Green New Deal
Wallace Smith Broecker, the 'grandfather' of climate science, leaves a final warning for Earth
Mon, 04 Mar 2019 12:42
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March 3, 2019, 10:34 AM GMT
By James Rainey
After struggling with heart disease for decades, the renowned climate scientist Wallace Smith Broecker had made it clear he was acutely aware of his own mortality. So when he sat down in front of a video camera to record a final message to his fellow scientists in mid-February, the 87-year-old researcher knew his days were few.
The man who popularized the term ''global warming'' and first described the critical role oceans play on climate had an urgent message for 40 of the world's top climate scientists. Humanity is not moving quickly enough to slow the production of carbon dioxide that is warming the Earth, Broecker said Feb. 11, his livestreaming image projected onto a big screen at Arizona State University, where researchers had met to discuss untested solutions to global warming.
It was time for humankind and the world's scientific community to begin to seriously study more extreme solutions to the climate crisis, Broecker said. That included creating a massive solar shield in the Earth's atmosphere, a tactic known variously as "geoengineering," "the sulfur solution," ''solar radiation management" and the "Pinatubo Strategy.''
Wallace Broecker receiving the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton in 1996. Courtesy Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory''If we are going to prevent the planet from warming up another couple of degrees, we are going to have to go to geoengineering,'' he said. The price of continued inaction, he added somewhat ominously, could be ''many more surprises in the greenhouse'' known as Earth.
Broecker (pronounced ''broker'') regretted he could not be at Arizona State's first Planetary Management Symposium on Climate Engineering but said he was glad he could address his longtime colleagues remotely. Though he was using a wheelchair and breathing through an oxygen tube, he assured his colleagues that ''my mind is running pretty smoothly.''
A week after his dramatic appeal, Broecker died of congestive heart failure, inspiring praise for his work as the ''grandfather'' of modern climate science. His death, and his final message to scientists, re-energized the debate over the sort of re-engineering of the Earth's climate systems that Broecker and other academics had broached as early as the 1970s.
The theory is that the planet might be cooled, in a worst-case scenario, by releasing massive amounts of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere some 70,000 feet above the Earth's surface. The idea would be for jets to release so much SO2 that they would mimic a massive volcanic eruption, like the one at Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, which shrouded much of the planet in a sulfurous cloud, cooling the Earth by about 1 degree Fahrenheit for a full year.
Many scientists have been hesitant about pursuing such an extreme measure, citing scientific, ethical, legal and political dilemmas. Tampering with Earth's atmosphere was not a preferred alternative, Broecker had acknowledged, but he insisted that his fellow academics needed to be ready, should last-ditch measures be needed to prevent a climate catastrophe.
Broecker told the symposium that he had worked with another prominent climatologist on mechanical units that might remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But 100 million of the devices would be needed to get the job done, he said, and there was no sign that the world's leaders had the political will to get the job done.
In the days that followed, Broecker's final admonition to his fellow climate scientists touched off an intensive discussion about whether humanity has reached a tipping point that requires more radical solutions. The debate has been conducted civilly and mostly via email among climate researchers around the world. It has no predictable outcome. A majority of the world's climate scientists may oppose radical geoengineering, but most of those who heard Broecker's words agreed that research on the sulfur solution should proceed.
In the meantime, scientists on both sides of the debate said their biggest takeaway from Broecker's final public appearance is one of profound respect for a colleague known as ''an absolute giant'' of climate science, who conducted more than a half century of research at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
''To see this great scientist speaking at this late point in his life, when he was so obviously sick and frail, was really just very, very moving,'' John Shepherd, a British climatologist, said. ''To see Wally speak so coherently and so inspirationally was quite a moment.''
Jeffrey Severinghaus, who studies ice cores to understand the history of global warming at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, also described Broecker's parting message as hard to forget.
''It was very touching. It was very profound,'' Severinghaus, who studied under Broecke, said. ''He was dying and every small effort was difficult for him. But it was important to him to speak to us.''
''This was the last message from someone who shaped our field for half a century,'' said Peter Schlosser, the lead organizer of the symposium and vice president of Arizona State's Global Futures program. ''I don't think his effort and his determination was lost on anyone.''
That sense of moment was acknowledged even by those, such as Severinghaus, who disagreed with Broecker's position. Those scientists believe that sulfur injections into the atmosphere have too many potential pitfalls. They could alter weather and rainfall patterns so severely that agriculture would be disrupted on a mass scale. They could trigger unknown collateral weather calamities. And, perhaps the biggest concern of all: They could prompt humanity to continue with the dangerous burning of fossil fuels.
