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18 мая, 02:36

Here's Why Democrats Are Not Storming The Gates, Demanding Impeachment

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); WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump fired the FBI director in charge of investigating his associates’ ties to Russia. The next day he gave Russians classified information in the Oval Office. And now it’s reported that Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to let go of an inquiry on the Russian entanglements of fired national security adviser Michael Flynn. That leaves out a lot, but just from those facts, some Republicans are starting to use the word “Watergate” to describe the scope of unfolding revelations about Trump. Yet few Democrats at this point are using the word that describes what Watergate was leading to: “impeachment.” “I’m not there,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) told reporters Wednesday. “I just want to get the information.” “I’m not afraid of the I-word,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.). “Independent ― independent commission.”  It might seem like a surprisingly reticent approach for a party that could stand to benefit politically. But Democrats are also looking at history and the damage the last impeachment proceedings, against President Bill Clinton, did to both the country and political parties involved. They find themselves walking a fine line between legitimate freak-out and overreach, and they do not want to blow it. If lawmakers get ahold of Comey’s Trump memo and others he reportedly wrote, and they confirm Trump tried to coerce the former FBI director, it should add pressure against Trump without Democrats having to manufacture it. If the facts lead Congress toward impeachment, Democrats want to make sure all of the evidence is lined up, and, well, unimpeachable. The strategy to avoid “Dump Trump” talk is such a deliberate stance that when Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) took to the House floor Wednesday to call for impeachment, he ended by noting his was a “voice in the wilderness,” at least for now. And there are certainly Democrats who do not feel constrained. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) mentioned, as she has before, the possibility of impeachment Tuesday. “We don’t have to be afraid to use the word ‘impeachment,’” she said. But most Democrats are exercising what appears to be genuine caution around something so momentous. Just to be sure, there have been talking points circulated to the Democratic talking heads who may get questions about impeachment. The suggested response is: “That’s not a question that can be answered until we get more facts. We need Director Comey to testify in a public hearing, all memos and tapes turned over, a special prosecutor to be appointed and an independent commission to take this investigation outside of Congress,” according to a memo from a Democratic operative. It sounds an awful lot like the words that are in fact coming from the mouths of lawmakers. But that doesn’t necessarily make the tactic cynical. Democratic sources asked about the reluctance to leap to the impeachment argument said that trying to use Trump’s current, not-fully-known troubles as fodder to remove him would actually undercut the seriousness of what Democrats fear the country is facing. “The worst thing Democrats could do is to make this move too early. There are many unanswered questions and facts to be learned and revealed,” one Senate Democratic aide said, speaking anonymously to discuss the private thinking of lawmakers. “It’s a serious step and requires a full understanding of the facts before making the leap.” There is a precedent for a take-it-slow approach. Looking back at the impeachment case against Clinton ― which became almost entirely partisan and ultimately focused on conduct that didn’t involve his official duties ― the then-GOP leaders, Newt Gingrich in the House and Trent Lott in the Senate, went out of their way to urge Republicans not to raise the issue of impeachment. Indeed, the House did not vote to start the process until a month after an independent counsel released the full investigation. The ongoing case against Clinton also backfired, with Democrats picking up seats in the 1998 midterm election when they had been expected to lose many.  You are empowering Trump surrogates if you first go to impeachment. senior Democratic aide Democratic strategists see a similar danger in trying to overreach in the case against Trump. “You are empowering Trump surrogates if you first go to impeachment,” said a senior Democratic aide who requested anonymity to discuss congressional reasoning. “That’s all they have been trying to harp on over and over again ― ‘Democrats are sore losers, they want to nullify the results of the election, they want to impeach this president.’ That’s what they are using to motivate their base.” And, the aide said, starting an impeachment drumbeat now undercuts the arguments for getting full, fair investigations from an independent counsel and a 9/11-style commission. “Republicans are not going to support these things if all we’re talking about is impeachment. It is damaging to the effort to secure these independent investigations,” the aide said. Lawmakers also were adamant that launching premature talk about removing the president does more than muddy the political waters. It also has the potential to drive an even deeper wedge of distrust and anger into the already divided population. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said Congress members need to ask themselves if they want to “discharge” their duties and whether Trump’s actions call for removal from office. “In order for that remedy to be appropriate, the country has to believe that the series of conduct is such that this president cannot continue in office,” Schiff said. “It cannot be perceived as an effort to nullify the election by other means.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wouldn’t say if what Trump asked of Comey was an impeachable offense because senators don’t know if it actually happened or the “depth and breadth of it,” she said. “I’ve been through an impeachment hearing, and they’re not good for the country let alone the individual. And until we know much more than this, it should remain where it is today ― off the table,” Feinstein said. Asked why Democrats were comfortable with pursuing an independent commission to investigate the president’s conduct concerning the ongoing FBI probe when such bodies are known to take years to finish their work, Cummings replied: “to get it right.” “We are at a very significant moment in this country’s history. This is our watch. So if it takes a year, if it takes two years, if it takes three years, we need to get this right. Yeah, it may take a little time, but this is not about us; this is bigger than us; this is bigger than President Trump. This is about the soul of our democracy,” Cummings said. “Will it lead to impeachment? I don’t know. But one thing is for sure ... if there was a moment that we needed to leave our party hats outside the door, this is that moment.” Sam Stein contributed to this report. -- 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.

16 мая, 01:19

Why people are blaming the global cyberattack on the NSA

This week's worldwide cybersecurity crisis is just the latest black eye for the National Security Agency and its practice of stockpiling secret means of snooping into computer systems. That’s because whoever launched the global series of ransomware assaults is using a flaw in Microsoft Windows that the U.S. spy agency had apparently exploited for years — until someone leaked the NSA’s hacking tools online and allowed cyber criminals to copy them. Now, critics ranging from Microsoft to Vladimir Putin to fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden are denouncing the agency’s practice of stockpiling computer vulnerabilities for its own use instead of informing the developers or manufacturers so they can plug the holes. And some privacy advocates and technology experts want Congress to make the agency rein in the practice. Here’s POLITICO’s summary of where that debate stands: How did hackers get ahold of the NSA’s tools? That’s a good question. But the ransomware racing around the globe is based on a cache of apparent NSA hacking software and documents that a group calling itself “the Shadow Brokers” posted online on April 14. (Shadow Brokers first began making these kinds of dumps last year.) The Trump and former Obama administrations have refused to confirm that the NSA had lost control of its tools, but former intelligence officials say the leaked material is genuine. How the hacking tools escaped the NSA is unknown. But there are three main possibilities: An NSA employee or contractor went rogue and stole the files; a sophisticated adversary such as the Russian government hacked into the spy agency and took them; or an NSA hacker accidentally left the files exposed on a server being used to stage a U.S. intelligence operation, and someone found them. Contractors, who can lack the institutional loyalty of regular employees, have long been a source of heartache to the intelligence community, from the 2013 Snowden leaks to the arrest last year of Harold Martin, a Maryland man charged with stealing reams of classified files and hoarding them in his home. Which NSA tool are the hackers using? It appears to be a modified version of an NSA hacking tool, a software package dubbed “ETERNALBLUE,” that was buried in the Shadow Brokers’ leak. The tool took advantage of a flaw in a part of Windows called the Server Message Block, or SMB, protocol, which connects computers on a shared network. In essence, the flaw allows malware to spread across networks of unpatched Windows computers, a dangerous prospect in the increasingly connected world. After the cache leaked, cybersecurity researchers, realizing that the SMB vulnerability could expose organizations to massive hacks, “reverse engineered” the tool, checking how it worked and evaluating how to defeat it. These researchers posted their work online to crowdsource and accelerate the process. But their work also helped digital thieves. At some point, the criminals behind the ransomware attack grabbed the reverse-engineered exploit and incorporated it into their malware. This separated their attack tool from previous popular iterations of ransomware. Whereas normal ransomware locks down an infected computer’s files and stops there, this variant can jump from machine to machine, infecting entire businesses like the internet’s earliest computer worms. What did the NSA do after learning of the theft? The spy agency probably warned Microsoft about the vulnerability soon afterward. Microsoft released a patch for computer users to repair the flaw in March, a month before the Shadow Brokers leak. But that’s not good enough for civil liberties advocates, who want stricter limits on how long the government can hold onto vulnerabilities it discovers. “These attacks underscore the fact that vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies, but by hackers and criminals around the world,” said Patrick Toomey, a national security attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement. “Patching security holes immediately, not stockpiling them, is the best way to make everyone’s digital life safer.” The agency’s defenders disagree. “That nobody else discovered these vulnerabilities as far as we know suggests that it is right for the NSA to hold onto them if they have confidence that nobody else has a copy of their tools,” Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the University of California in Berkeley, told POLITICO. “It actually is a problem that the NSA can’t or won’t claim credit for properly notifying Microsoft. The NSA did the right thing, and they aren’t getting the credit for it they deserve.” Is this a new controversy for the NSA? No. But the crisis that began on Friday is giving it prominence like never before. Privacy advocates and tech companies have long criticized the U.S. spy agencies for keeping knowledge of security flaws a secret and building hacking tools to exploit them. And they say it’s especially bad when the government can’t keep its secret exploits out of the hands of cyber criminals. “When [a] U.S. nuclear weapon is stolen, it’s called an ‘empty quiver,’” tweeted Snowden, whose 2013 leaks exposed the vast underbelly of the government's spying capacity. “This weekend, [the NSA’s] tools attacked hospitals.” Microsoft President Brad Smith also denounced the NSA’s inability to secure its tools. “An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen,” he wrote in a weekend blog post. Putin later picked up that theme, telling reporters in Beijing that U.S. intelligence agencies were clearly “the initial source of the virus.” “Once they're let out of the lamp, genies of this kind, especially those created by intelligence services, can later do damage to their authors and creators," the Russian leader said. But former national security officials say the government needs to build hacking tools to keep the U.S. safe. And White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert downplayed the possible origin of the code Monday.“Regardless of the provenance of the exploit here used,” he told ABC, “who is culpable are the criminals that distributed it and the criminals that weaponized it, added additional details to it, and turned this into something that is holding ransom data but also putting at risk lives and hospitals.” What’s Congress doing? The government uses a system called the “Vulnerability Equities Process” to determine whether and when agencies must tell companies about code flaws they discover. Following recent spy agency leaks, former government officials, cyber experts and tech companies have proposed changes to the VEP that would limit the intelligence community’s ability to hoard vulnerabilities.Some are calling for Congress to act. Those include Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat with a computer science degree, who has led the charge to reform the VEP. Lieu, a leading congressional voice on cybersecurity, called the process “not transparent” in a statement Friday, saying “few people understand how the government makes these critical decisions.” The ransomware campaign, he added, “shows what can happen when the NSA or CIA write malware instead of disclosing the vulnerability to the software manufacturer.” But Lieu’s bill is unlikely to become law. Not only does the intelligence community have numerous defenders in Congress, but politicians simply aren’t paying much attention to the issue. Lawmakers haven't rushed to join Lieu in calling for VEP changes. There have only been a few hearings on ransomware in recent years, and no pending legislation mentions either ransomware or the VEP.Martin Matishak contributed to this report.

