Tag: call

Olivia’s law call aims to cut young driving deaths

Olivia AlkirImage copyright
Family photo

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Olivia Alkir had plans to study architectural engineering at university

Family and friends of a sixth form student killed in a crash caused by two racing drivers are calling for a change in the law for new motorists.

Olivia Alkir, 17, of Efenechtyd, Denbighshire, was a passenger in a car that crashed while the driver was racing another car in June last year.

Drivers Edward Bell, who passed his driving test a day earlier, and Thomas Quick were jailed for five years.

Denbighshire councillors are being urged to back a petition to Parliament.

It calls for new young drivers to have a black box recorder fitted to their vehicles for the first year, to monitor their journeys.

The petition also wants newly-qualified motorists to be limited to one passenger, who must be a qualified driver.

  • Night driving ‘curfew’ for new drivers considered
  • The tech cutting driving costs for young motorists

Olivia’s Ysgol Brynhyfryd school friend Joe Hinchcliffe launched the petition that has been supported by Olivia’s parents Mesut and Jo.

It has attracted 8,500 signatures so far and needs to reach 10,000 for the UK government to respond to the request. If it reached 100,000 by February, it would lead to a debate in Parliament.

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North Wales Police

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Thomas Quick, 18, was jailed alongside Edward Bell for causing death by dangerous driving

The motion asking for support has been put forward by Ruthin councillor Huw Hilditch Roberts, who is the relative of another teenager injured in the fatal crash.

“These changes should significantly decrease the amount of young road crash fatalities by encouraging safer driving,” Mr Hilditch Roberts’ motion says.

It is due to discussed at a full meeting of Denbighshire council on Tuesday.

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Barr Violated Election Law, Ethics Groups Say in Call to Impeach

(Bloomberg) — Two groups promoting ethics in government called for the impeachment of U.S. Attorney General William Barr, accusing him of violating laws and undermining public confidence in the Justice Department.

Barr has used the department to further President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, a bipartisan group of lawyers from the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington wrote in a report released Monday, three weeks ahead of U.S. elections.



a man in glasses looking at the camera: NYC Bar Association Asks Congress to Investigate AG Barr for Bias


© Bloomberg
NYC Bar Association Asks Congress to Investigate AG Barr for Bias

William Barr

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The authors warned that Barr’s appointment of U.S. Attorney John Durham to review the origins of the Russia investigation, and Barr’s willingness to discuss the investigation in news interviews, point to efforts to create a politically orchestrated “October surprise.” Such actions could violate the Hatch Act, which forbids government officials from using their offices to support a particular candidate in an election, they wrote.

The authors, some of whom held top legal and ethics posts in previous Republican and Democratic administrations, are the latest to raise concerns that Barr is pursuing an agenda of partisan politics and selective law enforcement. Earlier this month, 1,600 former Justice Department officials signed an open letter criticizing what they called Barr’s willingness to use the department to support Trump’s re-election effort. Although the Justice Department has traditionally kept live investigations under wraps, it recently advised prosecutors they could publicize investigations into election issues, including alleged ballot fraud.

“The working group came to the reluctant conclusion that Attorney General Barr is using the powers of the Department as a vehicle for supporting the political objectives of President Donald Trump,” they wrote. “It appears that the Department has transitioned from one that is subject to law, to become one that instead views the application of law as politically discretionary; moving from rule of law to rule by law.”

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Barr has defended the propriety of the department’s work. Although he has echoed some of Trump’s election-related allegations, he has also come under fire from the president because Durham hasn’t produced bombshell prosecutions. Durham isn’t expected to issue charges or release a report before the election, a Justice Department official has said.

The Durham investigation is one of eight areas in which Barr’s conduct appeared to contradict the presumption that the Justice Department enforces the nation’s laws fairly and without political influence, the group said. In nearly 300 pages, they spelled out actions they said violated not only the Hatch Act but also obstruction of justice laws.

They focused on areas in which Barr’s conduct sparked widespread criticism, including the way in which they said he “intentionally mischaracterized” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report when he presented it to the American public. They looked at Barr’s assignment of several U.S. attorneys, including Durham, to conduct counter-investigations that the report says are “designed to discredit” the

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In call with Democratic senator, Barrett declines to discuss how she might rule on health-care law

Particularly scrutinized is a 2017 essay that Barrett penned for a Notre Dame Law School journal in which she argued that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Jr., who wrote the majority opinion when the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the health-care law in 2012, “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.”

Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), who talked by phone with Barrett on Wednesday, said he asked her about a pair of Supreme Court decisions upholding the Affordable Care Act as well as the 2017 essay. Barrett, Coons said, repeatedly declined to speak to the specifics of a case, saying “she wouldn’t get into the details of how she might rule.”

“The ACA is not just on the docket of the Supreme Court,” Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s on the ballot this fall.”