''Even though I disagreed,'' Severinghaus said, ''I could see he was coming from a place of caring and concern for all of us and for the planet.''
The Arizona State University meeting had been in the works for many months, prompted to a large degree by Broecker himself. The peripatetic scientist had written a memo in late 2017 to 17 colleagues, urging more intensive discussion about what he called ''SO2 Cooling.''
''Over the last 50 years, the ratio of energy from fossil fuels (85 percent) to that from other sources (15 percent) has not changed. Several billion people still live in poverty. ... Those who own fossil fuel reserves will do everything possible to make sure they are burned,'' he wrote. ''I wish I could be my usual optimistic self and believe those who say we are on the brink of an energy revolution. But I can't.''
Following that 2017 memo, Broecker began to work with Schlosser and other old associates to organize a meeting about radical solutions to global warming.
The topic was provocative enough to draw some of the world's leading climate scientists to the campus in Tempe, Arizona. While Broecker was too sick to join, his association with the event gave it extra appeal. Many recognized him as their mentor, a renaissance man who was not constrained by formal academic boundaries. ''He had breadth of knowledge about Earth systems that few people could ever touch,'' Schlosser said.
Broecker grew up in the Chicago suburbs, the son of evangelical Christians. He attended a Christian liberal arts college and planned a career as an actuary, until a friend helped him land an internship at what would later become Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He immediately took to science and emerging fields like carbon dating and quickly transferred to Columbia. He spent the rest of his life studying the forces that affect the Earth's climate.
Broecker often spoke about the climate system he studied for his entire academic life as ''an angry beast,'' adding, ''and we are poking it with sticks.''
Like the vast majority of the scientific community, he supported a shift to sustainable fuels and away from oil, gas and coal. He also backed research into carbon capture technologies. But he despaired that humanity was moving too slowly and spoke in recent years with increasing fervor about the possible need for a solar shield.
''He was not advocating that it should be done, but he was advocating we should at least get the knowledge to enable us to decide whether or not we ought to look in that direction,'' said Shepherd, an emeritus professor of Earth system science at the University of Southampton in England. ''Wally could see his time on Earth was quite limited and I think he wanted to make sure there were a bunch of people who would carry on the initiative after he was gone.''
Rafe Pomerance, a senior fellow at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, shared a similar feeling.
''His view is impossible to ignore,'' Pomerance said. ''His critiques of the current path must be answered.''
Broecker's wife, Elizabeth Clark, worked in his lab for many years. She emphasized in an email the urgency her husband felt about the search for climate change solutions. But, she said, he also worried that he might appear weak in his final public appearance.
''The truth is, Wally was never weak,'' Clark said, ''most especially when it came to science, most especially when it came to saving the planet to any and every degree possible.''
James Rainey is a reporter for NBC News, based in Los Angeles.
Scientists turn CO2 back into coal | grendz
Mon, 04 Mar 2019 13:34
Scientists in Australia have developed a way to turn carbon dioxide back into coal, a first. The breakthrough could pave the way for new carbon capture and storage technologies.
Most carbon capture methods involve compressing CO2 into liquid form to be pumped and stored underground. Despite progress, the best carbon capture and storage technologies still aren't economical. They also pose environmental concerns.
The new carbon-to-coal method could be used to more sustainable store captured carbon.
''To date, CO2 has only been converted into a solid at extremely high temperatures, making it industrially unviable,'' Torben Daeneke, researcher at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, said in a news release. ''By using liquid metals as a catalyst, we've shown it's possible to turn the gas back into carbon at room temperature, in a process that's efficient and scalable.''
To turn CO2 into coal, scientists developed a liquid metal catalyst that is highly conductive. The conversion process begins by dissolving the captured carbon dioxide in an electrolyte liquid. After a small amount of the catalyst is added, a current is run through the solution.
Chemical reactions caused solid flakes of carbon to separate from the solution. The process is efficient and scalable, but researchers acknowledge more work is needed before the method can be commercialized.
''While more research needs to be done, it's a crucial first step to delivering solid storage of carbon,'' Daeneke said.
Because the carbonaceous solids are stable, they could be compacted and buried in the ground. They could also be used as electrodes in batteries or engines.
''A side benefit of the process is that the carbon can hold electrical charge, becoming a supercapacitor, so it could potentially be used as a component in future vehicles,'' said Dorna Esrafilzadeh, research fellow at RMIT's School of Engineering. ''The process also produces synthetic fuel as a by-product, which could also have industrial applications.''