Выбор редакции
01 мая, 22:23

Why the Phrase 'Late Capitalism' Is Suddenly Everywhere

An investigation into a term that seems to perfectly capture the indignities and absurdities of the modern economy

28 апреля, 18:09

What Photographers Of The LA Riots Really Saw Behind The Lens

Few people in their right minds would have stayed outside the night the verdicts came down. On April 29, 1992, a Los Angeles court found four police officers not guilty in the brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King. Within hours, the city was on fire, and it burned for days, becoming a defining moment for black resistance and the long, dark history of race in America. Los Angeles was primed to erupt. The video of King’s beating compounded months of tension between the police and Angelenos — and it sparked a nationwide uproar about racial bias and police brutality that made the story of the riots much more complex than black versus white, looters versus shop owners, or police versus the people. The Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the riots, and for good reason: The reporters and photographers it sent to cover them literally dodged bullets to offer a small window into the chaos. Twenty-five years later, those journalists have plenty more to tell. We interviewed three former and current LA Times photographers who braved those violent nights to bring back some of the images that defined a broken city. Jesus, what did I just live through? - Steve Dykes, former Los Angeles Times photographer Kirk McKoy The first few hours after the verdicts, Kirk McKoy almost died a few times. McKoy, who is black, was standing near the intersection of Florence and Normandie ― which the LA Times dubbed “ground zero of the unrest” ― and he didn’t feel safe. While the rest of the world was watching white truck driver Reginald Denny get beaten by black men on TV, he was witnessing a free-for-all. In fact, McKoy has a hard time labeling what he saw as a race riot, or civil disobedience, or an uprising. Within the first two hours, he says, he saw all three. It was “mayhem,” he said, and nobody was spared. He saw a fellow photographer ― a white woman in “a very rough African-American” neighborhood, McKoy said ― lying bloodied on the ground after taking a rock to the head. He traded swings in a fistfight with two guys who were trying to steal his camera. Then he gave up his first canister of film because a man holding a gun to his head didn’t like that he was taking photos of the looting. McKoy described the experience to HuffPost: A guy pulls out a .45 and puts it to my temple and says, “If you take my picture, I’ll blow your head off.” He’s got the gun, he’s shaking it at me, and I’m saying, “I didn’t take your picture!” And he says, “Yeah you did, I oughta waste you right now!” And at that point, I just opened up the back of the camera and gave him the film and said, “Here, whatever I just shot, take it.” It wasn’t worth it. Wasn’t worth arguing with this guy over it. He pulled the film all the way out and went on about his business. At that point, I’m scared out of my mind, hands trembling. I’m trying to figure what I’m going to do. When he was finally able to get his bearings, McKoy got ahold of his editors back at the office to tell them it wasn’t safe to send other photographers out there. It’s hard to imagine keeping your wits about you when the city around you is on fire. McKoy kept his cool and captured moments that helped define the lawlessness that overtook Los Angeles over the course of several days. But he admits that he made plenty of mistakes ― several on that first day: At some point, around 11 o’clock at night, [Times photographer Mike Meadows and I] were both exhausted, figuring out what’s next ... we’re back on Florence and we’re sitting in the car, buildings are burning on both sides of us, and we stop for a traffic light. We’re sitting there obeying traffic signals ― and buildings are burning on both sides of us, people are running around ― and we’re sitting there calmly trying to figure out where to go. And then some guy runs up and sticks a gun in the car [and tells] us, “You’re both about to die.” We both duck, and Mike hits the accelerator with his hand and just shot through the intersection and hoped no one was in front of us. We were not about to wait to find out if that guy was serious. Later, McKoy recalled standing in front of a crowd photographing some looters outside a store when someone pointed a gun at him and started firing in his direction. He hopped back in Meadows’ car and they got out of there. “So that was my first day,” he said. Hyungwon Kang From the start, Hyungwon Kang was looking to capture context. He saw a inner-city Korean-American community that society had abandoned long before the riots started. And over those few days, he saw it standing on its last legs, getting the rug pulled out from under it. “In real time, [Korean-Americans] had to decide whether to take this lying down or whether they were gonna stand up for their basic rights,” he said. “Not everybody survived that process.”  Koreatown was an epicenter of looting and violence during the riots, and Korean-Americans owned many of the businesses in South Central Los Angeles. Korean-owned businesses suffered half of the $1 billion total in damage across the city, and the people there had to fend for themselves when the looting began, Kang said. “They were standing up for their own survival. They were merely trying to protect what was rightfully their own,” he said. “For most immigrant businesses, all of your savings and assets are in the inventory of the stores, and most of those stores don’t have insurance. When their stores went up in flames, they lost life savings; they lost everything.” Kang, who is Korean-American, captured that fear and upheaval in two sobering photos. The first, a photo of two men carrying pistols and defending shops, reveals how people were left to defend their livelihoods with no expectation that the cops or anyone else would come to help them. In another photo, Kang captured the killing of 18-year-old Edward Song Lee. Lee was responding to calls over the radio asking for help protecting Koreatown businesses, Kang says, when the car he was riding in came under fire. “In the absence of police protection, people were calling into Radio Korea asking, ‘Can someone come and help guard our store? We’re being broken into,’” he said. “Koreatown volunteers ― these college students, most without any guns ― went to provide protection to the shops. This group of four kids in one car was one of them. It was unfortunate that they got shot at on the way over there.” Kang said he arrived to see Lee being pulled out of the car. Twenty-five years later, Kang says the Korean-American community in Los Angeles is still struggling. Many immigrant families couldn’t get banks to bail them out after the riots; businesses and families were torn apart. Kang said he hopes his photos tell the story of the “silent victims” of the riots and shed more light on racial conflict and violence that he says is often mischaracterized: These immigrant families made great sacrifices to build what they have; to be able to educate their children in America, and they were victimized at the expense of the mainstream community turning this into a black vs. Asian fight. It was not. This was a mainstream issue that has been in American history for many generations. The generations now are expressing that through Black Lives Matter and other movements ― and I hope they’ll study the LA riots and learn from them and the greater society’s mistakes, so we don’t repeat them. Steve Dykes The gravity of the story you’re working on doesn’t always hit you right away. All three of the photographers we spoke to noted that their training taught them to be cautious, but also obligated them to keep shooting. Steve Dykes was driving alongside a fellow journalist with the Oregonian to shoot the Lakers/Trail Blazers playoff game, when the pair got their first taste of what was to come. “I looked in the rearview mirror and I could see two African-American men pointing to where my car was at a stop light,” Dykes said. “I went up over the grass near a library, between a telephone pole and a guideline, and got away. I never heard the gunshots but I found a bullet hole in the tailgate of my company car.” He remembers looking up at the Lakers game and watching video of Reginald Denny getting beaten half to death. He remembers radioing his desk at the LA Times for assignments, and then realizing that the Times building itself was under siege. In particular, he remembers one of his best shots from the riots, because it was the one that humbled him. When Dykes captured a photo of an officer collapsing as he chased a bloodied looter, he said he wasn’t thinking about the riots or the implications or the danger popping off all around him. He was in full photographer mode; he was thinking of his shot. “While you’re in it, you never really think about it,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘That picture, if it was on any other corner, the background would have been a burning building.’ It was a park fence. But I remember thinking, ‘If it was on any other corner, it would have been a more impactful photo.’” But whatever switch kept his emotions at bay on the job eventually got flipped: I remember driving home the second day and driving over the Hollywood freeway, and down past the Capitol Records Building, and the radio was playing a blurb of a Martin Luther King speech, and then right after, they played “Under The Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When I hear that song, it still gives me chills, because I was looking south and just remember seeing 20 fires at least, scattered everywhere … and then it was just like, “Jesus, what did I just live through?” That moment still makes the hairs on his neck stand on end. “I was going home to see my family, I mean, I was alive,” he said. “I remember thinking, ‘Well, shit, this will go down in history.’” -- 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.

28 апреля, 18:09

What Photographers Of The LA Riots Really Saw Behind The Lens

Few people in their right minds would have stayed outside the night the verdicts came down. On April 29, 1992, a Los Angeles court found four police officers not guilty in the brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King. Within hours, the city was on fire, and it burned for days, becoming a defining moment for black resistance and the long, dark history of race in America. Los Angeles was primed to erupt. The video of King’s beating compounded months of tension between the police and Angelenos — and it sparked a nationwide uproar about racial bias and police brutality that made the story of the riots much more complex than black versus white, looters versus shop owners, or police versus the people. The Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the riots, and for good reason: The reporters and photographers it sent to cover them literally dodged bullets to offer a small window into the chaos. Twenty-five years later, those journalists have plenty more to tell. We interviewed three former and current LA Times photographers who braved those violent nights to bring back some of the images that defined a broken city. Jesus, what did I just live through? - Steve Dykes, former Los Angeles Times photographer Kirk McKoy The first few hours after the verdicts, Kirk McKoy almost died a few times. McKoy, who is black, was standing near the intersection of Florence and Normandie ― which the LA Times dubbed “ground zero of the unrest” ― and he didn’t feel safe. While the rest of the world was watching white truck driver Reginald Denny get beaten by black men on TV, he was witnessing a free-for-all. In fact, McKoy has a hard time labeling what he saw as a race riot, or civil disobedience, or an uprising. Within the first two hours, he says, he saw all three. It was “mayhem,” he said, and nobody was spared. He saw a fellow photographer ― a white woman in “a very rough African-American” neighborhood, McKoy said ― lying bloodied on the ground after taking a rock to the head. He traded swings in a fistfight with two guys who were trying to steal his camera. Then he gave up his first canister of film because a man holding a gun to his head didn’t like that he was taking photos of the looting. McKoy described the experience to HuffPost: A guy pulls out a .45 and puts it to my temple and says, “If you take my picture, I’ll blow your head off.” He’s got the gun, he’s shaking it at me, and I’m saying, “I didn’t take your picture!” And he says, “Yeah you did, I oughta waste you right now!” And at that point, I just opened up the back of the camera and gave him the film and said, “Here, whatever I just shot, take it.” It wasn’t worth it. Wasn’t worth arguing with this guy over it. He pulled the film all the way out and went on about his business. At that point, I’m scared out of my mind, hands trembling. I’m trying to figure what I’m going to do. When he was finally able to get his bearings, McKoy got ahold of his editors back at the office to tell them it wasn’t safe to send other photographers out there. It’s hard to imagine keeping your wits about you when the city around you is on fire. McKoy kept his cool and captured moments that helped define the lawlessness that overtook Los Angeles over the course of several days. But he admits that he made plenty of mistakes ― several on that first day: At some point, around 11 o’clock at night, [Times photographer Mike Meadows and I] were both exhausted, figuring out what’s next ... we’re back on Florence and we’re sitting in the car, buildings are burning on both sides of us, and we stop for a traffic light. We’re sitting there obeying traffic signals ― and buildings are burning on both sides of us, people are running around ― and we’re sitting there calmly trying to figure out where to go. And then some guy runs up and sticks a gun in the car [and tells] us, “You’re both about to die.” We both duck, and Mike hits the accelerator with his hand and just shot through the intersection and hoped no one was in front of us. We were not about to wait to find out if that guy was serious. Later, McKoy recalled standing in front of a crowd photographing some looters outside a store when someone pointed a gun at him and started firing in his direction. He hopped back in Meadows’ car and they got out of there. “So that was my first day,” he said. Hyungwon Kang From the start, Hyungwon Kang was looking to capture context. He saw a inner-city Korean-American community that society had abandoned long before the riots started. And over those few days, he saw it standing on its last legs, getting the rug pulled out from under it. “In real time, [Korean-Americans] had to decide whether to take this lying down or whether they were gonna stand up for their basic rights,” he said. “Not everybody survived that process.”  Koreatown was an epicenter of looting and violence during the riots, and Korean-Americans owned many of the businesses in South Central Los Angeles. Some in L.A.’s black and Korean communities point to the case of Soon Ja Du, a Korean-American grocer who was sentenced to probation and community service for killing black teen Latasha Harlins in 1991, as a factor in the riots and a big reason Korean shops were targeted. Korean-owned businesses suffered half of the $1 billion total in damage across the city, and the people there had to fend for themselves when the looting began, Kang said. “They were standing up for their own survival. They were merely trying to protect what was rightfully their own,” he said. “For most immigrant businesses, all of your savings and assets are in the inventory of the stores, and most of those stores don’t have insurance. When their stores went up in flames, they lost life savings; they lost everything.” Kang, who is Korean-American, captured that fear and upheaval in two sobering photos. The first, a photo of two men carrying pistols and defending shops, reveals how people were left to defend their livelihoods with no expectation that the cops or anyone else would come to help them. In another photo, Kang captured the killing of 18-year-old Edward Song Lee. Lee was responding to calls over the radio asking for help protecting Koreatown businesses, Kang says, when the car he was riding in came under fire. “In the absence of police protection, people were calling into Radio Korea asking, ‘Can someone come and help guard our store? We’re being broken into,’” he said. “Koreatown volunteers ― these college students, most without any guns ― went to provide protection to the shops. This group of four kids in one car was one of them. It was unfortunate that they got shot at on the way over there.” Kang said he arrived to see Lee being pulled out of the car. Twenty-five years later, Kang says the Korean-American community in Los Angeles is still struggling. Many immigrant families couldn’t get banks to bail them out after the riots; businesses and families were torn apart. Kang said he hopes his photos tell the story of the “silent victims” of the riots and shed more light on racial conflict and violence that he says is often mischaracterized: These immigrant families made great sacrifices to build what they have; to be able to educate their children in America, and they were victimized at the expense of the mainstream community turning this into a black vs. Asian fight. It was not. This was a mainstream issue that has been in American history for many generations. The generations now are expressing that through Black Lives Matter and other movements ― and I hope they’ll study the LA riots and learn from them and the greater society’s mistakes, so we don’t repeat them. Steve Dykes The gravity of the story you’re working on doesn’t always hit you right away. All three of the photographers we spoke to noted that their training taught them to be cautious, but also obligated them to keep shooting. Steve Dykes was driving alongside a fellow journalist with the Oregonian to shoot the Lakers/Trail Blazers playoff game, when the pair got their first taste of what was to come. “I looked in the rearview mirror and I could see two African-American men pointing to where my car was at a stop light,” Dykes said. “I went up over the grass near a library, between a telephone pole and a guideline, and got away. I never heard the gunshots but I found a bullet hole in the tailgate of my company car.” He remembers looking up at the Lakers game and watching video of Reginald Denny getting beaten half to death. He remembers radioing his desk at the LA Times for assignments, and then realizing that the Times building itself was under siege. In particular, he remembers one of his best shots from the riots, because it was the one that humbled him. When Dykes captured a photo of an officer collapsing as he chased a bloodied looter, he said he wasn’t thinking about the riots or the implications or the danger popping off all around him. He was in full photographer mode; he was thinking of his shot. “While you’re in it, you never really think about it,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘That picture, if it was on any other corner, the background would have been a burning building.’ It was a park fence. But I remember thinking, ‘If it was on any other corner, it would have been a more impactful photo.’” But whatever switch kept his emotions at bay on the job eventually got flipped: I remember driving home the second day and driving over the Hollywood freeway, and down past the Capitol Records Building, and the radio was playing a blurb of a Martin Luther King speech, and then right after, they played “Under The Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When I hear that song, it still gives me chills, because I was looking south and just remember seeing 20 fires at least, scattered everywhere … and then it was just like, “Jesus, what did I just live through?” That moment still makes the hairs on his neck stand on end. “I was going home to see my family, I mean, I was alive,” he said. “I remember thinking, ‘Well, shit, this will go down in history.’” This article has been updated with information about the killing of Latasha Harlins. -- 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.