The conversation between Coons and Barrett is part of the traditional Supreme Court confirmation process that has become quite unusual not only because of the intense toxicity around her nomination but also because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic hitting the Capitol.

At least eight Democratic senators have met with Barrett — either in person or via phone — while a host of others have refused the courtesy sit-downs because they don’t want to legitimize a confirmation process they say should not occur.

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) quietly met with Barrett in the Capitol on Thursday, and in a statement released the following day said her writings on the ACA “continue to give me serious concerns” about her confirmation.

An aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat, confirmed that the senator spoke with Barrett on the phone Wednesday, but declined to give further details. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) also had a phone conversation; a spokesman said he “walk[ed] her through his concerns about dark-money influence around the Supreme Court, which he called ‘the scheme around the Court.’”

White House spokesman Judd Deere said that during the calls, Barrett “emphasized the importance of judicial independence and spoke about her judicial philosophy and family.”

The meetings are also used to preview some of the lines of questioning from senators at the confirmation hearing. For Barrett, many of the questions from Democratic senators at her hearing starting Monday will center on health care and the fate of the ACA.

In her meeting with Coons, Barrett said that she has had no conversation with President Trump about any particular decision or case. She also made no commitment to recuse herself from any election-related disputes that may rise to the Supreme Court — a call made by a slew of Democrats because of the explicit link that Trump has made between potential election challenges and the need to have a full slate of nine justices to hear them.

Trump announced in a White House ceremony on Sept. 26 that he would nominate Barrett, a judge on the U.S. 7th Circuit

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Did Biden Call Trump Supporters the ‘Dregs of Society’?

In October 2020, with just four weeks to go until Election Day, the reelection campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump posted a short video clip on Twitter saying it showed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden calling Trump supporters the “dregs of society.”

The tweet, posted on Oct. 6 by @TrumpWarRoom, contained the following text: “Joe Biden called Trump supporters the ‘dregs of society.’ The idea that Biden is a unifier is a joke.” In the accompanying eight-second clip, Biden says:

“They’re a small percentage of the American people. Virulent people. Some of them the dregs of society.”

However, the Trump campaign’s presentation of Biden’s remarks was deeply misleading. Viewed in proper context, it’s clear that the former U.S. vice president was not referring to Trump supporters as a whole, but rather what he called “the forces of intolerance” throughout the world and in the United States, in particular the Ku Klux Klan and the “alt-right.”

In the 2016 election, the Trump campaign capitalized on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s infamous claim that “half” of Trump’s supporters constituted a “basket of deplorables.” The false attack on Biden — both in September 2018, when he made the remarks, and again in 2020 — appeared to be an attempt to create a similar narrative around Biden, who has pitched himself to voters as a moderate and unifying candidate. 

Analysis

The short clip posted by the Trump campaign was taken from a much longer speech that Biden gave on Sept. 15, 2018, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Biden was speaking at an annual dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ rights non-profit.

In order to provide the full context for Biden’s “dregs of society” remark, the following is a transcript of the relevant section of his speech, and the moments leading up to it, with especially relevant remarks highlighted in bold. The section of the speech in question can be watched in full below:

… Thanks to you, our children, my grandchildren will grow up in a world that’s far more just, open-minded and humane. But our work is not yet done, by any stretch of the imagination. The stakes are much too high. As I said, we’re faced with an administration, and some of its most ardent right-wing supporters from the Ku Klux Klan — the head of the Ku Klux Klan has endorsed [Trump] — and the alt-right, who are trying to undo all the progress you have made, and the little that Barack [Obama] and I have made with you. 

Today, we still don’t have a federal law that explicitly protects LGBTQ [people] from being fired or evicted or denied service at a restaurant. In 28 states, you can still be fired for being gay. In 30 states, you can be

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Farmers call on UK to commit in law to ban chlorinated chicken

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has called on the UK government to make a legal commitment to ban chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef from supermarket shelves.



a person standing in a field: Minette Batters is calling on the government to support the Curry amendment to the agriculture bill.


© PA
Minette Batters is calling on the government to support the Curry amendment to the agriculture bill.

In advance of new agriculture legislation, the NFU president, Minette Batters, said she was not demanding that imported chickens should luxuriate in “10ft-high straw beds” but that the UK’s high standards of animal welfare should be imposed on imports.

“We’ve had so much talk about chlorinated chicken. The thing is, if we don’t put a marker in the sand, if government doesn’t put a red line down in the agricultural bill, that allows secondary legislation on any day of the week effectively to change it. You have to put that marker down and say: ‘No, you know, we’re going to stick by our word today,’” she said.

In an exchange with the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, at the Conservative party conference, Batters called on the government to support the Curry amendment to the agriculture bill, which returns to the House of Commons on 12 October.

Lord Curry’s amendment is designed to give the recently assembled trade and agriculture commission (TAC) a stronger role in scrutinising trade deals.