Researchers described their first of its kind CO2 conversion technology this week in the journal Nature Communications.
''While we can't literally turn back time, turning carbon dioxide back into coal and burying it back in the ground is a bit like rewinding the emissions clock,'' Daeneke said.
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Greenpeace Co-Founder Rips "Pompous Little Twit" Ocasio-Cortez As "Garden-Variety Hypocrite" On Climate | Zero Hedge
Mon, 04 Mar 2019 16:41
Greenpeace Co-Founder, Dr. Patrick Moore, has been in an ongoing spat with New York Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) over the overly-ambitious Green New Deal that could quadruple the national debt. Moore, who has since split with Greenpeace, now refers to himself as the "sensible environmentalist."
The GND calls for an ultra-progressive bucket list of environmental goals such as the elimination of all fossil fuels, nuclear energy, air travel, 99% of cars and the retrofitting of every single building in America for "state of the art energy efficiency." AOC's plan even throws in government-guaranteed jobs - and simply hands cash to anyone "unwilling to work," along with healthy food and a free house.
The plan would also, as Moore notes, kill everything on earth:
'@AOC 's Green New Deal calls for:"(J) removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere."https://t.co/t9HuWwC1rITechnically (scientifically) this would mean removing all H2O vapour and all CO2 which would mean the eradication of all life on Earth.Brilliant. ðð pic.twitter.com/i91rvW0HXI
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) February 19, 2019After AOC suggested in late February that she was "in charge" until someone comes up with a better plan, Moore fired back, tweeting: "Pompous little twit. You don't have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get the food into the cities. Horses? If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating. You would bring about mass death."
Pompous little twit. You don't have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get the food into the cities. Horses? If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating. You would bring about mass death.
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) February 23, 2019Several hours later, Moore explained: "You are delusional if you think fossil fuels will end any time soon, maybe in 500 yrs. AOC's attitude is unjustifiably condescending. She is a neophyte pretending to be wise. Her kind bring ruination if allowed to be ''in charge''. (from the cheap seats)."
You are delusional if you think fossil fuels will end any time soon, maybe in 500 yrs. AOC's attitude is unjustifiably condescending. She is a neophyte pretending to be wise. Her kind bring ruination if allowed to be ''in charge''. (from the cheap seats).
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) February 23, 2019Moore has continued his criticism, calling AOC a "garden-variety hypocrite like the others" who has "ZERO expertise at any of the things you pretend to know."
The "world as it is" has the option of taking the subway rather than a taxi. option of Amtrak rather than plane, option of opening windows rather than A/C. You're just a garden-variety hypocrite like the others. And you have ZERO expertise at any of the things you pretend to know
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) March 3, 2019Update: As the NY Post notes - AOC has a giant carbon footprint.
since declaring her candidacy in May 2017, Ocasio-Cortez's campaign relied heavily on combustible-engine cars '-- taking Ubers and Lyfts instead of hopping on the subway.
In her rebuttal, the Bronx-born Congresswoman said the GND is about systemic change '-- not about personal gas-guzzling practices.
Ocasio-Cortez's campaign logged 1,049 car service transactions totaling over $23,000 between May 16, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2018, The Post found. Her campaign once booked 26 car-service transactions in a single day.
Even though her Queens HQ was just a one-minute walk to the 7 train, her campaign only made 52 metro card purchases, spending about $8,300.
And despite a high-speed rail being the cornerstone of her green strategy, the Democratic firebrand took Amtrak 18 times, compared to 66 airline transactions costing $25,174.54 during the campaign season. -NY Post
A few more thoughts from Moore and others who have jumped into the debate:
Nicely done. https://t.co/sYDxDaTFjC
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) March 3, 2019I think I'll join the Navy. https://t.co/Cj6Elmmw36
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) March 3, 2019Good photo of @AOC after being told she's not really in charge, or The Boss. pic.twitter.com/Z039IxFyt4
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) March 3, 2019
AAAS: Machine learning 'causing science crisis' - BBC News
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:04
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Astronomy is one of the many areas of science in which machine learning is used to make discoveries Machine-learning techniques used by thousands of scientists to analyse data are producing results that are misleading and often completely wrong.
Dr Genevera Allen from Rice University in Houston said that the increased use of such systems was contributing to a ''crisis in science''.
She warned scientists that if they didn't improve their techniques they would be wasting both time and money. Her research was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.
A growing amount of scientific research involves using machine learning software to analyse data that has already been collected. This happens across many subject areas ranging from biomedical research to astronomy. The data sets are very large and expensive.
