Tag: debate

How Trump lost the law and order debate

For months, in the midst of protests against racial injustice and a worsening global pandemic, President Trump has sought to portray his Democratic rivals as lawless rioters bent on mob rule.



a group of people standing around a fire: On The Trail: How Trump lost the law and order debate


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On The Trail: How Trump lost the law and order debate

His presidency, Trump has insisted, is the only thing standing between a wave of crime and chaos. Speakers at the Republican National Convention this year – including a St. Louis couple who was charged last week with felony counts after they waved weapons at protesters – repeatedly invoked the threat of violence looming over American cities.

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But Americans think otherwise. In poll after poll, a plurality – and in many cases a majority – say Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would be better equipped than Trump to handle law and order or crime and violence.

A CNN survey released last week asked respondents which presidential candidate would be better at handling crime and safety issues. Fifty-five percent chose Biden, while 43 percent chose Trump.

Pollsters for NBC and The Wall Street Journal asked who would be better at dealing with crime and violence. Biden led again, 45 percent to 41 percent. Meanwhile, 52 percent told Monmouth pollsters they were very or somewhat confident Biden could maintain law and order if he were elected; 48 percent said the same of Trump.

In a Pew poll released this week, 49 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat confident Biden could effectively handle law enforcement and criminal justice issues; 44 percent were confident in Trump’s ability to do so.

But perhaps most damningly, 58 percent of Americans surveyed by Fox News said they thought the way Trump talks about racial inequality and the police was actually leading to an increase in acts of violence. Just 38 percent said the same of the former vice president.

Biden, in short, is beating Trump on one of the key issues on which Trump wanted to base his reelection campaign.

Both Democratic and Republican strategists said Trump’s failure to use protests that turned violent in cities like Seattle and Portland against Biden illustrates the most significant challenge Trump now faces: Unlike four years ago, Trump is not the outsider coming to disrupt the system. He is the incumbent, presiding over a deeply divided country.

“Sometimes, reality wins. It’s hard for President Trump to argue that lawless Democrats are responsible for a surge of violence that has occurred during his administration,” said Michael Steel, a Republican strategist who was the top spokesman for former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Trump has been obsessed with law and order since the 1980s, when he paid for an advertisement calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five Black and Hispanic teenagers who were wrongly convicted of rape. He used his inaugural address in 2017 to call for an end of “American carnage,” even though statistics released by the FBI show crime rates have steadily declined for decades.

Today, law and

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Pence’s debate guests preview focus on law and order

Vice President Pence’s guests at Wednesday night’s debate highlight his expected focus on law and order and likely efforts to paint the country as unsafe should Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Chance the Rapper, Demi Lovato to play digital concert to encourage voting MORE win the presidency.

Pence’s guests include the parents of Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian worker killed by Islamic State terrorists; Ann Dorn, the widow of a retired police officer who was killed when a business in St. Louis was looted earlier this year; and Flora Westbrooks, whose small business was destroyed when protests following the police killing of George Floyd grew violent. 

Marsha and Carl Mueller spoke at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in August and delivered a searing address in which they criticized the Obama administration for failing to do more to protect their daughter, who was taken captive in 2013 and killed in 2015.

Carl Mueller said in the speech that he believed his daughter would still believe if President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Trump lashes out at FDA over vaccine guidelines MORE were in office when she was captured. The Justice Department earlier Wednesday announced charges against two British citizens accused of being part of an ISIS cell that beheaded Western hostages, including Mueller. 

Ann Dorn, who delivered another emotional RNC speech, spoke in vivid detail about the circumstances under which her husband was killed during protests against racial injustice that spiraled into rioting.

And Pence met with Westbrooks during a recent trip to Minneapolis to tour the site of her destroyed business.

Taken together, the guests telegraph how Pence is likely to tout the Trump administration’s support for law enforcement and calls for order in the streets. The president has frequently cast protests against racial injustice and police brutality as out of control rioting and anarchy, pointing to ongoing protests in places like Portland, Ore.

