Day: October 12, 2020

Keith Olbermann: Amy Coney Barrett, Trump supporters must be ‘removed from our society’

Keith Olbermann is having no trouble finding his voice after leaving ESPN for the third time last week, declaring during his new political commentary show on YouTube that President Trump’s supporters and his “enablers” like Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett should be prosecuted and “removed from society.”

Mr. Olbermann announced last week that he was exiting his contract with ESPN early in order to “serve my country” with daily anti-Trump commentary on YouTube ahead of the Nov. 3 election. During the second episode of his show, “The Worst Person in the World,” he hypothesized that Mr. Trump would reject the results of the upcoming election and would not willingly leave the White House if he loses. And even if this “demonic president” did by chance concede defeat, he would immediately announce afterward that he is seeking reelection in 2024, Mr. Olbermann claimed.

Thus, Mr. Olbermann argued, Mr. Trump “must be expunged.”

“The hate he has triggered, the Pandora’s box he has opened, they will not be so easily destroyed,” he said. “So, let us brace ourselves. The task is twofold: the terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box, and then he, and his enablers, and his supporters, and his collaborators, and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs, and the Sean Hannitys, and the Mike Pences, and the Rudy Gullianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try to rebuild it and to rebuild the world Trump has nearly destroyed by turning it over to a virus.

“Remember it, even as we dream of a return to reality and safety and the country for which our forefathers died, that the fight is not just to win an election, but to win it by enough to chase — at least for a moment — Trump and the maggots off the stage and then try to clean up what they left,” he continued. “Remember it, even though to remember it, means remembering that the fight does not end November 3, but in many ways, will only begin that day.”

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MPs reject calls by campaigners to enshrine food safety in UK law

Farmers and food campaigners were defeated on Monday night in their attempts to enshrine high food safety and animal welfare practices in British law.



a tractor in front of a building: A demonstration by farmers outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the vote.


© Getty Images
A demonstration by farmers outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the vote.

Several prominent backbench Tory MPs rebelled against the government to vote for amendments to the agriculture bill that would have given legal status to the standards, but the rebels were too few to overcome the government’s 80-seat majority and the key amendment fell by 332 votes to 279 after an often impassioned debate.

The government argued that giving current standards legal status was unnecessary as ministers had already committed to ensuring that UK food standards would be kept in any post-Brexit trade agreements. However, critics fear that the lack of a legally binding commitment in the agriculture bill will allow future imports of sub-standard food that will undercut British produce and expose consumers to risk.

Kath Dalmeny, chair of the Future British Standards Coalition, said: “It’s dismaying that the government has opposed attempts to put into law its own commitment to maintain British food standards. It is perfectly possible to have high standards at home and sign trade deals with new trading partners who meet them. It’s what consumers have repeatedly said they want.”

The bill, with its defeated amendments, will now return to the House of Lords and there will be further chances this week for debate. But the government’s majority gives proponents of a tougher bill a hill to climb, despite a recent YouGov poll that showed nine out of 10 people want to protect British standards on food and animal welfare in trade deals.

Katie White, executive director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF, said: “We hope the Lords take this public mandate to deliver the Conservative manifesto commitment to maintain standards, especially after it was significantly backed by Conservative MPs. We call on peers to secure guarantees that the public and MPs are told upfront about any changes to standards that might happen as a result of trade deals, and that the final say on any changes will be a decision for our elected representatives.”

Video: Hancock should consider resigning says Labour Deputy Leader (The Independent)

Hancock should consider resigning says Labour Deputy Leader

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The votes came as a Dispatches documentary on Channel 4 revealed the poor hygiene and welfare among livestock on intensive farms in the US. Although the government has given repeated assurances that chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef would not be imported to the UK under any trade deals, campaigners point out that banning these two products would still allow the import of many types of other food produced under conditions and with drugs, including antibiotics, that would be illegal in the UK.

Luke Pollard, the shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary, said: “The Conservatives have again broken their promise to British farmers and the public. No one wants lower quality food on our plates, but there

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Former N.J. law firm office manager stole over $100K from employer, prosecutor says

The former office manager of a Wall Township law firm was arrested Friday after an investigation revealed she stole over $100,000 from her employer, authorities said.