'Reproducibility crisis'But, according to Dr Allen, the answers they come up with are likely to be inaccurate or wrong because the software is identifying patterns that exist only in that data set and not the real world.
Image copyright Rice University Image caption Dr Allen says flawed machine learning is producing a "crisis in science" ''Often these studies are not found out to be inaccurate until there's another real big dataset that someone applies these techniques to and says 'oh my goodness, the results of these two studies don't overlap'," she said.
''There is general recognition of a reproducibility crisis in science right now. I would venture to argue that a huge part of that does come from the use of machine learning techniques in science.''
The ''reproducibility crisis'' in science refers to the alarming number of research results that are not repeated when another group of scientists tries the same experiment. It means that the initial results were wrong. One analysis suggested that up to 85% of all biomedical research carried out in the world is wasted effort.
More from Pallab at the AAAS: It is a crisis that has been growing for two decades and has come about because experiments are not designed well enough to ensure that the scientists don't fool themselves and see what they want to see in the results.
Flawed patternsMachine learning systems and the use of big data sets has accelerated the crisis, according to Dr Allen. That is because machine learning algorithms have been developed specifically to find interesting things in datasets and so when they search through huge amounts of data they will inevitably find a pattern.
''The challenge is can we really trust those findings?'' she told BBC News.
''Are those really true discoveries that really represent science? Are they reproducible? If we had an additional dataset would we see the same scientific discovery or principle on the same dataset? And unfortunately the answer is often probably not.''
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Machine learning is also used in biomedical research Dr Allen is working with a group of biomedical researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to improve the reliability of their results. She is developing the next generation of machine learning and statistical techniques that can not only sift through large amounts of data to make discoveries, but also report how uncertain their results are and their likely reproducibility.
''Collecting these huge data sets is incredibly expensive. And I tell the scientists that I work with that it might take you longer to get published, but in the end your results are going to stand the test of time.
''It will save scientists money and it's also important to advance science by not going down all of these wrong possible directions.''
Follow Pallab on Twitter
Catherine McKenna - Wikipedia
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:29
Catherine Mary McKenna PC MP (born August 5, 1971) is a Canadian Liberal politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Ottawa Centre in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election. She was appointed as Minister of Environment and Climate Change in the Cabinet, headed by Justin Trudeau, on November 4, 2015. She holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from McGill University.
Education [ edit ] McKenna holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics where she studied International Relations, and a law degree from McGill University. She also holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto.
After graduating from cole (C)l(C)mentaire catholique Notre-Dame (her father insisted that all his children be bilingual despite not knowing any French himself) and then Saint Mary Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario, McKenna attended the University of Toronto and studied French and International Relations. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she filmed a documentary in Asia, "Real Travels: 60 days in Indonesia." McKenna then completed a master's degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics and a law degree at McGill.
While studying at the University of Toronto, McKenna was captain of the national champion varsity swim team. She continues to train and compete with the National Capital YMCA Masters Swim Team.
Career [ edit ] Legal career [ edit ] McKenna is trained as a human rights and social justice lawyer. In 2005, McKenna co-founded Canadian Lawyers Abroad - Avocats canadiens l'(C)tranger (CLA-ACE), now called Level , a University of Ottawa-based charity that helps Canadian law students and law firms do pro bono legal work in developing countries.
McKenna was a senior negotiator with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in East Timor which culminated in the Timor Sea Treaty providing for the joint exploitation of petroleum resources in a part of the Timor Sea. She is also a lecturer at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.
McKenna has practised law at leading firms in Indonesia, focusing on international trade, competition, investment and constitutional issues. In 2002, she joined Stikeman Elliott LLP, working in the areas of competition, trade, and constitutional law. During this time she was senior counsel on the Right Honourable Antonio Lamer's review of Canada's military justice system.
Teaching [ edit ] McKenna has taught at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and was a board member at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
Charity [ edit ] McKenna was, before entering politics, the Executive Director of Level, a charity that she cofounded. Level is described as a catalyst for positive and social change. They believe that uniting the power of people, education and law will lead to a more equitable and just society. McKenna is also known for her Dare to Dream program that mentors and inspires Aboriginal students through justice education and outreach activities by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal lawyers. The program was piloted in Toronto and has now expanded to Calgary and Ottawa.
Federal politics [ edit ] McKenna on November 4, 2015, shortly before being sworn into cabinet.