Truss came under repeated fire over the lack of perceived scrutiny in parliament for trade deals from the government’s food tsar, Henry Dimbleby, who called for full parliamentary scrutiny, including evidence and witness accounts to select committees of all post-Brexit trade deals.

He has also called on Truss to put a health expert on the TAC before the nation’s bus stops and billboard are “covered in ads for Hershey bars”. “Our diets are already one of the worst in the world, and we do not want to make it any worse,” he said.

Truss rejected the accusation of secrecy and said all signed trade deals would go before an independent trade commission chaired by the SNP’s Angus Brendan MacNeil, who was not a “government patsy”.

They would also be subject to an impact assessment process to analyse economic and social consequences, and their report would go before parliament and be debated. Under the so-called Crag process it could be blocked indefinitely if there were an objection.

She also said industry players would be consulted in confidence on key elements of trade deals. The tariff offer from the US was about to be shared with “trusted” advisory groups from 11 sectors under non-disclosure agreements.

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Civil society and faith-based groups call for unity and speedy formation of Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal government – South Sudan

Emmanuel Kele

Civil society and faith-based groups in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State have called for the speedy formation of a state government to strengthen peace and security and improve service delivery, not least the construction of roads and health facilities.

“Forming a state government has delayed, and this has a big negative impact on everyone living here,” says Agou Kon, a female representative of a local faith-based group at a one-day forum organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, adding that competition for political appointments is fierce.

“If you are not selected to be part of the government, you should not feel as if you have been rejected. Instead you should accept the decision and let your brother take the position,” another participant, Sheikh Ibrahim Deng, Secretary General of the Islamic Council, advised.

The forum, aimed at promoting unity and social cohesion, brought together ten women and twenty-five men from different civil society organizations and faith-based groups in the area, and they know what they want.

“We recommend that qualified and experienced people are appointed. That way the next government will be able to deliver essential services, like better roads,” said Mayoul Diing Mayoul, representing the Civic Engagement Center.

Several speakers, including Bishop Wol Tong Tong, stressed the need for the new government to always have what is best for the state as a whole in mind.

“Whichever constituency a politician represents, the right decisions are the ones that are in the best interest of all of our citizens. That is the kind of government we expect and demand,” he said.

With many men and women interested in a small number of government positions, many forum participants expressed their fear of resulting conflicts.

“There will be fighting and quarrelling over political positions,” Alom Atak, a 26-year-old woman, noted.

To counter such risks, local authorities have urged people to embrace unity and reconciliation, as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement. Citizens, they urge, should forget the past and forge a new path towards prosperity.

“We are here to live together as brothers and sisters, whether we support the government or any of the opposition parties. We cannot accept a tribal South Sudan plagued by primitive fighting,” counseled Peter Aguer, the government representative at the gathering.

Ataklti Hailu, head of the peacekeeping mission’s field office in Aweil, echoed these sentiments.

“Civil society organizations, religious leaders, opposition forces, the private sector – you must all work together. By doing so, we can create a sense of shared responsibility among ourselves and mobilize resources together to implement agreed on policies,” he said.

Forum participants also recommended the provision of psychosocial support for currently internally displaced people returning to the region.

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Female lawmakers, officials call for more women at all levels of government to improve equity

Female lawmakers on Wednesday called for more women in all levels of government to improve gender equity.

Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsTrump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report Races heat up for House leadership posts GOP leader says he doesn’t want Chamber’s endorsement: ‘They have sold out’ MORE (D-Kan.) and former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stressed the importance of including women in leadership roles at The Hill’s The Century of the Woman summit.

“We have to be making sure that we’re really pushing forward on that progress to make sure that women have all the opportunities available to us in this society in our country,” Davids told The Hill’s Steve Clemons.

Solis added that gender equity “makes sure that we have to educate, not just women, but our male counterparts because they’re the ones that still dominate in many positions of power.”

Women hold just under 24 percent of the 535 seats in Congress. At the state level, women occupy almost 29 percent of the 311 elected positions for top posts.

While the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote 100 years ago and more women are holding public office than before, many women still face barriers inside and outside the workplace, such as unequal pay and sexual harassment.

Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoHillicon Valley: Judge’s ruling creates fresh hurdle for TikTok | House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks | Biden campaign urges Facebook to remove Trump posts spreading ‘falsehoods’ On The Money: Biden releases 2019 tax returns hours before first debate | COVID relief talks hit do-or-die moment | Disney to layoff 28K workers The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden, Trump to face off in Cleveland MORE and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price (R) both talked about the sacrifices women have to make if they decide to take on leadership positions.

“Many women are reluctant to step up because they don’t have the support at home that they need,” said Price. “I think we have to figure out how to provide more support for women who do want to serve in public office.”

“I try to advise young women that when they make these inevitable life trade-offs that they know they’re making them,” said Chao added. “What’s really sad is someone made choices without understanding that they were permanent choices.”

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