19 апреля, 08:00

The Woman Who Blew Up The Race For The Cure Faces Jon Ossoff In Georgia

Remember a few years ago when Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood got in a big fight and it nearly blew up the Race For The Cure? It turned out that Komen had a die-hard anti-abortion activist as a senior official who had orchestrated the plan ― and she resigned. If it’s not ringing a bell, go back and read Laura Bassett’s reporting from 2012 on the whole affair. She got ahold of emails showing that a Komen official named Karen Handel had schemed to yank Komen funding from the women’s health group, precipitating a public relations crisis that nearly destroyed the cancer research organization.  It did not, however, destroy the career of Karen Handel. She went on to a long string of election losses, including a failed bid for the Republican nomination for governor and another for the nomination in a U.S. Senate race. This year, she lowered her sights and went for Tom Price’s vacated U.S. House seat in Georgia. The 6th Congressional District had been in Republican hands since the 1970s. How could she lose?  Never question Karen Handel’s ability to find a way to lose.  On Tuesday, Handel pulled in roughly 20 percent of the vote in the primary, finishing second to a 30-year-old Democrat in a district Republicans won by 24 percentage points just five months ago. The Republican vote was split widely among a slew of candidates ― all of them apparently worse than Handel.  Handel will face Democrat Jon Ossoff in the runoff on June 20.  Back in 2012, when Handel left Komen, Dave Weigel ― then of Slate, now of the Washington Post ― satirized the American political system with a story suggesting she’d soon make a comeback and win the presidency by 2028. I remember the story, because the fake reporter byline he used was none other than my daughter’s name.  Weigel’s fake dispatch: NOVEMBER 2028 Handel wins presidency; All-female team will be nation’s firstby Iris Grim, Buzzfeed ATLANTA ― Republican nominee Karen Handel has won the 2028 presidential election, an astonishing comeback for a woman who became a national martyr in the early-century abortion wars. “This is not a victory for me,” Handel told 100,000 supporters at a celebration here. “This is a victory for the American people.” The victory was closer than late polls suggested, with Handel’s victory over Democrat-Scientology fusion candidate Gavin Newsom only becoming clear after ballots from Wisconsin’s Waukesha County were counted. Some analysts suggested that Handel’s running mate, Bristol Palin, weakened the ticket with “inexplicable” campaign trail antics. In an interview with ABC News, a subsidiary of Buzzfeed-Halliburton, Handel’s chief strategist Ari Fleischer downplayed that criticism. The passage of the 35th Amendment, which granted full voting rights at conception, gave the Handel-Palin campaign an early cushion of votes, something the Newsom-Cruise ticket never overcame. “It probably didn’t hurt that a flood took out the entire Eastern Seaboard,” Fleischer added.   -- 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.

12 апреля, 18:00

14 Easy Self-Defense Moves You Need to Know

When you're walking home alone at night, you need to know how to protect yourself. Here are a few easy self-defense moves to have on hand.