In the 2015 federal election, McKenna defeated longtime New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament (MP) Paul Dewar in the riding of Ottawa Centre. McKenna said that she knocked on 100,000 doors during her 522 days as a candidate. McKenna was elected with 43% of the votes compared to Dewar's 38%. McKenna had campaigned on issues such as reforming the National Capital Commission, funding for a new main branch of the Ottawa Public Library, and opposing the proposed Memorial to the Victims of Communism.
McKenna is one of 50 women elected to the Liberal caucus.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change [ edit ] McKenna was appointed Minister of Environment and Climate Change in Justin Trudeau's first cabinet on November 4, 2015. One of her first appearances as Minister of Environment and Climate Change was at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
In December 2016, McKenna led a clean-technology sector business delegation with Canadian and Chinese companies in China. Additionally, she served as the international executive vice-chair of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development and co-chaired the council's annual general meeting with China's Minister of Environmental Protection, Minister Chen Jining.
McKenna has described her "Climate Change Barbie" label as a sexist insult. The label was coined following media remarks such as ''consider the gendered impacts of climate change on women, girls and children'' and comments confusing carbon dioxide with carbon monoxide. The citizens coining the term judged these comments to be vague and ill informed to the point of fulfilling a sexist barbie stereotype. 
In November 2018, in response to Ontario provincial government 2018 decision to cancel all climate action projects supported through the federal Low Carbon Economy Fund, McKenna announced that the Government of Canada would work directly with businesses to re-invest the $420-million remaining in the province's Low Carbon Economy Fund. 
Personal life [ edit ] Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, she is the eldest of four children of Dr. John McKenna, an Irish dentist and his Quebec-born wife Pat McKenna, who still live in the southwest part of Hamilton. On August 14, 1999, McKenna married entrepreneur and writer Scott Gilmore, with whom she has lived since 2002 in The Glebe, Ottawa. They have two daughters and one son. The actor Patrick Gilmore is Catherine's brother-in-law.
[ edit ] McKenna is the past Vice-President of the Glebe Community Association and has served as a board member of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa and the Good Morning Creative Arts and Preschool.
Electoral record [ edit ] Canadian federal election, 2015: Ottawa Centre PartyCandidateVotes%±%ExpendituresLiberalCatherine McKenna32,11142.66+22.54$192,865.14New DemocraticPaul Dewar29,09838.54''13.62$196,692.80ConservativeDamian Konstantinakos10,94314.49''7.14$74,191.60GreenTom Milroy2,2462.97''2.06$5,564.56LibertarianDean T. Harris5510.73''''RhinocerosConrad Lukawski1670.22''$2.96MarijuanaJohn Andrew Omowole Akpata1600.21''''CommunistStuart Ryan1240.16''''Total valid votes/Expense limit 75,500 100.00 $233,540.54 Total rejected ballots 386 0.51 '' Turnout 75,886 82.82 '' Eligible voters 91,625 Liberal gain from New DemocraticSwing+18.08Source: Elections CanadaReferences [ edit ] ^ a b c "Small NGO, big results". Ottawa Citizen. January 7, 2015 . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ Sibley, Robert (October 20, 2015). "McKenna upsets Dewar in Ottawa Centre". Ottawa Citizen . Retrieved November 4, 2015 . ^ a b c d McKercher, Ian (April 9, 2015). "Catherine McKenna and the future we want for our children". The Glebe Report . Retrieved November 15, 2015 . ^ a b Peters, Ken (November 4, 2015). "Hamilton women who packed some political punch". Hamilton Spectator . Retrieved November 4, 2015 . ^ a b "Catherine McKenna '' Master of Global Affairs". Master of Global Affairs . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ a b c "Biography". catherinemckenna.liberal.ca . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ a b c Wood, Michael (August 15, 2015). "Ottawa Centre profile: Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna". Metro News . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ Taylor-Vaisey, Nick (October 3, 2014). "An escalator pitch from Catherine McKenna on Canada in 2020". Maclean's . Retrieved October 27, 2015 . ^ "Catherine McKenna bio". Government of Canada . Retrieved March 17, 2016 . ^ a b c Toolkit, Web Experience. "The Honourable Catherine McKenna". Prime Minister of Canada . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ Level. "About Level". Level . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ a b Helmer, Aedan (October 20, 2015). "Catherine McKenna scores huge victory in NDP stronghold". Ottawa Sun . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ a b Blanchfield, Mike. "Chief, mayors, refugees: rookie Liberals bring diverse job experience to caucus". www.thecanadianpress.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015 . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ "CBC News: Election 2015 roundup". www.cbc.ca . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ "Full list of Justin Trudeau's cabinet". CBC News. ^ "Environment minister looking for 'ambitious' deal at climate summit". CTVNews . Retrieved November 17, 2015 . ^ "Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change leads clean-technology business delegation to China and meets with the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development". Canada NewsWire. December 3, 2016 . Retrieved December 7, 2016 . ^ DiManno, Rosie. "On 'Climate Barbie' and the art of the insult". The Star . Retrieved July 5, 2018 . ^ "Catherine McKenna avoids Ont. government, imposes climate change agenda through municipalities, corporations" . Retrieved 2019-02-07 . ^ Canada, Environment and Climate Change; Canada, Environment and Climate Change (2018-11-08). "Government of Canada to support energy efficiency and climate action in Ontario". gcnws . Retrieved 2019-02-07 . ^ Catherine McKenna [@cathmckenna] (October 18, 2015). "Tomorrow's a big day. Thankful that I have my mom & dad in town. I owe so much to them. #RealChangeStartsAtHome #lpc" (Tweet) '' via Twitter. ^ "Voter Information Service - Who are the candidates in my electoral district?". www.elections.ca. ^ Elections Canada '' Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived August 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine ^ Canada, (C) 2013 - lections. "R(C)sultats du soir d'(C)lection - Circonscriptions". enr.elections.ca. External links [ edit ] Official Website2015 Campaign website
Ocasio-Cortez And Her Chief Of Staff 'Could Be Facing Jail Time' If Their Control Over PAC Was Intentionally Hidden, Former FEC Commissioner Says | The Daily Caller
Tue, 05 Mar 2019 07:08
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a top aide appear to control an outside PAC credited with being the central force behind her June 2018 primary victory. One former Federal Election Commission member thinks there would be a ''serious investigation'' if a complaint were filed, noting that the probe could potentially result in civil penalties or even jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff. A second former commissioner said there were possibly ''multiple violations of federal campaign finance law.'' Justice Democrats ran campaigns for Ocasio-Cortez and 11 other Democrats, but the New York Democrat was the only one to win her general election. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti obtained majority control of Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017, according to archived copies of the group's website, and the two appear to retain their control of the group, according to corporate filings obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. If the Federal Election Commission (FEC) finds that the New York Democrat's campaign operated in affiliation with the PAC, which had raised more than $1.8 million before her June 2018 primary, it would open them up to ''massive reporting violations, probably at least some illegal contribution violations exceeding the lawful limits,'' former FEC commissioner Brad Smith said.
Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, and former FEC commissioners say the arrangement could lead to multiple campaign finance violations. The group backed 12 Democrats during the 2018 midterms, but Ocasio-Cortez was the only one of those to win her general election.
''If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,'' former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
And fellow former FEC commissioner Brad Smith told TheDCNF that if ''a complaint were filed, I would think it would trigger a serious investigation.'' He also noted that such a probe could potentially result in jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Chakrabarti.
Republican election attorney Charlie Spies told TheDCNF: ''It looks like the campaign and PAC are under common control and the PAC was funding campaign staff and activities as an alter-ego of the campaign committee, which would be a blatant abuse of the PAC rules.''
Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti could face prison if the FEC determines that they knowingly and willfully withheld their ties between the campaign and the political action committee from the FEC to bypass campaign contribution limits, according to Smith.
''At minimum, there's a lot of smoke there, and if there are really only three board members and she and [Chakrabarti] are two of them, sure looks like you can see the blaze,'' Smith, a Republican, told TheDCNF. ''I don't really see any way out of it.''
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens as Michael Cohen testifies. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Justice Democrats stated on its website from December 2017 until two weeks after Ocasio-Cortez's June 2018 primary victory that she and Chakrabarti held ''legal control'' of the PAC, and corporate filings obtained by TheDCNF show that the two still serve on the three-member board of Justice Democrats on paper.
Political committees are affiliated if they are ''established, financed, maintained or controlled by '... the same person or group of persons,'' federal election law states.
Justice Democrats' website on March 23, 2018. (Screenshot/Wayback Machine)
Smith said: ''The admission makes it open and shut if someone wants to file a complaint with the FEC. I don't see how the FEC could not investigate that. We've even got their own statement on their website that they control the organization. I don't see how you could avoid an investigation on that.''
And if the FEC concludes that Ocasio-Cortez's campaign and Justice Democrats were operating as affiliated committees, ''then anyone who contributed over $2,700 total to her campaign and the PAC would have made an excessive contribution,'' which is a campaign finance violation, Smith told TheDCNF.
Ocasio-Cortez's campaign and Justice Democrats raised a combined $4.6 million during the 2018 midterm election cycle, FEC records show. There's a maximum five-year prison sentence for anyone who knowingly and willfully receives a collective $25,000 or more in excessive campaign contributions in a single calendar year.