The Trump campaign has also previously targeted Harris and her staff for publicizing and donating to a bail relief fund that was used to set free people with criminal records in the wake of the Minneapolis demonstrations.

While polls show many Americans have unfavorable views of how some of the protests have played out, they also show that majorities disapprove of how Trump has handled race relations. 

Harris’ guests, by contrast, are less overtly political. Her campaign said Utah State Rep. Angela Romero, a longtime community organizer and working mother, will join the senator at Wednesday’s debate, as will Deborah Gatrell, a veteran and teacher who is running for Salt Lake County Council. Both are intended to highlight the economic and public health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the campaign said.

The senator is likely to zero in on Pence’s role

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The Latest: Pence to press ‘law and order’ message at debate

WASHINGTON — The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

Republican Mike Pence will press the Trump campaign’s “law and order” message at the vice presidential debate against Democrat Kamala Harris.

Pence’s guests in the debate hall Wednesday night will include Ann Marie Dorn, the widow of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn, who was shot to death on June 2 after a violent night of protests.

President Donald Trump and his campaign have seized on the scattered violence that has broken out amid otherwise largely peaceful protests demanding racial justice. Trump has wrongly claimed that such violence has been condoned by his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, and has warned it will continue if Biden wins in November.

Ann Marie Dorn also spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Pence will also be joined by the parents of Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian aid worker who was taken captive and killed by Islamic State militants.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump is recovering from the coronavirus at the White House. Democrat Joe Biden is holding two virtual fundraisers. The candidates’ running mates, meanwhile, are meeting in a vice presidential debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

Read more:

— Pence-Harris debate to unfold as Trump recovers from virus

— Viewer’s Guide: Virus response on stage with Pence, Harris

— Trump, out of sight, tweets up storm, says he ‘feels great’

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

7 p.m.

Two Utah women will attend Wednesday’s vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City as guests of Democrat Kamala Harris.

Angela Romero is a state representative who also works in local government in Salt Lake City, overseeing the Division for Youth and Family programs. The campaign says Romero is focused on supporting families and local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Deborah Gatrell is a veteran and teacher who is running for a seat on the Salt Lake County Council. She is a Blackhawk pilot who served in the Utah National Guard and was deployed to the Middle East.

The campaign says the two women represent the hard-working Americans that a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration would fight for.

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5:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign is dialing back on advertising in Midwestern states that secured his first term in office.

Data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG shows Trump’s campaign has canceled about $3.3 million in advertising planned for Iowa and Ohio this week. But details provided from Democratic advertising trackers reveal the phenomenon is more widespread.

The data shows Trump is running $1.3 million in advertising this week in Michigan, where Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is spending $2.9 million. In Wisconsin, Trump is spending $229,000 compared to Biden’s $2.5 million. And in Minnesota, a longtime Democratic stronghold where Trump hoped to make inroads, Biden is outspending him $1 million to Trump’s $289,000 this week.

The ad decisions by Trump’s campaign are puzzling.

He amassed a massive campaign

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Harris team assured by VP debate safety measures

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Kamala Harris’ chief of staff says the Democratic campaign is confident in the safety measures for Wednesday’s vice presidential debate.

But Karine Jean-Pierre also called it “shameful” that Vice President Mike Pence’s team objected to the use of a plexiglass barrier between the candidates. She noted that Pence heads the White House’s coronavirus task force and says he and his team should want more protection for him and people involved in the debate.

Her comments came during an interview Tuesday on CNN.


Harris and Pence will meet Wednesday night at the University of Utah for the only vice presidential debate.

Jean-Pierre says Harris is well-prepared to show viewers the contrast between President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic and how she and Joe Biden would approach it.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump is recovering from the coronavirus at the White House. He announced Tuesday that he had instructed his aides to abandon COVID-19 relief talks with congressional Democrats until after the Nov. 3 election. Democrat Joe Biden campaigned in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.