11 апреля, 20:45

Background Press Briefing on Syria, 4/11/2017

James S. Brady Briefing Room  12:10 P.M. EDT SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  This briefing today is about a declassified -- or it's a summary based on declassified information about the attacks on the 4th of April.  So this is on background only.  Attribution is senior White House official, and it will be embargoed until the end of the brief.  And I'll have each of my colleagues come up here and introduce themselves.   SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  My understanding is you'd just like to ask some questions.  So I'm happy to go through some details of the narrative, or just take questions incoming, if you have them. Q    Do you mind walking through some of the narrative related to the chemical weapons attack -- what Russia knew perhaps beforehand, or during, or after, and some of the reporting that has come out about a Russian drone, et cetera? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So let me start with the narrative of what we think happened in the attack.  And let me tell you, to start with -- what we've done here is we've declassified a lot of intelligence with great thanks to our colleagues in the intelligence community so that we can be very forthcoming with you about the amount that we know about this attack and why we believe the Russian and Syrian narratives are false.  And we think it's really important for you to understand the depth of information that we have that supports this narrative.   I would say that since we started coming forward, in the immediate wake of the attack, all of the way through to today, we continued to get additional information.  And the information we get about this attack continues to be clear and consistent with our understanding of the attack, starting on the day of the attack, April 4th, and working all the way through today. And I would say we, even as recently as last night, for today, declassified additional information that, again, lends additional weight and credibility to the narrative I want to share with you today. The information we have downgraded and declassified includes a wide body of open-source material, both social media accounts.  It include open-source videos, reporting, open-source imagery, et cetera, as well as our own geospatial intelligence, our signals intelligence, and it include physiological samples of victims of the attack.  And again, all of that tells a very clear and consistent story about what we think happened. So to be clear, based on the pro-opposition social media reporting, those reports indicate that the chemical attack began in Khan Sheikhun at about 6:55 local time on April 4th.  Our information makes quite clear that the attack came from SU-22 fixed-wing aircraft out of the Shayrat airfield, which is regime-controlled.  These aircraft were in the vicinity of Khan Sheikhun for about 20 minutes before reports of the chemical attack came out, and they vacated the area shortly after the attack.  And I think some of you have seen the information that we shared previously about the tracks of those aircraft that came out of the Khan Sheikhun airfield -- or out of the Shayrat airfield, lingered over Khan Sheikhun, and came back to that airfield. In addition, we have information that suggests that personnel historically associated with the chemical weapons program were at Shayrat airfield in late March preparing for this attack.  On the dates surrounding the attack, and the day of the attack, they were again present at that airfield.  Hours after the attack, there were hundreds of accounts of victims of the particular chemical weapons attack.   The victimology, the symptomology of those victims is very consistent with nerve agent and sarin exposure.  And now, as I will note, we do have physiological samples from a number of victims that confirm sarin exposure.  The symptomology was quite consistent.  We saw miosis, or pin-point pupils.  We see frothing at the noise and mouth, twitching.  All of those are consistent with nerve agent.  They are not consistent with chlorine.   Also, the victimology shows that those people don’t have other wounds or injuries that would be consistent with a conventional attack.   I would note, as well, that another clear symptom of sarin or nerve agent exposure is that the secondary responders also started to have symptoms consistent with sarin exposure.  And those were the people that were there that took in the victims, that were touching them, that were removing their clothing.  Some of those also passed out and had other symptoms of sarin exposure. So by about 12:15 local time, the open source was very clear:  It showed images of dead children of varying ages.  And then we started to get accounts of the hospital, where some of those victims were being taken, being bombed at about 1:10 p.m. local.  It showed, again, victims flooding to that particular hospital before there was a conventional attack against that hospital.   The impact craters that we have in imagery and open source show conventional weapons being used around that hospital, not chemical weapons there.  The other information we have shows that leakage around the actual weapon that we think the sarin came from, not explosive debris that we would expect if it had been an explosive munition that it hit chemicals or something that would be consistent with a Russian attack.  And again, we think that is not true. Q    Sorry, can you just go over that one --  SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yeah, I'll come back through it.  Let me hit the Russian narrative all the way through, and I'll help you there. We also think -- some people have alleged that videos had been fabricated, that a lot of this information had been fabricated.  The absolute massive data we have, and all the different vehicles we've gotten it from -- open-source videos, to victim accounts, to imagery, to signals intelligence -- it's just too massive for really any intelligence organization to fabricate in that short a period of time.  We just think that's not a feasible explanation.   And then we did confirm that some of the videos that were shot of the account, we did go to independently confirm that the times at which those videos were taken were consistent with the times of the attack and not from prior footage of other attacks, other places. So let me walk through a little bit -- and, I would also note the World Health Organization came up with similar analysis on April 5th.  It, too, felt that the victims had been exposed to nerve agent based on the same kind of symptomology along the board.  And we do expect that as others continue -- and we would expect we are looking forward to the OPCW's fact-finding mission, looking into this event itself, and we think it's really important for them to get out there, for them to have access to the site of the attack, to the airfield, to other places that might be affiliated.  And we expect that any samples they find will again be consistent with what we've found so far. In terms of the Russian narrative -- and I’ll get back to your question about them and the inconsistency -- across the board, starting in 2013 and then since, we've seen both the Russians and the Syrians have a very clear campaign to try to obfuscate the nature of attacks, the attackers, and what has happened in any particular incident. They've thrown out a bunch of potential agents, a bunch of potential responsible or accountable parties.  And, often, their own information is inconsistent with their own narrative. They certainly have dismissed the allegations of a chemical weapons attacking Khan Sheikun.  They called it a “prank of a provocative nature.”  But again, we don't think it’s remotely possible for the Syrians or the Russians to have fabricated this much information so fast and so consistently on this attack. I’d also note that we’ve, of course, got extensive media observers and we have our own intelligence information.  And the intelligence information and the accounts we've gotten from our partners, again, suggest very similar outcomes in this attack. They noted, as I said -- the Russians did -- that this was a regime attack against a munitions depot, and that perhaps that terrorists had been holding chemical munitions that were attacked and then exploded from there.  As I noted, we think that the information is inconsistent with that narrative.  There is, as I said, leakage, and not in this hospital or this area where they said a building was attacked, but in a separate place where we can see the leakage from that munition.  It is inconsistent with where the Russians would say that this attack happens and where the gas came from.  And similarly, again, it’s leakage; it does not show explosive dissemination of the chemicals.  And we don't see a building, again, with that chemical residue we would expect if the Russian narrative was true. Q    When you say leakage, that's how a chemical weapon is supposed to work.  It's deliberate leakage?  SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Right.  Yeah, absolutely. Q    It's dispersed. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  It's dispersed.  But there’s always leakage around the outside, or almost always leakage around the outside that shows that the material inside has leaked out as it disseminates.   Q    Rather than it was bombed and then exploded.   SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Exactly.  Exactly. Q    Do you believe it was only one munition that was dropped on the 4th?  SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So I don't have details on the number of munitions here for you, but I think it’s fair to say we think it’s at least one munition.   And we have one particular munition that we've seen via overhead that we think is a munition that contains sarin.   Q    How do you explain the Russian drone at the hospital?  SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So I don't think we have information for you today to talk about the Russian drone or any other information on the Russians, per se.  We just want to walk right through the narrative here.  We're still looking into what we think the intelligence community assessment or other is about Russian knowledge of involvement, et cetera.  And I’m sure we’ll come forward with more information on that, if we have it. Q    (Inaudible) on the question foreknowledge of Russia.  SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  We don't have information on that, per se.  I think it’s clear that the Russians are trying to cover up what happened there.   SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I’ll say we're still looking into that, into the particulars of that question.  And there’s not a consensus on our side about the extent or how to interpret the information that we have and continue to get.   However, what we do know from looking at a history of the Russian military and the Syrian military operating together for the better part of two years now closely, since the Russian advisory mission and assistance mission began in earnest in 2015.  And in addition, two militaries that have a decades-long support relationship.  Based on that historical pattern, we've seen that these two militaries operate very closely, even down to an operational and tactical level. And so considering the fact that there were Russian forces co-located with Syrian forces at the Shayrat airfield, in addition to many other installations -- many other Syrian regime installations around the country -- we do think that it is a question worth asking the Russians about how is it possible that their forces were co-located with the Syrian forces that planned, prepared, and carried out this chemical weapons attack at the same installation, and did not have foreknowledge. Q    So just to be clear, the attack that you mentioned against the hospital, which you said was aimed at covering up the initial chemical weapons attack, was that carried out by munitions that are linked to Russia? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  No, we don’t have information on that today. Q    Is it the assessment at this point, though -- can you say the least that -- and you spoke to this a little, and, [senior administration official], I want to get your take -- that the Russians tried to cover up the chemical weapons attack?  Do you believe that that is the case? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  No, we don’t know the tactical intentions of the Russians on that day on any operations that they may have been involved in.   SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So what I would say, in terms of cover-up -- just in terms of cover-up to follow there, I’m talking about the absolute -- coming out afterwards to say it was terrorists, to say that they’re -- SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  The cover-up is the -- Q    (Inaudible) stockpile --     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  No, I would say -- Q    -- you would say is absolutely an attempt to cover up a -- SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  To cover up Syrian regime culpability in a chemical weapons attack. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  The cover-up is the disinformation that has happened from the day of the attack to today. Q    In your estimation, does this action show an increase in Russian involvement?  Or is it has always been with Russia? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  What I’d like to do right now is get back to going through the narrative, and then we’ll take more of the questions.  If you can just finish going through the -- SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yeah, if I can just finish why we think the Russian narrative is false. So getting back to why we think the Russian narrative is false -- Moscow, as I noted, said that the release of chemicals was caused by the terrorist -- a strike on a terrorist ammunition depot, but a Syrian military source told Russian state media on April 4th that regime forces had not carried out any strike in Khan Sheikhun, which contradicted Russia’s claim directly.   An open-source video shows where we believe the chemical munition landed -- again, not on a facility with weapons, but in the middle of a street in the northern section of Khan Sheikhun.  The imagery of that site from April 6th, after the allegation, shows a crater in the road that corresponds to the open-source video, so we can track to where we think that particular munition was. The Russians also allege that the terrorists -- this was a bombing on a terrorist ammunition depot.  We do not assess and have not assessed that ISIS or other terrorists in the area have sarin.  So while ISIS is using sulfur mustard -- and we’ve documented that quite well, and certainly oppose chemical weapons use by any actor, state or non-state, and are working, of course, to be able to push back ISIS chemical use as well -- it is quite clear to us that in this case this is not a terrorist holding of sarin or terrorist use of sarin.  But we do know that the Syrian regime has sarin, that it used it in the 2013 attack, and there are outstanding questions from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that make quite clear that Syria has not fully come clean on the locations, facilities, types of agents, or personnel involved with its chemical weapons program, causing us additional questions on what’s there. In terms -- is there more you want me to hit from the Russian piece? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Go ahead. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think it’s a clear pattern of deflecting blame.  We’ve seen this in multiple accounts, including when the OPCW-U.N. joint investigative mechanism came out with reports in August and October of last year identifying Syria as culpable in three chemical weapons attacks.  In these three cases these were chlorine attacks.  They were from a different airfield here.  The United States did come out with designations on personnel affiliated with that attack on that airfield to condemn that use, as well. This is quite concerning, given that the Russians were part of setting up the deal by which Syria was supposed to give up its chemical weapons.  It was party to the deal to create the Joint Investigative Mechanism to investigate these attacks.  The JIM did come forward with clear attribution calls, and Russia has refused to accept those along the way. And I think I would leave it there on the narrative.   SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Okay.  So stepping back to some of your earlier questions, we’re going to open this up again to questions.  But to be clear, you’re going to receive a 3.5-page background document at the end of this that’s going to run you through this narrative that will be very detailed. One thing I want to address is the questions come up before.  We had a lot of questions about a hospital, about munitions use on that hospital, about who was responsible for bombing that hospital.  So, at this time, what you’ll see in this document is a discussion of the Russian use of information and disinformation for obfuscatory purposes in an attempt to shift blame or to transfer blame away from the Assad regime, to prevent counter-narratives about U.S. actions.  That’s what we’re addressing and discussing today. We don’t have any comment right now on who may have been involved in bombing that hospital and why and how.  So that piece, just to be clear -- because there was some confusion about that -- we’re talking -- when we talked about the Russian role, we talked about the obfuscatory information campaign, not the other thing that you asked on.  We don’t have a comment on that at this time.  And I’ll open it up to questions. Q    Have you exchanged any information with the Russians?  Because it’s easy -- they say one thing, you say another thing.  Why don’t exchange the information, compare it?   SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Well, so we’ve come forward with a lot of the information we have publicly already.  This is another attempt to come forward publicly with that information.   We have had conversations at a variety of levels with the Russians, as well, to explain to them what we understand about the attack, and ask them to be helpful to our efforts to get the Syrians to come clean.  We have not done a full intelligence exchange, and I’m not sure that’s particularly likely at this point. Q    I think I heard you mention signals intelligence.  Do you have any SIGINT that actually indicates any level of collusion between Russia and Syria, or any indication that Assad himself ordered this strike? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So we don’t have any comment on that right now. Q    On the question of the delivery mechanism for the sarin, are you sure that the (inaudible) was Syrian air force? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  We are confident, as I noted, that the SU-22 took off from the Shayrat airfield, which is regime-controlled, and dropped the strike, and we believe the Syrian regime is culpable. Q    Do you have any details about the origin of the sarin? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  We don’t have additional details on the origin of the sarin.  It’s well-documented that the Syrians produce sarin as part of their chemical weapons program.  They were supposed to, of course, have destroyed -- declared and destroyed all of that agent. Q    You had talked about the movement, in late March, indicating that personnel were moved to this base to prepare these weapons.  Do you have any intelligence that indicates these types of personnel were moved to other airbases within Syria, that they may be preparing more chemical weapons attacks in the future? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So I can tell you that we take very seriously the possibility that Syria may have additional agents elsewhere.  We are working with our intelligence community to understand every piece of information they have about where such munitions might be located, who might be ahold of them, and I can tell you that that’s going to be part of what we try to figure out and where we go from here. Q    Do you believe that the Assad regime still owns a large stock of chemical weapons, especially sarin and the nerve gas, or is it the small (inaudible) amount that they use, like we saw in (inaudible)? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So I don’t think we have any comment on how much we think is left.  As I noted, we’re working with our intelligence community to figure out what it is.  But our clear goal right now, and the goal of this strike, was, in large part, to deter further chemical weapons uses by the Syria regime. Q    In the end, is there any indication that this action is an increase in Russian involvement? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  No, I don’t think it’s -- I don’t think it indicates an increase.  I mean, in the whole -- let’s say, in the whole environment of operational cooperation between the Russian military and Syrian military, the level of cooperation is quite high, so we’ve seen.  We haven’t seen that peak or drop.  It’s been steady. Q    So following, then this isn’t a provocative action aimed at the U.S., per se? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Don’t see any indication of that.  There were clear operational reasons, we think, probably, why they employed the weapons. Q    My question is about what President Putin said this morning, suggesting, according to him, the rebels were preparing other attacks around -- outside Damascus.  Can you give us any insight on that, and your view of those statements? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Of chemical attacks? Q    Yes.  Yeah, well, I don’t think it was -- I don’t think there was a specification.   Q    He specifically said that there will be other provocations like this one that -- and then the General Staff of the Russian Forces -- armed forces -- already said that the rebels, whom you call rebels, are already bringing in the substances. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I would just say -- so to be clear, we are very confident that terrorists, or non-state actors, did not commit this particular attack.  We are confident as well that these terrorists or rebels don’t have sarin, so they would not be able to conduct a follow-on attack of this sort, given especially that they didn’t conduct the first one. Q    Given the fact that chemical weapons were used in this attack, do you have a sense of whether Syria got rid of any of its chemical weapons -- where that stockpile stands at this point?  And have you thought about next steps in terms of trying to get rid of it? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So we do know that Syria gave up a huge amount of its chemical weapons -- over 1,000 tons of chemical weapons.  They declared them.  And we had, through and incredible international effort with our partners, removed those chemical weapons and destroyed them.   Nevertheless, Syria -- it is clear that Syria’s declaration was not complete.  The OPCW has additional questions, and we look to the OPCW and the entire international community to support the OPCW’s effort to press Syria for answers to the outstanding questions, to get them to declare any agent, facilities, personnel, or others involved in the chemical weapons program, and most certainly get rid of anything that’s left. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Okay, we’re going to hold for a second.  [Senior administration official] is going to make a quick point here, and then we’ll jump back into Q&A. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yeah, I think it’s important to understand the context in which these weapons were employed, what motivated the regime -- the fact that they were losing in a particularly important area, and that’s what drove it.   SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yeah, so in the middle of March, opposition forces launched an offensive from Southern Idlib province toward the major city of Hama, which is a strategic city in Syria.  It’s Syria’s third city, and it’s also the location of a key Syrian regime airbase that has been crucial for the regime and the forces that support it for projecting power from central Syria, both along the western spine, from Aleppo down to the south, and also further to the east to support operations in Palmyra.  So that is an airbase that the regime had to calculate that it could not lose. The opposition offensive approach was able to penetrate to within just a couple of miles of that strategic airbase and also threatened the Hama population center within just a few miles. At that point, the regime we think calculated that with its manpower spread quite thin, trying to support both defensive operations and consolidation operations in Aleppo and along that north-south spine of western Syria, and also trying to support operations which required it to send manpower and resources east toward Palmyra, we believe that the regime probably calculated at that point that chemical weapons were necessary in order to try to make up for the manpower deficiency.   That's why we saw, we believe, multiple attacks of this nature against locations that the regime probably determined were support areas for the opposition forces that were near Hama -- for example, in the town of Al-Tamanah and then in the town of Khan Sheikhun, both of which are in what would be, in military terms, the rear area for the opposition forces that were on the front line.   So we believe certainly that there was an operational calculus that the regime and perhaps its Russian advisors went through in terms of the decision-making. Q    You said there was an operational reason for this attack. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Correct.  Q    So just to clarify what you just said, this was an attack on civilians, but your understanding is that these civilian areas were seen as providing some sort of operational support for the opposition forces, which is what they're --  SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yes.  Now, I don't mean -- I don't mean that that means that the munitions were aimed at some sort of military capability.  What I --  Q    They were aimed at civilians. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  They were clearly aimed at areas that were most likely civilian areas.  However, what I mean is that they were most likely intended to create pressure in what was deemed a rear area for those opposition forces that were fighting. Q    So understanding that, just a quick follow-up on that, is there anything about the timing, why this took place now -- or when it did? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  In terms of the timing? Q    So you explained to us why you think they chose to attack where they did.  Why did they do it then? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yes, if you look at sort of the punch-counterpunch of opposition and regime forces that are fighting in the vicinity of Hama, yes, you can see that -- in that context, you can see that the chemical weapons attacks seem -- could fit within the flow of a punch-counterpunch -- operational punch-counterpunch. Q    You said just a second ago, multiple attacks of this nature.  So multiple sarin attacks, not just (inaudible)? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So it’s a multiple chemical weapons attacks.  So we think that the regime has consistently used chemical weapons over time, not necessarily all sarin, to be able to fill conventional voids in its ability to reach the opposition. Q    -- the context of your colleague’s conversation with us about this particular one, so I’m just trying to clarify if they're all sarin attacks, or just the one in Khan Sheikhun, which you have established with your high degree of confidence. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So we would say that there are more than 200 allegations of regime chemical use since 2013, when Syria promised to give up its chemical weapons.  We assess that many of those are credible.  In terms of what we've been able to say right now, at least one of those is sarin, and we're continuing to look into -- Q    Khan Sheikhun, correct? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  It’s Khan Sheikhun, right. Q    With all of this confirmation that you have today, how are you employing the world community, to include the U.N., as it relates to what’s happening with the punch-counterpunch?  And also with the collusion with Russia and Syria together, how are you employing them?  And also is this clarification and confirmation ramping up efforts against Syria? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So I’ll start, and then I’m going to let these guys follow on.   In terms of the chemical weapons piece of this, it’s incredibly important that we speak with one voice at the United Nations and at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.  We need to speak with a clear message:  That chemical weapons use of any kind, by any actor, is absolutely intolerable.  That is our goal, and we need to do everything we can, collectively, to make sure that comes across clearly. We’re working with all of our partners, and we’ve made this message clear to the Russians as well, and will continue to do so, that we believe it’s in no state’s interest that any actor uses chemical weapons. Q    Support of additional forces, especially now that you believe to think that they have more agents left, be it sarin or what have you --  SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So we’re still working through our partners.  We have to get through U.N. and OPCW this week.  We’re continuing engagement there, and then we’ll work with the international community.  Really important is going to be for the fact-finding mission at the OPCW to do its job, to turn over any information that it has to the Joint Investigative Mechanism so that we have an outside body confirm, I think, is what they will do, what we already very strongly believe -- that the Syrian regime is behind this attack. And again, I don’t think there’s evidence to the contrary at all, but we need to let the international community -- and empower those mechanisms of the international community to do their jobs.  And our hope is that that will lend additional weight to what we’ve already talked here about. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  We’re going to let my colleague set up there.  And do you want to follow on with that? SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  No, no, that’s fine.   SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Quickly, we’re going to end here.  But what I’d like to say on this is it’s also -- you guys have asked about this several times.  Speaking with one voice is what we just said.  This is an opportunity.  We have a clear, concise and definitive analysis here.  We understand what happened there with a very high degree of confidence.  And this is an opportunity, going back to an earlier question, for the Russians to choose to stop the disinformation campaign and make the commitment to accept what happens and work forward to eliminate WMDs from Syria together. And that’s it, we’re going to leave it there.  Thank you.  The document will be handed out.  Thank you for being here.  And this is on background.  I’m going to finish off -- on background, senior White House officials, embargoed until we walk out of the room.  Document is coming to you. END  12:40 P.M. EDT