Patricia Vaughn, 62, of Toms River, was charged with theft and released on a summons, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced Monday.

The investigation began in January after the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by the Wall Township Police, who had received a theft report from the owner of the firm stating Vaughn had stolen funds, according to a release from the office.

Investigators combed through various business and personal accounts related to the law practice and found numerous unauthorized transfers from the accounts to the firm’s operating account that were made by Vaughn from 2011 through 2019, the office said.

Vaughn hid these transfers by creating false bank statements and used the money she added to the operating account to give herself unauthorized salary increases and extra paychecks which totaled $105,552.50, Gramiccioni said.

Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a voluntary subscription.

Chris Sheldon may be reached at [email protected].

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Yes, the Barrett Hearings Are About the Election, Not the Law

(Bloomberg Opinion) — The Amy Coney Barrett nomination hearings have started and guess what? They’re just as much of an election-year circus as everyone expected them to be.

Back in 2016, when Republicans claimed that nominating and confirming a Supreme Court justice during an election year was a violation of the electorate’s right to choose, they were fond of citing something they called the “Biden rule.” In fact, what Joe Biden said when he was Judiciary Committee chair in the summer of 1992 was that if a vacancy were to arise after his June 25 speech, he would urge President George H.W. Bush to wait to nominate a new justice until after the election, and at any rate he would not hold hearings until afterward.

Why? Because “where the nation should be treated to a consideration of constitutional philosophy, all it will get in such circumstances is a partisan bickering and political posturing from both parties and from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Well, judging from the opening statements in these confirmation hearings, Biden knew what he was talking about.

Indeed, several Democrats have barely mentioned the nomination. They’re talking about the pandemic and how Donald Trump has handled it, and most of all they’re talking about the Affordable Care Act.

There’s a hook to link the nomination to the ACA. The Supreme Court is about to hear a case that could knock out that law, and Democrats have repeatedly invoked Trump’s own claims that a new justice would help overturn Obamacare. But what Democrats seem mostly interested in is using their high-profile time to give campaign speeches about health care — the single policy question that helps Democrats the most with swing voters.

As for the Republicans? They’re going with a campaign talking point accusing Democrats of attacking Judge Barrett for her religion and of being anti-Catholic bigots. That the Democrats are not actually doing so isn’t slowing them down (nor is the fact that Joe Biden and the Democratic House speaker are Catholics).

After all, some Democrats somewhere and some journalists have mentioned her religious beliefs, so the Republicans act as if all Democrats are running an anti-Catholic campaign.(1) Indeed, Missouri Republican Josh Hawley was particularly creative; he came up with the preposterous claim that a mention of Griswold v. Connecticut, a key case in establishing the right to privacy, was an attack on Catholics.

Beyond that, Republicans trotted out their old talking points about judicial activism, and how judges should interpret the law, not make the law. Whatever the merits of these claims decades ago when they were first used, they’re badly dated now.

After all, it is Republicans and conservatives who are seeking to overturn the ACA and many other laws; it is conservative justices who took apart the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County case. But parties don’t necessarily change their talking points, which their voters recognize and have come to embrace, and Republican voters have traditionally been motivated by arguments about

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CJ Extra: Helping Hands Humane Society’s annual fundraiser supports, helps care for animals – News – The Topeka Capital-Journal

Most events have changed in format this year because of COVID-19, and the same is true for Bone Appetit, a fundraiser that helps defray the costs of Helping Hands Humane Society while celebrating the human-animal connection.

Grace Clinton, director of business development and special events at Helping Hands Humane Society, answered questions about this year’s event.

Could you share Bone Appetit’s history along with its purpose and goals?

Since 2001, Bone Appétit has been our annual dinner and gala fundraiser to help the homeless animals in the Shawnee County community and the greater area of northeast Kansas. This essential fundraiser helps our organization care for over 6,000 animals who come through HHHS’s doors each year, and allows us to celebrate the human-animal bond with our supporters. These funds are vital to continuing our lifesaving mission.

When does this year’s event take place? How has COVID-19 changed this year’s event?

