broadcasting Network, made the comments April 19 on his show, “America First With Nick Fuentes.” Fuentes made the comments during an Islamophobic tirade:  “The First Amendment was not written for Muslims, by the way. It wasn’t written for a barbaric ideology that wanted to come over and kill us. It was written for Calvinists. It was written for Lutherans and Catholics, not for Salafists, not for Wahhabists, not for the Saudi royal family. Don’t think the founders had that one in mind. And it also was intended for citizens, not for immigrants.” Fuentes then started talking about the mainstream media, lumping in Fox News. “Who runs the media? Globalists. Time to kill the globalists. I don’t want to not watch CNN. I don’t want CNN to go out of business. I don’t want CNN to be more honest. I want people that run CNN to be arrested and deported or hanged because this is deliberate.” The complete video can be seen above courtesy of MediaMatters.org, which saved it for posterity.  The comments were incendiary enough that the network was forced to post a message on Twitter proclaiming that, while they believe Fuentes’ comments “were made in jest, they are still unacceptable, inappropriate and do not reflect the view of our team here at Right Side.” RSBN statement regarding comments made by one of our hosts: pic.twitter.com/oExxXCMtMA— RSBN TV (@RSBNetwork) April 22, 2017 MediaMatters.org reported that tweet was contradicted by another tweet sent by Fuentes’ producers thanking Twitter users who praised Fuentes as “a smart young man” for wishing death to CNN employees. That tweet has since been deleted. The tone of the tweet also contrasted the tone of comments made last June by Right Side Broadcasting Network CEO Joe Seales during a Reddit Ask Me Anything. When Seales was asked how to deal with the mainstream media, he said, “Just continue to discredit them, call them out and mock the hell out of them,” according to The Washington Post.  -- 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.