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31 марта, 20:00

Abigail Adams Wrote To John In 1776: Remember The Ladies Or We'll Rebel

Abigail Adams wanted her husband John Adams to “remember the ladies” when writing the Constitution of The United States.  According to History.com, a 32-year-old Abigail wrote a letter to John dated March 31, 1776. Abigail wrote that she hoped Continental Congress would be more “favorable” to women than their ancestors had been. “I long to hear that you have declared an independency,” Abigail wrote. “And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.”  The letter came just a few months before America’s independence from Britain in July 1776. Little did Abigail and her husband know, John was to become the second president of the United States in 1797.  In possibly the best line of the letter, Abigail reminded John what happens when men get ahold of “unlimited power.”  “Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could,” she wrote. “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”  She continued:  That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex. Regard us then as Beings placed by providence under your protection and in immitation [sic] of the Supreem [sic] Being make use of that power only for our happiness. Well, this is pretty much a perfect note to end Women’s History Month on. Head over to The Massachusetts Historical Society to read the full letter.  This Women’s History Month, remember that we have the power to make history every day. Follow along with HuffPost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in March using #WeMakeHerstory. -- 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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03 марта, 01:18

Christian, Conservative And Parenting A Transgender Child In Texas

Kimberly Shappley calls herself an “accidental activist.” The Pearland, Texas mom says she was “born a Republican.” Most of her life, she never really thought about politics and just assumed it was her duty as a Christian Southern woman to show up and vote straight ticket for the conservative party. She also bought wholesale into the church’s ideas about LGBTQ people: that their “lifestyle” was a choice and that Satan “had ahold of them.” And then, everything changed. “When you’re the parent of a transgender kid, it’s not just the kid who comes out. Your whole family comes out of the closet together,” Shappley told The Huffington Post.  Shappley’s 6-year-old transgender daughter Kai was denied use of the girl’s bathroom by the Texas school district last May, marking the first time Shappley truly felt what it was like to be a member of a marginalized group. The family is still fighting for this right almost a year later.  According to district policy, children must use the bathroom for the sex indicated on their birth certificate. (School leaders have also offered Kai the use of the nurse’s bathroom.) Later that May, President Obama issued a directive for schools to let transgender children use the bathrooms that match their gender identity ― what should have been a hopeful development. But then, the district superintendent, Dr. John Kelly, gave a statement to the Pearland Journal calling the directive an “unconstitutional interference and social engineering by the federal government.” He compared transgender people to pedophiles and polygamists. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told district superintendents, in no uncertain measures, not to enact the policy.  I can’t use the bathroom with you, because you’re still being a discriminatory person, but I’m here. After realizing they wouldn’t be able to handle the issue quietly, the family decided to come out of the closet. It was three days later that Shappley did her first press conference, an appeal to the school board on the bathroom issue. During a local new broadcast, an overwhelmed Shappley made a tearful apology to the LGBTQ community she had “hurt with the Bible.” “It was sincere, and I got a lot of feedback. At that moment, coming out of the closet and apologizing to the LGBTQ community, that’s when I started being attacked by the church and embraced by the LGBTQ community.” “It’s Been A Long Few Years For Me” The same community Shappley had once viewed so negatively now helps her family weather the immense pressure of ongoing discrimination from her daughter’s school, the rejection from their friends and family and the constant fear of violence. Shappley has formed friendships with grown-up transgender women whom Kai calls her “aunties.” The risk of suicide among transgender individuals is high, and the mom hopes good trans role models will help ease that risk for her daughter. But Shappley’s heart and mind didn’t change overnight.  “I’m a really strict southern mom. It was a process. It took me three or four trips to Walmart to buy girl panties. I would go pick them up, and I would leave them in the store. I would leave crying. I would be so upset, and then I’d feel bad about not getting them,” she said.  Kai was just a toddler when she started to present as a girl. By 2, Kai was gravitating toward the toys that she saw other girls playing with. Her two best friends were girls ― she didn’t like to play with boys, whom she found “gross.” Family members began to make comments.  It took me three or four trips to Walmart to buy girl panties. I would go pick them up and I would leave them in the store. “I was very concerned, because at the time I was leading a small ministry at my church and teaching Bible study, and here I have this kid who people in my family were flat asking me if this kid was gay.” The family tried to redirect Kai to more “masculine” pursuits ― hunting, fishing, sports ― and Shappley punished her when she did anything “feminine.” By 3, Kai was pulling T-shirts down around her waist to make skirts and tying long-sleeve shirts around her head to make long hair.   By 3-and-a-half, Kai was verbalizing that she was a girl six times a day or more, which would lead to time-outs, spankings and yelling matches.  “It got to the point where Kai would wait until your hands were full, or you were busy, and she knew that you couldn’t come after her and she would march into the room and say, ‘You know I’m a girl!’ just so that she could get her point across.” ”As Christians, I don’t know how we’ve gotten separated from compassion” Kimberly’s decision to let Kai transition was spread out over months. She spoke to child psychiatrists, one of whom asked her, “If you and Kai were alone on a deserted island, would you let Kai wear ‘girl clothes’?” When Kimberly responded that she probably would, the psychiatrist told her that it wasn’t God she had a problem with, but what other people would think of her.  She overheard her child praying to God to take “Joseph,” Kai’s birth name, away to be with Jesus, and realized she was essentially overhearing a prayer for death.  And then she was connected to a secret Facebook group of over 1,000 moms like her ― Christians who are raising transgender children. The women call themselves “mama bears” and refer to each other as a “tribe,” because so many of them lose their family and friends when they decide to accept their children.  She knows who she is and she has no problem making sure that everyone knows who she is. She began to study scripture with different eyes. Always a daily Bible reader, she’d felt before as if the words were condemning her. She began to focus on the New Testament, on the teachings of Jesus and his interaction with the Pharisees. She noticed that when the Pharisees would use scripture to justify attacking or judging people, Jesus would ask them to look at the words through a different lens. She ultimately found her way to a new kind of Christianity, one that centered around love and the idea that her child was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” “Having a transgender child, and loving her, has made me a much better Christian,” she said. “I am less judgmental, and I am more empathetic. As Christians, I don’t know how we’ve gotten separated from compassion. Where did we lose that?”  “I Think About Leaving All The Time” Shappley, who prefers to keep the rest of her family life private, says they are working on rebuilding their community after relatives and longtime friends removed themselves just when they needed them the most. They still attend the same church, no matter who glares at them in their pew. They’re still fighting for Kai to be able to use the girl’s bathroom at school, an issue that only looks less hopeful since President Donald Trump rescinded Barack Obama’s mandate that attempted to provide protections for transgender students. (Not that Kai was able to benefit much from the order in the first place.) Kimberly pays the family’s utility bills in someone else’s name, and doesn’t receive mail at her home address because she fears harassment or worse. She thinks about moving somewhere else, somewhere where people won’t “hate her child just for being born.” Having a transgender child, and loving her, has made me a much better Christian. “I think about moving somewhere more accepting all the time, but what I will tell you is if marginalized people continue to move to places that are safe and welcoming, then this country is going to continue to win elections based on gerrymandering. The majority will never be represented again,” she said. And she and Kai, she says, can make a difference just by refusing to hide.   “We change more people’s opinions of what it means to be transgender just by being visible. We’re saying, ‘Look here I am, I’m sitting right next to you at church.’ And, ‘Look, here I am I’m in the cubicle next to you at work.’ ‘Here I am. I’m at school. I can’t use the bathroom with you, because you’re still being a discriminatory person, but I’m here.” She hopes that by standing up and speaking out, no matter how uncomfortable, they’ll reach at least one person. Maybe two.  Despite all the setbacks and controversy, Kai is exceedingly resilient. “She is just a loud, happy, joyful Pollyanna,” said Shappley. “She just expects that everybody’s gonna be kind and good. It’s the persistent spirit that she has that is the reason that she was able to transition so young. Because she knows who she is and she has no problem making sure that everyone knows who she is.”  -- 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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01 марта, 15:19

Чистая прибыль Royal Ahold Delhaize упала в четвертом квартале на 43% г/г

Компания Royal Ahold Delhaize, созданная в июле прошлого года путем слияния ритейлеров Royal Ahold и Delhaize Group, зафиксировала 43%-ное снижение чистой прибыли в четвертом квартале ввиду более высоких расходов. Так, чистая прибыль составила 144 млн евро ($178,2 млн) по сравнению с 254 млн евро годом ранее, а продажи увеличились с 9,79 млрд евро годом ранее до 15,12 млрд евро. Кроме того, совет директоров компании сообщил о том, что выплатит дивиденды в размере 57 евроцентов на одну акцию.

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01 марта, 11:37

Чистая прибыль Royal Ahold Delhaize упала в четвертом квартале на 43% г/г

Компания Royal Ahold Delhaize, созданная в июле прошлого года путем слияния ритейлеров Royal Ahold и Delhaize Group, зафиксировала 43%-ное снижение чистой прибыли в четвертом квартале ввиду более высоких расходов. Так, чистая прибыль составила 144 млн евро ($178,2 млн) по сравнению с 254 млн евро годом ранее, а продажи увеличились с 9,79 млрд евро годом ранее до 15,12 млрд евро. Кроме того, совет директоров компании сообщил о том, что выплатит дивиденды в размере 57 евроцентов на одну акцию.