This year will be a bit different than in the past due to COVID-19 restrictions. It is most prudent to host this event virtually. While this decision was not an easy one to come to and we feel the loss of not getting to see everyone in person, we believe that community and public safety are pivotal elements in the work that we do here, and we needed to consider what would be the most prudent for our staff, volunteers and supporters. Our pets need their humans to remain well.

Additionally, COVID-19 has affected our operations tremendously. While we are very grateful for the outpouring of support from our community this year, it’s been a tough year for everyone and non-profits are no exception. We need fundraisers like this each year, even without a pandemic, but this year has proven to be particularly challenging.

The live, silent and wine auctions are some of the highlights of Bone Appétit. The auction will be hosted on a digital platform that you can access and bid from your computer, tablet or phone. Registration for this is free and the link is on our website.

During the livestream, which will take place from 7-8 p.m., you’ll hear about the progress being made to make Topeka a more humane city, as well as meet some adoptable pets and hear updates on some of the wonderful animals that your support has helped us save.

Finally, if you’d like to recreate the fun table atmosphere of our in-person gala, order a five or 10-person party pack, including a catered LaRocca’s Italian meal delivered by HHHS volunteers, a bottle of wine, and event swag bags for your guests. Register and buy your party packs on our website.

What is the admission fee? What will this fee cover?

The admission free for this year’s event is free. Anyone can watch the event on our Facebook or YouTube channels (we recommend YouTube as it allows clearer streaming), and can bid on the silent auction for free. If individuals are interested in receiving a commemorative event bag of goodies as an attendee,

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Federal government says it will not pay fines for Portland courthouse fence

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will not pay the multi-million dollar fines it owes to two Portland bureaus for erecting an iron fence around the federal courthouse in the city.



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In letters to the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Bureau of Environmental Services obtained by Pamplin Media, Federal Protective Service Assistant Director David A. Hess claimed the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause absolves the agency from city fines.

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“The Federal Government is absolutely immune from fines or penalties issued by local governments unless there is a clear waiver of sovereign immunity by Congress,” Hess wrote. “There has been no such waiver here.”

The PBOT originally fined the federal government for blocking city bike lanes with the security fence it set up around the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse during this summer’s protests.

At a rate of $500 every 15 minutes, or $48,000 a day, fines imposed by the PBOT amount to well over $3 million.

The BES issued another $20,000 fine for federal authorities on September 10 out of concern that tear gas residue from the courthouse washed down city storm drains by federal agents could be contaminating the city water supply.

BES was provided with 90 pages of safety data sheets from the Federal Protective Service for the various crowd control weapons used by the federal officers during this summer’s protests against police brutality around the courthouse.

Federal agents left the streets of Portland by the end of July while Oregon state police officers have intermittently taken over guard duty at the courthouse while protests continue.

The PBOT is overseen by Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. Control of BES was transferred to Commissioner Amanda Fritz by Mayor Ted Wheeler last month.

Tags: States, News, Portland

Original Author: Tim Gruver, The Center Square

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Government made mental health and domestic violence worse during COVID-19 pandemic

The U.S. reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected Americans more than the virus itself. It’s been well-documented that large percentages of businesses will fail, including some even in the medical profession due to the decimation caused shutdowns and essential procedure orders — but three of the most overlooked negative impacts of the shutdowns have been mental health, drug abuse and domestic violence.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the time period of April-June, nearly 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health of substance abuse. In a study published by the CDC on Aug. 14 due to stay at home orders, 40.9% of adults reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, 30.9% reported either anxiety or depression and 26.3% reported having something called trauma- and stressor-related disorder (TDSR). And those numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

The same CDC study showed that 13% of people surveyed by the CDC during the same time said that they started or increased their substance use and 11% seriously considered suicide. The Washington, D.C.-based ODMAP (Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program) reported that drug overdoses during COVID rose 18%. And a study released by Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in June showed calls to suicide hotlines are up 47% nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic with some crisis lines experiencing a 300% increase. 

These statistics are horrifying — but it doesn’t end there.