Read more:

— Trump, contagious at White House, back to downplaying virus

— Trump halts COVID-19 relief talks until after election

— Countering Trump, US officials defend integrity of election

— 5 questions as Pence and Harris prepare for debate faceoff

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

7:35 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he and President Donald Trump “shouldn’t have a debate” as long as the president remains positive for the coronavirus.

Biden said Tuesday that he’s “looking forward to being able to debate him” but said “we’re going to have to follow very strict guidelines.” He says he doesn’t know Trump’s status since the president returned to the White House after being hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for three days after a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Biden told reporters while boarding his plane back to Delaware in Hagerstown, Maryland: “I think if he still has COVID, then we shouldn’t have a debate.”

The next debate is scheduled for Oct. 15, with a third debate slated for Oct. 22.

Biden’s campaign says he tested negative for COVID-19 earlier Tuesday.

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5:40 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says the U.S. doesn’t have to choose between “law and order” and racial justice.

Speaking near the national historic site in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Biden cited “instances of excessive police force” and “heart-wrenching cases of racial injustice” that have inspired peaceful protests across the country. Biden says instances of violence and burning during some demonstrations “cannot be tolerated” but also should not obscure the larger issues.

President Donald Trump is campaigning as a “law and order” president and blasting racial justice protests as violent anarchy in U.S. cities led by Democrats. And the president has falsely accused Biden of calling to “defund the police” across the country.

Biden says

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Palantir IPO reinvigorates debate over Big Tech-military relationship

  • Palantir’s IPO is reinvigorating debate over Big Tech’s role as a partner of US military and government agencies.
  • Big Tech faces increasing stakeholder pressure to adjudicate the ethics of such projects.

Big data software contractor Palantir held its direct-listing IPO this week, raising funds at a valuation of around $21 billion, while also spurring renewed scrutiny over the relationship between Silicon Valley and the US military and government agencies.

US law enforcement information requests to amazon

Palantir’s IPO reinvigorates debate over Big Tech-military relationship.

Business Insider Intelligence


In a letter to the SEC filed in September and released this week, Congressional Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Jesús García called for greater transparency from Palantir before it went public. Ocasio-Cortez and García asserted that Palantir should disclose to shareholders any “contract[s] with foreign governments known to engage in corrupt practices and human rights violations.”

They also expressed concern over Palatir’s project with the US Department of Health and Human Services, noting that the public does not know what privacy safeguards (if any) are in place for the health data to which Palantir has access. 

Palantir claims that Silicon Valley has an obligation to serve the interests of the US government and its allies, even when doing so raises ethical challenges. In the company’s S-1 filing, Palantir says it only works with governments whose positions are consistent with the company’s mission to support Western liberal democracy and its strategic allies, adding, “we embrace the complexity that comes from working in areas where the stakes are often very high and the choices may be imperfect.”

However, Palantir has received considerable pushback for its work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in tracking undocumented people, providing field intelligence for the US military’s deployment of drones, and assisting governments in mass surveillance efforts. Palantir CEO and co-founder Alex Karp told Axios earlier this year: “Our product is used on occasion to kill people. … If you’re looking for a terrorist in the world now, you’re probably using our government product.”

Karp has also been critical in the past of US Big Tech companies that have chosen not to aid the government. Palantir elaborated on Karp’s philosophy in its S-1, in which it argues: “The engineering elite of Silicon Valley may know more than most about building software. But they do not know more about how society should be organized or what justice requires.”

In contrast to Palantir’s calls for unconditional support of the US and its allies, Big Tech companies face increasing pressure from stakeholders to adjudicate the ethics of military and law enforcement projects. Though we often think of them as consumer-facing companies, Big Tech has an extensive and ongoing history of acting as defense contractors for the US government.

In a pivotal decision, Google acquiesced to employee pressure in 2018 and decided not to renew the Project Maven defense contract through which it had helped the military use machine learning to advance drone capabilities, according to The Intercept. When later questioned about this decision during the House Judiciary Committee’s

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Blasphemy convictions spark Nigerian debate over sharia law

By Alexis Akwagyiram and Abraham Achirga

LAGOS/ABUJA (Reuters) – Fuad Adeyemi, an imam in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, respects those who believe that a 22-year-old man accused of sharing a blasphemous message on WhatsApp should be punished. But he thinks the death sentence is too harsh.