Justice Democrats raked in far more than $25,000 from individual contributors of over $2,700 after Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti took control, according to FEC records.
''If this were determined to be knowing and willful, they could be facing jail time,'' Smith told TheDCNF. ''Even if it's not knowing and willful, it would be a clear civil violation of the act, which would require disgorgement of the contributions and civil penalties. I think they've got some real issues here.''
Spies, who served as legal counsel for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, said: ''There are a bunch of well-funded groups on the left that file complaints on much thinner grounds than this against conservatives and Republican candidates. I hope that these so-called non-partisan groups file complaints and treat this with the same urgency that they would if it were a conservative candidate.''
Justice Democrats Went All In On Ocasio-Cortez's Primary CampaignOcasio-Cortez credits Justice Democrats for recruiting her to run for Congress in May 2017. She tweeted that the group got her campaign up and running by helping ''with all that stuff a normal person would need (what forms to fill out? etc).''
Ocasio-Cortez paid a combined $27,293 to Justice Democrats and to what was effectively its predecessor, Brand New Congress LLC, for administrative, staffing and overhead services from the time she declared her candidacy to her shock primary victory, according to FEC records. Ocasio-Cortez only began paying her staffers directly through her campaign beginning in March 2018, according to her campaign reports. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Campaign Slapped With A Fine For Not Providing Proper Workers' Comp)
Justice Democrats supported Ocasio-Cortez throughout her entire primary run. The group, which Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti appear to have legally controlled for much of her campaign, had raised more than $1.8 million by the time she ousted incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley.
Ocasio-Cortez was the only Justice Democrats-sponsored candidate to win her general election. She was also the only Justice Democrats-sponsored candidate to hold legal control of the PAC.
The other 11 candidates propped up by Justice Democrats lost their respective races, according to The New York Times.
Justice Democrats staffers said there were discussions to go all in for Ocasio-Cortez as early as June 2017.
Last year, when @_waleedshahid and I were at @justicedems, we lead a process to name our 2018 goals.
Goal number 1: to defeat at least one prominent establishment Democrat with a JD recruited candidate. Everyone agreed @Ocasio2018 was our best shot.
'-- No More Billionaires 2020???? (@maxberger) July 4, 2018
Justice Democrats' goal was for one of its sponsored candidates to defeat the incumbent, co-founder Corbin Trent told The Washington Post in June 2018, and former Justice Democrats staffer Max Berger tweeted that they established that goal in 2017.
But the PAC was advertising that it sought to replace numerous Democratic members of Congress with progressives.
Ocasio-Cortez And Chakrabarti Obtained Legal Control Of Justice DemocratsOcasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, who served in multiple leadership roles within her campaign including campaign manager, were serving on the board of the Justice Democrats as early as Dec. 2, 2017, according to an archived copy of the PAC's website.
Justice Democrats' board of directors on Dec 2, 2017. (Screenshot/Wayback Machine)
Cenk Uygur and Kyle Kulinski of The Young Turks network were also on PAC's board in early December 2017, but Uygur was forced out of the organization Dec. 22, 2017, after what Chakrabarti called ''extremely disturbing sexist and racist statements'' Uygur made in the early 2000s were unearthed.
We are deeply disturbed by recent news regarding @cenkuygur & David Koller. Their language and conduct is horrifying and does not reflect our values at Justice Democrats. We would be hypocrites to not act immediately and ask for their resignation. Here is our official statement: pic.twitter.com/WYqawLtuGo
'-- Justice Democrats (@justicedems) December 22, 2017
Kulinski announced on YouTube the following day that he was resigning from Justice Democrats due to the PAC's ''venomous'' Twitter statement urging Uygur's resignation. Kulinski said he had ''strong disagreements with the staff'' of Justice Democrats, but added that the PAC's candidates had ''nothing to do with this.''
Board members Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were left in control over Justice Democrats after Uygur and Kulinski's departures, according to an archived version of its website saved on March 23, 2018, by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
''Justice Democrats PAC has a board consisting of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti that has legal control over the entity,'' the Justice Democrats website read that day.
Justice Democrats then reported that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were ''governors'' of the organization in a document submitted to the Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs on March 28, 2018. A third listed governor was the PAC's treasurer, Nasim Thompson.
Justice Democrats' two-year report submitted to the Washington, D.C. D.C. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs on March 28, 2018. (Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs)
A governor of an organization incorporated in D.C. is any person ''under whose authority the powers of an entity are exercised and under whose direction the activities and affairs of the entity are managed,'' according to the D.C. Law Library.