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01 марта, 11:08

Ahold Delhaize shares rise 2.9% after dividend raise

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

26 февраля, 19:49

9 Traps You Fall Into That Limit Your Happiness

Almost every action we take in life is aimed at achieving or maintaining “happiness”—that elusive state where we feel contentment, satisfaction, and even bliss.Still, happiness can be a bit hard to define. Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easy to identify; you know it when you see it, and you definitely know when it’s taken ahold of you.Happiness has much less to do with life circumstances than you might think. A University of Illinois study found that people who earn the most (more than $10 million annually) are only a smidge happier than the average Joes and Janes who work for them.Life circumstances have little to do with happiness because much happiness is under your control—the product of your habits and your outlook on life. Psychologists from the University of California who study happiness found that genetics and life circumstances only account for about 50% of a person’s happiness. The rest is up to you.Unhappiness can catch you by surprise. So much of your happiness is determined by your habits (in thought and deed) that you have to monitor them closely to make certain that bad habits don’t drag you down into the abyss.Some habits lead to unhappiness more than others do. These traps are easily avoided once you’re aware of them.1. Holding your feelings in. One of the great misconceptions concerning emotional intelligence (EQ) is that it is about repressing our feelings and holding them in. While it is true there are feelings that high EQ individuals do not allow to erupt on impulse, that does not mean those feelings are not expressed. Emotional intelligence means honoring your feelings and allowing yourself to experience the catharsis that comes from embracing them for what they are. Only then can you express them in a manner that helps rather than hinders your ability to reach your goals.2. Numbing yourself with technology. Everyone deserves the opportunity to binge-watch a TV show now and then or to switch on your Kindle and get lost in a book. The real question is how much time you spend plugged in (to video games, the TV, the tablet, the computer, the phone, etc.) and whether it makes you feel good or simply makes you numb. When your escape becomes a constant source of distraction, it is a sure sign you have fallen into the trap of too much of a good thing.3. Spending too much time and effort acquiring “things.” People living in extreme poverty experience a significant increase in happiness when their financial circumstances improve, but it drops off quickly above $20,000 in annual income. There’s an ocean of research that shows that material things don’t make you happy. When you make a habit of chasing things, you are likely to become unhappy because, beyond the disappointment you experience once you get them, you discover that you’ve gained them at the expense of the real things that can make you happy, such as friends, family, and hobbies.4. Waiting for the future. Telling yourself, “I’ll be happy when …” is one of the easiest unhappy habits to fall into. How you end the statement doesn’t really matter (it might be a promotion, more pay, or a new relationship) because it puts too much emphasis on circumstances, and improved circumstances don’t lead to happiness. Don’t spend your time waiting for something that’s proven to have no effect on your mood. Instead focus on being happy right now, in the present moment, because there’s no guarantee of the future.5. Fighting change. Change is an inevitable part of life, and those who fight it do so because they are struggling to remain in control. The problem with this approach is that fighting change actually limits your control over the situation by putting up a barrier between yourself and the actions you need to take to improve your situation.The idea here is to prepare for change. This is not a guessing game where you test your accuracy in anticipating what comes next, but rather it means thinking through the consequences of potential changes so that you are not caught off guard if they surface. The first step is to admit that even the most stable and trusted facets of your life are not completely under your control. People change, businesses go through ebbs and flows, and things simply do not stay the same for long. When you allow yourself to anticipate change—and understand your options if changes occur—you prevent yourself from getting bogged down by strong emotions like shock, surprise, fear, and disappointment when changes actually happen. While you are still likely to experience these negative emotions, your acceptance that change is an inevitable part of life enables y to focus and think rationally, which is critical to making the most out of an unlikely, unwanted, or otherwise unforeseen situation.6. Pessimism. Nothing fuels unhappiness quite like pessimism. The problem with a pessimistic attitude, beyond it being hard on your mood, is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you expect bad things, you’re more likely to get bad things. Pessimistic thoughts are hard to shake off until you recognize how illogical they are. Force yourself to look at the facts, and you’ll see that things are not nearly as bad as they seem.7. Trying to keep up with the Joneses. Jealousy and envy are incompatible with happiness, so if you’re constantly comparing yourself with others, it’s time to stop. In one study, most subjects said that they’d be okay with making less money, but only if everybody else did too. Be wary of this kind of thinking as it won’t make you happy and, more often than not, has the opposite effect.8. Not improving. Because unhappy people are pessimists and feel a lack of control over their lives, they tend to sit back and wait for life to happen to them. Instead of setting goals, learning, and improving themselves, they just keep plodding along, and then they wonder why things never change. Don’t let this be you.9. Staying home. When you feel unhappy, it’s tempting to avoid other people. This is a huge mistake as socializing, even when you don’t enjoy it, is great for your mood. We all have those days when we just want to pull the covers over our heads and refuse to talk to anybody, but understand that the moment this becomes a tendency, it destroys your mood. Recognize when unhappiness is making you antisocial, force yourself to get out there and mingle, and you’ll notice the difference right away.Bringing It All TogetherChanging your habits in the name of greater happiness is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. But it’s also important for another reason—taking control of your happiness makes everyone around you happier too.What do you do to make yourself happy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.If you’d like to learn more, my book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a great place to start. -- 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.

28 января, 01:54

Republican split on Obamacare strategy evident during private meeting

An audio recording of the closed-door session revealed a host of divisions over the details of a replacement plan.

19 января, 23:13

What Will You Do If Donald Trump Deports Me?

  Video streaming tools like Facebook LIVE will help expose and document Donald Trump’s mass deportation tactics (Art by: Laura McInerney | @itwaspluto)   We are just days until Donald Trump is sworn in as our next president and the fate of hundreds of thousands of young aspiring Americans who have been given the opportunity to pursue their educationand contribute to our nation’s workforce through an immigration program known as DACA is still uncertain. Launched by President Barack Obama in 2012, DACA  —  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals  —  has temporarily shielded nearly a million young immigrants from deportation and provided them an opportunity to work, study and give back to the only country most of them call home. Put simply, DACA has been a resounding success economically, educationally and socially. Donald Trump ran for President as one of the most toxic and divisive candidates in our country’s history. He began his campaign by slandering Mexicans as rapists and criminals and called for mass deportation of all undocumented immigrants regardless of how long they’ve been here and regardless of whether their families would be uprooted and destroyed. But Donald Trump didn’t stop there. He peppered his vicious campaign rhetoric with a call for a ban on all Muslims seeking to enter the U.S., bigoted attacks on a federal judge of Mexican ancestry and repeated verbal assaults on Gold Star parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier. It would be naive to believe that Donald Trump would back off his anti-immigrant positions in just a matter of hours before his inauguration. Trump promised his supporters he’d begin implementing his anti-immigrant vision for America on day one of his administration  —  including scrapping DACA. In the days and weeks since the election Trump, perhaps in response to the bipartisan pushback against deporting DREAMERs, made a vague promise to “work something out” for DACA immigrants. But he was not specific. We still have no idea what he’ll actually do once he takes the oath of office. It would be naive to believe that Donald Trump would back off his anti-immigrant positions in just a matter of hours before his inauguration. So the president-elect’s threats have forced me to take every precaution against his imminent mass-deportation policies. If you are an ally, a friend, or a decent human being who understands that immigrants and refugees work hard, play by the rules and are proud aspiring Americans, then read this guide. I wrote it for the day that you witness the deportation of one of the eleven million undocumented immigrants in the United States. First, show the world what my deportation looks like.   The world must witness his draconian immigration enforcement tactics firsthand (Art by Laura McInerney | @itwaspluto)   I became politically active following my high school graduation in 2007. I discovered that I would not be able to obtain in-state tuition or any form of scholarship due to my immigration status. At the time I was scared of sharing my story publicly. But I knew that the only way to defend and advocate for myself and other immigrants was to speak up. I shed my fears in 2009. That is when I decided to share my immigration story across digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter; to highlight the plight of undocumented immigrants like myself. I was fearless and determined. I aggressively advocated for immigrant rights with the firm belief that good and decent Americans across the country would fight my deportation if they heard my story; if they met and knew me as an person. If we are to resist Donald Trump’s deportation force, then the world must witness his draconian immigration enforcement tactics firsthand. Now in 2017, as I prepare for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, I am ready for the worst  —  including an attempt by federal immigration enforcement agents to take me away from my home in the United States. My hope is that you, as a friend, advocate, or reader, will use online broadcasting tools like Facebook LIVE to show your friends, families, and community what Donald Trump’s mass deportation machine looks like. True, recording a deportation will be uncomfortable, difficult, and terrifying. Yet, if we are to resist Donald Trump’s deportation force, then the world must witness his draconian immigration enforcement tactics firsthand. Using your phone, tablet, or computer to record ICE attempting to deport hard-working immigrants in your community will help expose the ugly reality of deportation. It will show, first hand, how far Donald Trump is willing to go to rip apart immigrant families. Check out the step-by-step guide below to learn how to use Facebook LIVE to fight against deportations. How to use Facebook LIVE to document and expose Donald Trump's mass deportation tactics in your community. #immigration #resist pic.twitter.com/WJFeGFSsJZ— Juan Escalante (@JuanSaaa) January 18, 2017 Second, if I am arrested by federal immigration agents contact my friends, family and attorney as soon as possible.   Commit to having these tough conversations with your friends and family members who are undocumented. (Art by Manuela Karim | @guavavenezolana)   You can help stop my deportation by immediately notifying my friends, family and attorney of what has happened. Whether you have witnessed my deportation, or have heard of it, you should get ahold of those closest to me, tell them what you saw and find out what actions are going to be taken to prevent my removal from the country. How do you do that? It’s easy. The next time we meet ask me about who you should contact if I get arrested by immigration agents, what steps you should take, and what you should do to fight my deportation. As David Leopold, former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, shared with me earlier this week: For the next four years the protection of immigrants’ rights will fall to communities, neighborhoods, families and individuals. It will be incumbent upon all of us to personally stand up for and defend the rights of all Americans, documented and undocumented alike. Your voice, telephone calls, and advocacy will be crucial to ensure that immigrants like are protected from Donald Trump’s mean spirited anti-immigrant agenda. That’s why I ask you to commit to having these tough conversations with your friends and family members who are undocumented. It’s critical that you have a plan to respond to Trump’s deportation force.   A reminder of the impact picking up the phone ☎️ & calling your Senator/Representative has —>https://t.co/6kaOSMAJGJ— Juan Escalante (@JuanSaaa) January 5, 2017 Third, If I am deported then I hope you will take my place and advocate for immigrants and refugees.   Local organizing is how we resist and defend our communities from Donald Trump’s dark vision of America. (Art by Ciriac Alvarez | @ciriacisbeth)   In the end it comes down to each one of us. The fight against Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies depends on our communities. Right now, anti-immigrant restrictionists across the country feel empowered by Donald Trump’s victory last November. They think that they can simply destroy all the progress we’ve made toward immigration reform over the past decade, which is why we must prove them wrong. Your advocacy for immigrants and refugees is needed in your communities now more than ever. State and local organizations that work on immigration and refugee-related issues will need new, strong and determined voices to help defend the values of diversity and inclusion that we all cherish. Your advocacy for immigrants and refugees is needed in your communities now more than ever. That means calling your elected officials at all levels of government to voice concerns and advocate for pro-migrant policies and legislation at all levels of government. Understand, Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant attack won’t just come from the White House or Congress — it will come from the local government institutions that some of us often take for granted. So please take the time to get to know not only your U.S. Representatives and Senators; but your state legislators and city council members, as they will be the officials you lobby directly throughout the next four years. Also, check out a list of state and local immigration advocacy organizations via United We Dream and Reform Immigration for America. You can’t commit time to another organization? No problem. Then please consider donating money to the organizations listed above and become familiar with pro-migrant petitions that are published on platforms likeMoveOn.org. This is how we resist and defend our communities from Donald Trump’s dark vision of America; by becoming active and taking action every single time injustice presents itself. Speak to your local elected officials, attend their town hall meetings, get involved in a local advocacy organizations, sign petitions, make phone calls, and go door to door. If Donald Trump is successful in deporting my family and me, then it will be up to you to continue my work on behalf of immigrants all across the country. It won’t be easy; immigration advocacy is certainly complex and difficult. But it is one of the most rewarding and profound causes you could ever become a part of. That I can promise you. When we fight, we win. So it's time to keep on fighting. Adelante!— Juan Escalante (@JuanSaaa) November 9, 2016 This is my emergency plan in case Donald Trump decides to deport me, my family, or any of the eleven million undocumented immigrants across the country. Please commit yourself to becoming informed on immigration issues, asking hard questions, and learning how to fight back against anti-immigrant legislation and deportations. Knowledge is power — and you can learn about cutting edge immigration issues and how they affect our nation from well respected organizations like the American Immigration Council and The Center for American Progress. Our communities are going to need all of the help they can get. I’ll fight until the moment Donald Trump forcibly removes me from this country. I am not sure what my future looks like in this country. All I can tell you with certainty is that I will keep fighting for immigrants’ rights and against injustice everywhere. And I’ll fight until the moment Donald Trump forcibly removes me from this country. If you take away one thing from this post, then please let it be that deportations don’t just hurt immigrants and their families. They hurt our communities and our nation. Immigrant families are American families; there is no question about that. That is why I choose to do this work, and hopefully the reason that encourages you to join me in this epic struggle. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=586d093de4b0eb58648b5147,584edd21e4b0bd9c3dfdb444,582317d0e4b0aac624887750,58234317e4b0334571e0a3fb -- 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.

13 января, 01:32

Joe Biden Is A Hero Among Women's Rights Groups. But It Wasn't Always That Way.