Not far from these numbers of increased mental health issues and substance use during COVID-19 is what the New England Journal of Medicine has labeled “A Pandemic within a Pandemic,” the rise and lack of reporting of domestic violence. With schools closed and people furloughed from work, stress levels were all-time highs in the home — and with it came higher numbers of violence. Typically, one in four women and one in 10 men experience domestic violence, but because of lockdowns, there were far less options to get away for either to report the other safely to the police. Worse is for children, who with school closures, lost teachers, guidance counselors and administrators they would once have an opportunity to report abuse to.

And how have the federal and state governments reacted? Not well. Many states are still closed, exacerbating all the issues I’ve mentioned. And similar to restaurant and small-business closures, many Americans will never recover from the damage that has been caused.

More egregious than our government not reacting is our government doing something even worse — chipping away services that could help those who find themselves in a hopeless or dangerous place. One such service at risk is the toll-free number. When I first heard about the potential to end the concept of toll-free numbers, I honestly blew it off. I, like many people that I know in my bubble, have an unlimited cellphone plan — toll-free numbers don’t come in to play for someone like me. But there are many who this would adversely affect.

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Intel, IIIT-Hyderabad, PHFI And Telangana Government Launch Applied Artificial Intelligence Research Center

What’s New: Today at the inaugural all.ai 2020 Virtual Summit, Intel India in collaboration with the government of Telangana, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) announced the launch of INAI, an applied artificial intelligence (AI) research center in Hyderabad. INAI is an initiative to apply AI to population scale problems in the Indian context, with a focus on identifying and solving challenges in the healthcare and smart mobility segments through strong ecosystem collaboration.

“With its unique strengths of talent, technology, data availability, and the potential for population-scale AI adoption, India has this tremendous opportunity to lead human-centric applications and democratize AI for the world. Our aspiration is to make AI synonymous with India as we strive to achieve the true potential of AI in critical segments like healthcare, smart mobility and the future of work by advancing innovation, research, technology and skills. The launch of the Applied AI Research Center, initiatives to train students on AI readiness skills and the all.ai 2020 Summit reinforce our commitment towards realizing the exponential impact of AI in an inclusive, collaborative and responsible manner.”
–Nivruti Rai, Intel country head for India and vice president of the Data Platforms Group

How It Will Work: INAI will act as a catalyst to accelerate India’s leadership in AI by driving innovation and entrepreneurship, creating national assets such as curated datasets, computing infrastructure, tools and frameworks with the aim to attract global talent for high-impact research towards social sector development. This collaborative effort, championed by Intel and catalyzed by the Government of Telangana, is anchored at IIIT-H and brings multiple institutions together to work on solutions that have societal-scale impact. PHFI is the founding healthcare partner in this initiative.

Why It Matters: As India continues its transformation, adoption of technology-led innovations becomes important to solve the country’s societal challenges in the critical areas of healthcare, smart mobility and the future of work. The need of the hour is for industry, government, academia and the public to work together to support development of technology with thoughtful consideration of its application in an ethical and inclusive manner. INAI will leverage the broader computing strengths and academic expertise of IIIT-H, the technology leadership and architecture strength of Intel, the public health expertise of PHFI, as well as expertise from other domain and technology players to drive targeted outcomes in technology innovation, entrepreneurship development, job creation and international collaboration.

“The launch of INAI, the Applied AI Research Center in Hyderabad, is a key milestone in our digitalization journey,” said Sri K. T. Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister for IT, Industries, MA & UD, government of Telangana. “I strongly believe it is imperative for all ecosystem stakeholders to collectively work with a synchronous effort towards realizing our AI vision for enabling better governance and elevating quality of life for our people.”

In the smart mobility domain, INAI will advance research in the area of road safety with the aim of using AI to reduce road accidents

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Famous quilt celebrating Black history stolen, found and returned to the Oregon Historical Society

A famous quilt made in the 1970s to teach Black history and shown around the country during the 1976 United States Bicentennial celebration was stolen from the lobby of the Oregon Historical Society in Portland Sunday.

Police recovered the priceless quilt a few blocks from the museum, said museum executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. The theft occurred amid violent protests Sunday night in downtown Portland, several prominent statues were toppled and nearly a dozen windows were broken at the society’s pavilion lobby.