He was referring to a ruling handed to Yahaya Aminu Sharif by a sharia court in the northern state of Kano in August. On the same day, the court sentenced a 13-year-old boy, Omar Farouq, to 10 years in prison, also for blasphemy.

The sentences caused an international outcry and sparked a broader debate in Nigeria about the role of Islamic law in a country roughly evenly split between a predominantly Muslim north and mainly Christian south.

“They should review the judgment … and reduce the punishment,” said Adeyemi, clad in a white robe and sitting on the concrete floor of a half-built Abuja mosque where moments earlier he had led more than a dozen men in prayer.

Sharia, or Islamic religious law, is applied in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, raising questions about the compatibility of two legal systems where sharia courts operate alongside secular ones.

Kola Alapinna, a lawyer representing both Sharif and Farouq, told Reuters that appeals against the convictions had been lodged at the Kano state high court, although no dates for the hearings had yet been set.

He said the move was made on the grounds that sharia courts of appeal do not have criminal jurisdiction. Any further appeals should, he added, be held in secular courts up to the Supreme Court, the country’s highest legal authority.

“We are a secular country,” said Alapinna, one of a team of lawyers working on behalf of the Lagos-based Foundation for Religious Freedom rights group, referring to the country’s secular constitution.

“Nigeria is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation where everybody is welcome.”

The convictions were condemned by some rights groups, the United Nations and the head of Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial.

In Nigeria, they divided opinion on social media and in the street.

“How does Sharia law even exist alongside Nigeria’s Constitution?” posted a Twitter user called Obi.

In Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city built in the middle of the country to promote unity, insurance executive Hamid Abubakar took a different view.

One of dozens of Muslim men who gathered beside a busy road to perform prayers outdoors, Abubakar said he believed the punishments were “in order”, and sharia’s role in Nigeria should be respected. He also warned against Western interference.

“People should not come to others’ faith and push their thinking,” he said.

(Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram in Lagos and Abraham Achirga in Abuja; Additional reporting by Angela Ukomadu in Lagos; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

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Trump touts ‘law and order’ in debate. Are his tough-on-crime tactics working?

When federal officials announced they charged 61 people in Chicago as part of Operation Legend in August, that number meant little to Marquinn McDonald, who goes on late-night patrols in his South Side neighborhood to make sure the elderly, women and children get home safely. 

Is it legal for Department of Homeland Security to send federal agents to cities?

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“They have their numbers. That’s beautiful. They made 61 arrests,” he said with some sarcasm. “OK, you locked up a person, but another person just died.”

In Chicago, weekly murder numbers dropped after the launch of Operation Legend, a crime-fighting initiative that the Justice Department deployed in nine cities since July. The week the charges were announced, 10 people were killed – less than half from before federal officers were sent. But that number has since doubled again. 

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The Trump administration has used the muscle of the federal government to crack down on violent crimes. At President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies, the words “law and order” have become a staple, as he sells himself to voters as a tough-on-crime leader while casting big cities led by Democrats as places where anarchy and lawlessness reign.



a group of people in uniform: US President Donald Trump speaks with officials on September 1, 2020, at Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. - Trump visited Kenosha, the city at the center of a raging US debate over racism, despite pleas to stay away and claims he is dangerously fanning tensions as a reelection ploy.


© MANDEL NGAN, AFP via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump speaks with officials on September 1, 2020, at Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. – Trump visited Kenosha, the city at the center of a raging US debate over racism, despite pleas to stay away and claims he is dangerously fanning tensions as a reelection ploy.

During a heated and chaotic exchange in the presidential debate Tuesday night, Trump, again, attacked cities such as Chicago and New York over rising crime there, taunted Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden over his law and order record, and stoked fears of a suburban extinction.

“The people of this country want and demand law and order … and you won’t even say the phrase,” Trump said, adding that if Biden were elected, “the suburbs would be gone.”