WASHINGTON ― Joe Biden will leave a legacy of staunch advocacy for women’s rights when he steps down as vice president in a week. He was a leader in passing and renewing the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and has been the chief advocate of the Obama administration’s national campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses. Those achievements, among others, were no small reason he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Thursday, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Biden touted his role in elevating the seriousness and pervasiveness of sexual harassment in a September 2015 speech, noting that his work dated as far back as 1991: “During the Clarence Thomas hearings, one of the things that emerged was the issue of sexual harassment. ... It was the thing that no one wanted to touch. I remember saying to my colleagues, ‘This is so much bigger than a single judge.’” Advocates say Biden is now one of their strongest champions on issues of violence against women. But they remember a different, more complicated story of Thomas’ confirmation hearings, where Biden played a less heroic role. As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in October 1991, Biden was essentially the last line of defense in Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court. When Anita Hill, a law professor and Thomas’ former employee, described how he had harassed her by pressuring her to date him and carrying on inappropriate sexual conversations, it was Biden who had the power to make sure her allegations received the consideration they deserved. They didn’t, and Thomas remains on the court today as one of its most conservative justices.   In the years since the hearings, there has been much debate over the way Biden handled them. Even women who say Biden is now one of their strongest champions regret that he didn’t fight harder to defend Hill against the GOP onslaught. In particular, there’s still resentment over the fact that other women who could have strengthened Hill’s credibility never testified. “In some respects, I was deeply disappointed with his performance and with the performance of every member of that Judiciary Committee at the time,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center. “And in fact, I felt devastated by the whole process as it unfolded.”  Biden’s office declined to comment for this piece. But as his career in public office potentially draws to a close ― or at least enters a new phase ― Biden’s legacy may be best understood as an evolution, from the missteps of the Thomas hearings to his later accomplishments. ‘If That’s Sexual Harassment, Half The Senators On Capitol Hill Could Be Accused’ Even before Hill’s sexual harassment allegations became public, Thomas was a controversial choice to replace legal titan Thurgood Marshall, the first and only African-American to serve on the Supreme Court.   There were questions about Thomas’ fitness for the position and whether he truly was, as President George H.W. Bush called him, the “best qualified [nominee] at this time.” Thomas had worked in civil rights at the Department of Education for one year and then chaired the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for eight years before Bush nominated him for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1990. Bush named him to the highest court 16 months later, on July 1, 1991. Women’s groups expressed concern about Thomas’ weak record on women’s issues and civil rights long before they knew the name Anita Hill. But on Sept. 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee went ahead and voted 7-7 to send Thomas’ nomination to the full Senate without an endorsement. Behind the scenes, however, there was far more going on than the public realized. Hill had worked with Thomas for two years, at both the Department of Education and the EEOC. During that time, Hill said Thomas repeatedly tried to pressure her into dating him, talked about the pornography he enjoyed watching and made other sexually explicit comments (including an infamous joke about pubic hair on a can of Coke). Hill initially planned to stay silent about her experiences, but she started to tell friends what Thomas had done to her after the White House announced his nomination, according to Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, the authors of Strange Justice, the most in-depth look at the Thomas proceedings. Hill was not some diehard partisan who wanted to take down Thomas, but rather a reluctant witness who felt a duty to provide officials with information that might be helpful. Word about a woman Thomas had harassed started to reach Senate aides. Eventually, it reached Biden, just days before the committee’s planned Sept. 28 vote. According to Mayer and Abramson’s account, although Biden later said he recognized from the beginning that Hill’s accusations were “a giant incendiary bomb,” he didn’t act like they were. “[N]either he nor any other senator had spoken to Hill in an effort to draw an independent judgment about her credibility,” they wrote.  None of the Senate leaders ― including Democrat George Mitchell, the majority leader, and Republican Bob Dole, the minority leader ― saw any reason to delay the committee vote so there could be further investigation. It wasn’t until after the vote, on Oct. 6, when the press got ahold of the story and publicly identified Hill, that the members of the all-white and all-male Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington truly seemed to realize what they had on their hands. And even then, many senators didn’t seem to know what to do ― or thought they couldn’t stop the nomination from moving forward. Mitchell had already scheduled a vote of the full Senate for Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. “They were pretty far along in the process and their position, as I recall it, was that it was too late,” said Kim Gandy, who was a national officer with the National Organization for Women at the time. “It was disruptive to the process and they had passed that point already, which didn’t seem like a good reason to us.” Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) may have summed up senators’ reaction to Hill’s allegations best when he reportedly declared, “If that’s sexual harassment, half the senators on Capitol Hill could be accused.” There weren’t many women in Congress at that time ―  just 29 in the House and two in the Senate ― but they were outraged that Mitchell refused to delay the vote on Thomas. They wanted Biden’s committee to reopen the hearings and allow Hill to testify. “What disturbs me as much as the allegations themselves is that the Senate appears not to take the charge of sexual harassment seriously,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who was then the only female Democratic senator.  On the day of the scheduled confirmation vote, a number of female House members took to the floor to deliver 60-second speeches in support of Hill. When Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) spoke out and demanded a delay on Thomas’ nomination, angry male congressmen said her words should be struck from the record and she should be censured for the day. Women across the country flooded the phone lines in the offices of Mikulski and Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-Kan.), the only other female senator at the time, calling for a delay.   That same day, seven female House members marched across the Capitol and demanded to talk to Mitchell, who was then in his weekly caucus meeting. The women were barred from entering, until one of Mitchell’s aides eventually came out and told them he’d talk to them.  Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) was part of that historic moment, and told The Huffington Post that they also talked to Biden and demanded Hill be allowed to tell her story. That conversation didn’t go well, she said. “He basically said we didn’t need to stay because she wasn’t going to speak,” said Slaughter. “No, it was not good. The whole thing was a bad scene.” Under strong public pressure, Mitchell eventually convinced Republicans that without a delay, 10 Democratic senators who had previously said they would vote for Thomas would switch sides. Biden was under pressure from Republicans as well ― primarily Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.), Thomas’ chief sponsor. Biden initially wanted a two-week delay, but Danforth convinced him that fairness demanded the proceedings to move faster. Biden scheduled Hill’s testimony for Oct. 11, and agreed that the Judiciary Committee would not take another vote before sending Thomas to the full Senate on Oct. 15. He also said he would keep questions about Thomas’ general sexual conduct ― such as his interest in pornography ― out of the hearings. “Joe bent over too far to accommodate the Republicans, who were going to get Thomas on the court come hell or high water,” Metzenbaum later told Mayer and Abramson. Biden also handed a major victory to Republicans in agreeing to let Thomas testify both before and after Hill ― most crucially, scheduling his response to her allegations for 9 p.m. on a Friday, when millions of people were tuned in for their primetime broadcast.   In her 1997 memoir, Hill said she felt Biden betrayed her in doing so. She wrote that three days earlier, Biden had told her over the phone that she had the “option to testify whenever I wish … first and last.” “What I did not know was that between the phone call and the eve of the hearings, he had given the same assurances to Judge Thomas,” she wrote. “Nor had anyone informed me how long Judge Thomas might testify or when I could expect to be called.” Biden had originally planned to have Hill close out the hearings. But he gave in to pressure from Thomas’ handlers, who threatened the Supreme Court nominee would hold a press conference saying he had been denied the opportunity to defend himself. “I must start off with a presumption of giving the person accused the benefit of the doubt,” Biden told The New York Times two days before Hill was set to testify. “I must seek the truth and I must ask straightforward and tough questions, and in my heart I know if that woman is telling the truth it will be almost unfair to her. On the other hand, if I don’t ask legitimate questions, then I am doing a great injustice to someone who might be totally innocent. It’s a horrible dilemma because you have two lives at stake here.”  The Other Witnesses Biden’s most divisive and perhaps most significant decision was not calling the other three women who could have strengthened Hill’s allegations against Thomas to testify. While the women’s interviews with committee staff were entered into the record, that did not have the same impact as public testimony. One of the women was Angela Wright, who worked with Thomas at the EEOC. She said Thomas asked her about the size of her breasts, pressured her to date him, commented on the physical appearance of women in the office and showed up at her apartment one night without warning. Unlike Hill, however, Wright said she considered Thomas’ behavior obnoxious but not sexual harassment. Wright had complained of Thomas’ unwanted behavior toward Rose Jourdain, a colleague at the EEOC at the time. As Mayer and Abramson wrote in their account of the trial, Jourdain independently remembered the “bra size” incident and also recalled Wright telling her Thomas had talked about the sexiness of her legs. Sukari Hardnett was the third woman. She worked for Thomas at the EEOC after Hill left but said Hill’s account of his behavior rang true. “Clarence Thomas pretends that his only behavior toward those who worked as his special assistants was as a father to children and a mentor to proteges. That simply isn’t true. If you were young, black, female and reasonably attractive, you knew full well you were being inspected and auditioned as a female,” she said in her statement, adding, “Women know when there are sexual dimensions to the attention they are receiving. And there was never any doubt about that dimension in Clarence Thomas’s office.”  There have been several justifications offered for not having these women testify, with no senator willing to take the blame. Biden and his supporters have pointed the finger at the rest of the committee, Hill and her legal team, and Wright personally. Biden has maintained that he was eager to hear from Wright, but the committee voted 13-1 against calling her; he was the lone supporter, he said. One of his top aides, however, told Mayer and Abramson that that wasn’t true ― Biden, like the other senators, simply wanted the hearings to be over. Metzenbaum later said he didn’t recall such a vote and didn’t “think Biden was anxious to bring Angela Wright on.” Former Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.), said he also didn’t remember any senators who wanted Wright to testify. Biden and his top staffers have also said that Hill and her legal team opposed having Wright testify, because Wright did not consider Thomas’ behavior to be harassment. “They believed that Anita Hill’s testimony was so strong standing on its own that no matter how good anyone else was, it would be diluted,” Biden said in a 1994 interview. “It would take away from it.” But Charles Ogletree, a Harvard law professor who was part of Hill’s legal team, has strenuously denied this claim, calling it “absolutely, unequivocally, categorically, and positively false.” Biden has also suggested that Wright didn’t want to testify. “[T]here’s a myth that’s grown up that we somehow denied her,” Biden recalled in a 2009 interview for Jules Witcover’s biography. “We had her in town to testify, we expected her to testify, we prepared her to testify; she chose not to testify. She had her own reasons. I don’t know exactly what they were. And people say, well, why didn’t you have her testify anyway? Well, that’s like calling a hostile witness in a case.” Indeed, there is a letter from Biden to Wright dated Oct. 13, 1991, in which he stated it was his “preference” that she testify, but that by the “mutual agreement” of Wright and the members of the committee, she was released from the subpoena and her interviews would be put in the record instead. Wright signed the letter, acknowledging agreement with its content. Gil Middlebrooks, Wright’s attorney, remembered a slightly more complicated version of events, as he told The Washington Post in 1994. It was true that Wright was a reluctant witness; she didn’t want to come forward, and repeatedly pointed out to Senate staffers that they had approached her, not the other way around. But Middlebrooks insisted that Wright was always willing to testify if the committee members truly wanted her to do so. “These people didn’t want to hear from us,” Jourdain summed up to Mayer and Abramson. “Thomas’s supporters didn’t want another woman, especially one with some of the same looks, age, and brains, telling a similar story as Anita Hill. And then, on top of that, she’s got a credible backup witness. Nobody wanted to deal with this.”  Many Hill supporters also wanted testimony from an expert on sexual harassment, to lend expertise on the subject that was sorely lacking among the men on the committee. Biden said in a 1994 interview that he wanted this to happen, too. “I wanted a panel on sexual harassment to come and testify, so we could put in context what we were talking about,” he said. “And it was decided by the Hill people that they didn’t want that panel to come on. Again, there was a feeling ― communicated to me secondhand ― that Anita Hill had won this thing. She had made her case. And I kept saying, ‘wrong, this ain’t over.’ I was very disappointed.” Dr. Louise Fitzgerald, a psychologist and academic who had extensively studied sexual harassment, was reportedly ready to testify. Hill’s legal team said they conveyed her willingness to Senate staffers, but legislators never took them up on the offer. Fitzgerald did not return a request for comment for this story. “I just don’t think [the hearing] was designed to really bring out the record,” said Susan Deller Ross, who was a member of Hill’s legal team. “The Republicans acted like prosecutors, and the Democrats acted sort of oblivious. So there was no one really ensuring that they actually investigated the issue in depth.” While Biden saw himself as Hill’s ally ― albeit one in a tough spot ― she saw him as someone who ultimately let her down. “There were three women who were ready and waiting and subpoenaed to be giving testimony about similar behavior that they had experienced or witnessed. He failed to call them,” she told HuffPost Live in an interview two years ago. “There also were experts who could have given real information as opposed to the misinformation that the Senate was giving ... and helped the public understand sexual harassment. He failed to call them.”  