Tymchuk said the Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Quilt is in one piece, but it was left out in the rain and some of the fabric colors have run.

The museum’s curatorial staff is drying it out, removing leaves and other debris, and mitigating the damage.

Vandalism to the museum building is estimated to cost about $25,000.

The historic quilt is no longer being displayed, but an online panel discussion scheduled on Thursday to discuss the quilt’s significance will be held. One of the speakers was to be the only surviving member of the quilting group, Sylvia Gates Carlisle.

The quilt was the idea of Carlisle’s mother, Jeanette Gates, an advocate for Black history to be taught in schools. Gates saw the Oregon quilt made for the Bicentennial and invited 14 other Black women in Portland to create squares for a quilt representing Black culture.

Each of the 30 blocks that form the king-size quilt depict a significant event, person or group in America’s Black history, starting in 1492 with Black Spanish explorer Pedro Alonso Niño piloting the Santa Maria in Columbus’s expedition to America, to the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“Mrs. Gates was determined that the Bicentennial exhibit include African-American heritage,” says quilt historian Mary Bywater Cross. “This sophisticated story quilt reflects 500 years of Black history not seen in textbooks.”

Cross sees a direct link between Portland’s Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Quilt made 44 years ago and recent storied quilts that address gun violence, racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter movement, such as the exhibit “Gone but Never Forgotten: Remembering Those Lost to Police Brutality” at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On Oct. 15, textile consultant Sheridan Collins will lead an online discussion about Portland’s quilt with historian Carmen Thompson and Cross.

The free event, conducted over Zoom from noon to 1 p.m., is part of Portland Textile Month, a series of events in October organized by Caleb Sayan of Portland’s Textile Hive.

Sayan said he has a sense of guilt requesting that the Oregon Historical Society display the quilt in the lobby for the month.

“It’s not the worse-case scenario, but it’s troubling to have something damaged,” said Sayan.

The quilt, an applique style that uses stitchery, is part of the permanent collection at the Oregon Historical Society.

“Quilts are visual records that tell stories,” says Cross. “Mrs. Gates wrote that she wanted the Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Quilt to focus on the issues that unite African-Americans: Religious heritage, struggle against oppression and the strength

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Law School Grad Goes Into Labor During Bar Exam, Finishes Test

A recent law school grad who was taking the bar exam in order to become a lawyer was complicated by the fact that her water broke mid-exam. She completed the test afterward. 

Brianna Hill, who just completed law school at Chicago’s Loyola University, took her bar exam last Monday, which lined up with her 38th week of pregnancy. Like a lot of things this year the timing had been junked up by the pandemic, which ended up pushing her exam date back to Oct. 5. As one might expect, that switch of dates proved pretty stressful.

“I thought I would only be 28 weeks pregnant when I took the bar,” Hill said to CNN. “However, due to the pandemic, the test was pushed to October and I was going to be 38 weeks. I joked about taking the test from my hospital bed. Lesson learned!”

Reports state that Hill had discovered her water broke after wrapping up the first part of a four-part test. That test was spread out over two days, and was conducted remotely with a proctor to prevent cheating. One (and by that I mean me) wonders what this proctor was doing throughout all this. 

“I thought I felt something about 30 minutes into the test and actually thought, ‘I really hope my water didn’t just break,'” Hill added. “But I couldn’t go check and so I finished the first section. As soon as I stood up when I finished, I knew my water had broken.”

For those doing the math in their heads, the test split was set to be evenly distributed for each day, meaning that there was still a second section to be completed despite what was going on in said womb at said time. Hill reportedly completed Day 1’s second section (which was said to be an hour-and-a-half long) and then went to the hospital with her husband and midwife. She adds that she took the second part after her midwife told her she had time to do it. 

Five hours afterward she had her kid, and then (on Tuesday) completed the second day of the bar exam from her hospital bed. 

“The whole time my husband and I were talking about how we wanted me to finish the test and my midwife and nurses were so on board. There just wasn’t another option in my mind,” Hill said.

CNN adds that Hill is not yet aware of her test results, but that she has a job lined up.

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