Trump’s partner in the effort has been Attorney General William Barr, whose Justice Department sent hundreds of federal officers to Kansas City, Missouri; Chicago; Albuquerque; Detroit; Cleveland; Milwaukee; Memphis; St. Louis and Indianapolis. Thousands have been arrested, including many fugitives. Dozens of guns and significant amounts of drugs also have been seized.

But violent crime is far from dissipating in cities where the heavily trumpeted federal initiative was launched, and experts say it’s far too early to assess whether Operation Legend is a success or a “prop.”

‘Just for show’ or ‘literally saving lives’?

The rushed nature of the program – timed in the months leading up to the election and, at times, without buy-in from local officials in the cities where it was expanded – has opened it

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Trump and Biden’s debate over ‘law and order’ highlighted a secret to Biden’s success

In the wake of this summer’s police brutality protests, President Donald Trump has in recent weeks tried to frame the election as a referendum on “law and order.” In many ways he has succeeded; “Race and Violence in Our Cities” was a heated and lengthy section of Tuesday’s first presidential debate. “The people of this country want and demand law and order … and you won’t even say the phrase,” Trump challenged former Vice President Joe Biden. “I’ll say it,” Biden countered, claiming that he believed in “systematic injustice” while also supporting most police officers and opposing violence.

The term “law and order” is itself a natural fit for Trump’s vocabulary: Widely associated with white reactionary politics, it has little to do with maintenance of the law.

The term “law and order” is itself a natural fit for Trump’s vocabulary: Widely associated with white reactionary politics, it has little to do with maintenance of the law and more to do with fomenting racial resentment. As early as 1968, some began to understand the term as “a shorthand message promising repression of the Black community.”

But recent polling in key states suggests that voters seem to narrowly prefer Democratic nominee Joe Biden on matters of law and order. Despite punditry to the contrary, it shouldn’t be surprising that Biden leads on this issue; he’s been running law-and-order campaigns since 1972. It is important to note, however, that Biden is also trusted in handling the protests and race relations. Together, this highlights one of Biden’s political secrets to success. For the last 48 years, Biden’s fortunes have rested on his ability to present himself as a champion of seemingly opposing issues. November’s election will be a test of this decades-running formula.

Today, Biden is just weeks away from completing his 13th, and possibly final, bid for elected office. When he announced his candidacy for the Senate in the early months of 1972, his only political experience was a brief stint on the New Castle County Council. In fact, Biden was so young that at age 29, he was constitutionally ineligible for the seat during the entirety of his campaign (he turned 30 two weeks after the election).

Biden’s first Senate campaign was an uphill battle. Still inexperienced, he was running against J. Caleb Boggs, a two-term incumbent senator and former governor. Covering Biden’s announcement, The Morning News of Wilmington vaguely summarized his positions: Biden says “he is for the poor,” “for the elderly,” “for law and order, but also for justice.” And then, most bizarrely, he was described as being both “for and against busing.” (It’s revealing that when juxtaposed, the opposite of law and order is not mayhem or lawlessness, but justice.)

The campaign would be fought in the shadow of a national debate over busing, which, while rooted in education, was also very much an issue related to racial unrest and “law and order” politics. Concerns over desegregation busing had been slowly building to a boil since 1959, but the

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Biden deflects Trump’s demand at debate to ‘name one’ law enforcement group backing him

Democratic nominee Joe Biden would not answer when pressed by President Trump during Tuesday night’s presidential debate about whether he has any backing from law enforcement groups.

Both candidates have the backing of various law enforcement groups, but the Trump campaign has leaned into the endorsements much more as the Biden campaign has dealt with a push from the left to defund police departments.

PENNSYLVANIA SHERIFF, LIFELONG DEM, DECIDES TO BACK TRUMP AMID UNREST

“He’s talking about defunding the police. … He has no law enforcement support,” Trump said Tuesday night in Ohio. “Who do you have? Name one group that supports you.”

“That’s not true. … We don’t have time to do anything,” Biden said, sparking a back-and-forth.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“We have time,” Trump insisted.