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); ‘Flatfooted Judgment Calls’ Mayer and Abramson characterized Biden’s chairmanship of the hearings as made up of a number of “flatfooted judgment calls.” The Democrats on the committee, they wrote, “were in almost total disarray, especially compared with the well-organized Republicans.” There were little moments, like not declaring Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-Utah) unsubstantiated speculation that Hill had made up her story based on the plot of “The Exorcist” and a 1988 court case in which a black woman alleged sexual harassment against her supervisor to be out of order. And then there were bigger issues, like having the three additional women testify and giving in to GOP demands on the timing of the hearings and testimony. The main reason the hearings went the way they did seemed to be the committee’s desire to move on. But Republicans were also better-prepared. As Maureen Dowd wrote in The New York Times at the time, “The Democrats made a pass at figuring out what had happened in the case. The Republicans tried to win. While the Democrats were pronouncing themselves flummoxed by two diametrically opposed stories, the Republicans had already launched a scorched-earth strategy against Professor Hill.” Republicans tapped Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) as their lead questioner, which Mayer and Abramson reported was a politically genius move on the part of Hatch and Danforth. Specter, a lawyer and former district attorney, had opposed Robert Bork, President Ronald Reagan’s failed 1987 Supreme Court nominee, and he reportedly didn’t think Thomas was all that qualified for the job. So they gave Spector a starring role in the proceedings, which he took up gladly. “As soon as [Specter] saw himself as the star prosecutor, he couldn’t resist,” Biden told Mayer and Abramson. “They knew his personality better than he did.” Hill, meanwhile, had no such advocate among the Democrats. She alone had to deal with accusations that she was an erotomaniac, as well as vindictive, delusional and a liar.  Most evident from the televised Judiciary Committee hearings was the fact that I sat in that hearing room without a patron on the panel. That image still resonates. Anita Hill Democrats also seemed uneasy about going after Thomas too hard because they recognized there was a racial element at play. Thomas lacked the legal experience and accolades of previous Supreme Court nominees, but Democrats didn’t want to make the second black Supreme Court nominee in history seem unintelligent. “The thing that got him approved was that the Democrats were scared to death,” Vince D’Anna, a member of Biden’s team during the Thomas confirmation battle, told Witcover. “They just wanted this thing to be over with ― ‘Let’s be done with it; let’s vote. Nothing good is going to come from it.’ There were no profiles in courage on that committee.” Biden, too, has said he didn’t think Thomas would have been confirmed if he had been white, calling it “a cynical ploy by President Bush.” “Thomas was the one in my view engaging in racism, and I not only mean racism in terms of playing the race card, but racism in trying to reinforce the stereotypical notion about black women,” Biden told Witcover. “That was the sin I don’t forgive the guy for, and those who were making his case.” Hill declined an interview for this piece, but her thoughts on Biden were made abundantly clear  in her 1997 memoir. On the first page of the first chapter, she described Biden as someone who “chooses his words carefully” and has a “rather remarkable smile ― a grin that spreads from ear to ear in an instant, disclosing perfectly straight teeth.” That isn’t meant as a compliment. Hill recalled an Oct. 8 phone call in which Biden tried to convince her he was on her side: “The only mistake I made, in my view, is to not realize how much pressure you were under. I should have been more aware. … Aw kiddo, I feel for you. I wish I weren’t the chairman, I’d come be your lawyer,” she recalled him saying. But Hill said she feels like she was left out to dry. “Most evident from the televised Judiciary Committee hearings was the fact that I sat in that hearing room without a patron on the panel. That image still resonates,” she wrote in a 1995 essay. “My sin was not simply that I did not have a patron. Nor was it simply that I rejected patronage offered to me, since none was offered. My initial sin in the eyes of the senators was that I dared to come to the body on my own, that I did not actively pursue patronage at the outset.” Thomas didn’t come away with a significantly better impression of Biden, believing that the chair had privately offered him his support only to eventually vote against his confirmation. After Thomas eventually won, Biden reportedly left a very gracious congratulatory message on Thomas’ answering machine, which was “greeted by a less than gracious response” from Thomas, according to Danforth’s book on the hearings. Up until the end, Biden refused to go after Thomas’ character ― even after all he heard from Hill and what he knew of the other women’s experiences. Although he voted against Bush’s nominee in the final count, he said on the Senate floor, “For this senator, there is no question with respect to the nominee’s character.” “I could have brought in the pornography stuff,” Biden said in a 1992 interview. “I could have decimated him with that. I could have raised ― and with more legitimacy than what [the Republicans] were doing ― but it would make a lie of everything I fought for. ... To go back and say because the guy was 20 years old and he watched pornography at Yale, that that means that there’s a nexis between that and whether or not he spoke of pornography 20 years later? It’s outrageous. But compelling.” Twenty years earlier, Biden had lost his wife and infant daughter in a car accident just as he was about to enter the Senate. He was very private about the incident and almost never mentioned it, giving him an understanding about the fact that are were certain issues people just didn’t want to discuss. Mayer and Abramson also pointed to Biden’s more recent experience during the 1987 confirmation fight over Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, when the press went after the Delaware senator plagiarizing a British politician’s speech. Reporters dug into Biden’s past, unearthing an instance of plagiarism in law school and exaggerations of his academic record. Biden ended up dropping out of the 1988 presidential race over the issue, even though he had been considered a top contender in the Democratic primary. He had little appetite to give others that same treatment. The Anita Hill Legacy Biden seemed pleased with his performance in the Thomas nomination hearings in an interview with Mayer and Abramson for their 1994 book, noting that polls showed that as much as 86 percent of the country knew who he was, and a majority of people believed he had been “fair.” “That’s a highly unusual exposure rate for a senator,” he said. “Most voters can’t name their own senator. But now everywhere I go, I get recognized.” Since then, Biden has admitted the hearings weren’t perfect. But he’s never given a full apology, as many Hill supporters would like him to do. In 1992, The Washington Post asked Biden whether Democrats should have been more aggressive. “In my gut I regret it, in my intellect I don’t,” he said. “Because it would have made a lie of everything I say I believe.” Hill said in an interview with Time last year that she believed the hearings made it harder to deal with sexual harassment because they “influenced how employers would react to sexual harassment, how universities would react to it, and we’re still trying to dig out from that.” “The Senate, instead of reflecting the best practices that had been developed at that point, lapsed into combativeness,” she said. “The hearings showed people what happens when representatives don’t make a real attempt to get to the bottom of issues and to understand how sexual harassment works.” One thing Biden said in his 2015 speech at Ohio State that was absolutely right was that the hearings ignited the country. They certainly galvanized women to action, as a record number ran in the 1992 elections, citing their anger that Hill had faced a panel of white men who seemed to understand so little about what she went through.  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_2'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Four more Democratic women ― Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California, Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois and Patty Murray of Washington ― won election to the Senate that year. Twenty new Democratic women were elected to the House, and the pro-choice Democratic group EMILY’s List grew from 3,000 to 24,000 members. It was dubbed the “Year of the Woman.” The Hill hearing “electrified the country,” Slaughter recalled. “I don’t think there’s any question about it.” Moseley Braun and Feinstein also took seats on the Judiciary Committee, but not without a misstep by Biden. The chairman hand-delivered a dozen red roses to Boxer with the note, “Welcome to the Senate Judiciary Committee.” News reports at the time described the moment in highly gendered language ― that Biden had tried to “woo” Boxer but was “scorned” and that Biden was “going courting” while the new senators were “playing hard to get.” Those women haven’t forgotten Hill and her impact. Boxer, who retired last year after 24 years in the Senate, acknowledged Hill in her farewell speech last month.  “Without her, I never would have been elected to the Senate,” Boxer said. “Anita Hill courageously told her story to the all-male U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, breaking the silence on this painful issue.”  Hill, too, has said she owes a debt of gratitude to the support she received from female politicians at the time. “I will say: if those women from Congress had not marched over to the Senate and demanded a hearing, I do not think it would have happened,” Hill told Time magazine last year. “That, to me, is leadership. And that’s why we need more women in leadership positions. We haven’t even come close in terms of representation to a critical mass.” In this new session of Congress, Feinstein is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee ― the first woman in history to hold that position. ‘The Cause Of My Life’  Biden’s mismanagement of the Thomas nomination and Hill’s allegations is a sharp contrast to the work he’s done on women’s rights in the years since, particularly when it comes to ending violence against women ― “the cause of my life,” as he has called it. “He’s been a really positive ally, and he’s opened doors at the White House to these issues in a way that has not existed in my history,” said Gandy, who is now president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “I can’t name another elected official with the national platform that he has who has been any more passionate or any more effective than he has,” Greenberger said. “I give him a great debt of gratitude for his championing of these issues at the same time that I remain very disappointed with what happened during those Thomas hearings.” One of Biden’s most noteworthy accomplishments is the landmark Violence Against Women Act. Biden shepherded that bill through the Senate, leading to its eventual passage in 1994. The law provided a comprehensive national strategy for dealing with the crisis, including increased penalties for offenders, protections for women who come forward, and funding and support for coordinated community response. Congress has reauthorized VAWA three times since then, including after a tough legislative fight in 2012 and 2013, in which some Republicans opposed including protections for undocumented immigrants, same-sex couples and Native Americans. “The Violence Against Women Act in 1994 was very hard to pass. … This was not a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination,” Feminist Majority Foundation President Ellie Smeal said. “And [Biden] made it an issue. It wouldn’t pass without him, there’s no question about it.” Slaughter, one of the original co-authors of the legislation, also praised Biden’s work. “He’s a great guy,” she said. “He’s a real soldier in the field for the Democratic Party.” Even before Obama won the 2008 election, Biden made clear he wanted the administration to combat sexual assault. The vice president created a new position, White House adviser on violence against women, to ensure that the issue continued to get attention. “That was a real turning point, I think, in terms of the attention that the issue would receive at the highest levels of the White House,” Gandy said. Biden has also sought to address the scourge of sexual assault on college campuses ― a problem that affects 20 percent of women and 5 percent of men, according to a recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll of current and recent college students. Biden toured schools around the country and urged them to change how they deal with violence.  “We are the first administration to make it clear that sexual assault is not just a crime, it can be a violation of a woman’s civil rights,” he said in 2011 in a speech at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Biden’s speech coincided with a letter the Department of Education sent to colleges and universities outlining new guidance about Title IX, the federal statute prohibiting sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding. That letter made clear that school administrators had an obligation to act on sexual violence. “If a school knows or reasonably should know about student-on-student harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects,” read the Obama administration’s letter, which also threatened to pull a school’s federal funding if the government determined it was not taking steps to address the problem. As of last July, the Education Department had more than 250 ongoing investigations at postsecondary institutions. In 2014, the White House started a task force to combat student sexual assault and a nationwide campaign to raise awareness. A key part of the strategy was to get men more involved in the efforts, a move away from a culture that so often places the responsibility for sexual assault on women. “He helped bring a lot of men into it, which is also necessary if we’re ever going to reduce these numbers of sexual assaults on college campuses,” Gandy added. Biden also spoke out forcefully against Trump and his treatment of women during the 2016 election. When audio emerged of Trump bragging about using his celebrity status to grope women, Biden tweeted that what he was talking about was sexual assault. The words are demeaning. Such behavior is an abuse of power. It’s not lewd. It’s sexual assault. –Joe— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 8, 2016 “I’m tired of new politicians who want to go to Washington to demean women,” Biden said in a speech in Nevada a few days later, Biden will leave the White House with a far different image than many women had of him in 1991. He is extremely popular in the Democratic Party, able to connect with a wide range of voters in a way that many other politicians envy. There is even already talk that he could run for president in 2020. Women’s rights activists say that whatever he does, they hope he stays involved in their fight. Gandy called the Thomas hearings part of Biden’s history, but not his legacy, and Smeal said his leadership on women’s rights “so surpasses” what happened in 1991. “I think it takes a big heart and an open mind to evolve, to learn,” Greenberger said. “And I think that Vice President Biden has demonstrated that in many contexts, but nowhere more clearly than in his strong championing of laws and policies to protect those who have been the subject of sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual mistreatment.” Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? 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