Fox News Sunday anchor and debate moderator Chris Wallace then turned the discussion toward recent unrest in Portland.

More than 175 current and former law enforcement officers and officials, including former Obama official Janet Napolitano, endorsed Biden for president earlier in September while slamming Trump as a “lawless” president. Groups including Florida’s largest police union and the Fraternal Order of Police have endorsed Trump.

In June, when “defund the police” became a rallying cry for many of the protesters demanding justice for George Floyd, Biden called for police reform but said he did not support defunding police departments.

Biden has said he wants reforms, including more funding for public schools, summer programs and mental health and substance abuse treatment, including a $300 million investment in the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

TRUMP SAYS DEMS’ ‘WAR ON COPS’ PUTS ‘POLICE LIVES IN DANGER,’ CALLS FOR END TO BIDEN’S ‘ANTI-POLICE CRUSADE’

Biden has also said he supported conditional funding for police departments in a July video interview with NowThis conducted by progressive activist Ady Barkan.

“If they don’t eliminate chokeholds, they don’t get Byrne grants; if they don’t do the following, they don’t get any help,” he said. “If they don’t do, because you know as well as I do, the vast majority of all police departments are funded by the locality, funded by the municipality, funded by the state. It’s only the federal government comes in on top of that, and so it says you want help, you have to do the following reforms, you have to make sure you have no-knock warrants eliminated, if you have them, you don’t get Byrne grants.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with a group of sheriffs from around the country before leaving the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with a group of sheriffs from around the country before leaving the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Byrne grants through the Justice Department are the “leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions,” according to the program’s webpage.

Conservatives have continually called out Biden for saying he supports redirecting

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Atheist Richard Dawkins canceled by oldest student debate society

Famed atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins’ invitation to speak at the oldest student debate society in the world was canceled over what the society’s auditor deemed as his offensive views on Islam and sexual assault.

Richard Dawkins says although Islam is the “most evil” religion, not all Muslims are evil. | (PHOTO: REUTERS FILE)

Bríd O’Donnell, the auditor of Trinity College Dublin’s Historical Society (The Hist) in Ireland, announced on Instagram Sunday night that she was “unaware of Richard Dawkins’ opinions on Islam and sexual assault until this evening” and that the society “will not be moving ahead with his address as we value our members’ comfort above all else,” according to The University Times. Her post was made on her personal Instagram page and is not available for public viewing.

According to O’Donnell, Dawkins was invited by her predecessor and she had only researched him briefly and read his Wikipedia page.  It was not until other people pointed out what Dawkins had said about Islam and sexual assault that she decided to disinvite him. 

Dawkins compared Islam to cancer in 2019, calling it the world’s “most evil religion” because of its poor treatment of women and homosexuals. In numerous public appearances, he has made similarly disparaging statements about many religions.

He is well-known in Christian circles for his 2006 book, The God Delusion, in which he writes, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

However, O’Donnell made no reference to Dawkins’ views being offensive to Christians or Jews in her explanation of his cancelation.

On sexual assault, Dawkins said in a 2013 interview with The Times magazine that he personally experienced “mild pedophilia” as a child, but it did not cause “lasting harm” and that people shouldn’t judge the moral failings of past generations on sexual abuse with the same standards used today.

In 2014, he also said on Twitter that “If you want to be in a position to testify and jail a man [for rape,] don’t get drunk.” When a Twitter commenter asked him for an explanation, Dawkins said he meant it’s difficult to get a conviction for rape with only statements like “I was too drunk to remember.”

His cancelation from the progressive Society follows the club’s 2018 decision to rescind a gold medal award for controversial British pro-Brexit politician Nigel Farage.

The College Historical Society’s roots date back to 1747, when influential conservative philosopher Edmund Burke founded the club. Its original purpose was to meet twice weekly for “Speeching, reading, writing and arguing in Morality, History, Criticism, Politiks and all the useful branches of Philosophy,” according to the club’s records. Currently, the Society is the oldest collegiate student group in the world.  Historical figures such

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