The Justice Democrats' website continued to state that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti held ''legal control over the entity'' for weeks after Ocasio-Cortez's shock primary victory over Crowley on June 26, according to a July 10, 2018 archive of its website.
The Justice Democrats' website currently states that Alexandra Rojas and Thompson hold legal control of the organization, but the PAC hasn't filed documents to Washington, D.C. where it's incorporated reflecting the change, meaning that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti currently retain majority control of Justice Democrats on paper.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti listed as governors of Justice Democrats on March 4, 2019, at 12:17 pm. (Screenshot/DCRA)
Politico reported Jan. 16 that Chakrabarti resigned from the board, and Justice Democrat's website no longer listed Ocasio-Cortez as a board member as of Aug. 8, 2018. TheDCNF received the corporation filing document still showing both as governors on Feb. 25. The D.C. government website showed the same as of Monday afternoon.
Ocasio-Cortez's office and Justice Democrats did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
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Fresh court battle could expose more details in Acosta's controversial Epstein plea deal - POLITICO
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 10:42
Any new disclosures about the case could fuel the furor surrounding Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who has defended his decision to approve the unusual federal non-prosecution agreement that was part of the Jeffrey Epstein deal. | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
NEW YORK '-- A federal appeals court panel signaled Wednesday that it is strongly inclined to set in motion a process likely to expose more sordid details in the politically charged scandal surrounding Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier and philanthropist whose relatively cushy plea deal on underage-sex charges a decade ago has become a political liability for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta.
Sparks flew during arguments before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan as a lawyer for Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an Epstein accuser, repeatedly reiterated his client's claim leveled several years ago that the Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz not only defended Epstein but also had sex with some of the women Epstein victimized.
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Giuffre's attorney Paul Cassell, a former federal judge, told the three-judge panel that his client favored a ''broad unsealing'' of the records in a suit that Giuffre brought against Ghislaine Maxwell, an Epstein friend accused of helping procure girls for Epstein and others to engage in sexual activity.
''It will demonstrate Epstein and Maxwell sexually trafficked her to Epstein's friends, including Alan Dershowitz,'' Cassell told the court. ''She wants all the documents unsealed substantively.''
The claim raised tension in the courtroom because Dershowitz, who adamantly denies the allegation, was sitting just feet away in the courtroom gallery. He rose a short time later to pass a note to his attorney and later took up a seat in the well of the courtroom.
''Are you saying Mr. Dershowitz [came up] in other documents?'' Judge Rosemary Pooler asked at one point.
''Absolutely, absolutely,'' Cassell replied.
Dershowitz's attorney Andrew Celli pleaded with the court to ''immediately'' release three documents that he contends will demonstrate that Giuffre is lying about having had sex with Dershowitz.
''He has been pilloried in public discourse on this issue, falsely,'' Celli told the judges. ''His reputation has been besmirched. '... We don't object to any document being released. We just want our [requested documents] released immediately.''
The showdown at the appeals court Wednesday centered on records amassed as part of the civil suit Giuffre brought against Maxwell over her alleged involvement in Epstein's practice of hiring teenage girls to give him ''massages'' that often included sexual acts. Maxwell was not at the hearing and wound up settling the lawsuit, but her attorney denied her involvement in such activity.
There was only passing mention of Acosta, who was the U.S. attorney for South Florida in 2008, when federal prosecutors there struck a deal with Epstein that ruled out federal charges and led to the investment manager's pleading guilty to two felony charges in state court. Criticism of Acosta's role intensified in recent months, following a Miami Herald series about Epstein and a judge's ruling last month that he and other prosecutors violated federal law by failing to consult with Epstein's victims before agreeing to the deal.
Accusations against Alan Dershowitz created a stir in Wednesday's hearing before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan and left Dershowitz infuriated. | John Lamparski/Getty Images for Hulu
Despite the fireworks over Dershowitz's alleged role, most of the lawyers who appeared Wednesday were actually in agreement that a federal judge should unseal much of the information that lawyers filed in court while preparing for the trial that never happened in Giuffre's suit.
Maxwell's attorney, Ty Gee, appeared to be the odd man out, arguing that there was no reason to disturb U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet's decision refusing to unseal the filings.
Gee's contention that it would indordinately time-consuming for Sweet to go through the sealed documents one-by-one didn't fly with the appeals judges either.
''This panel of three former district judges '-- we have some familiarity with how to cut to the chase in these matters,'' Judge Jose Cabranes said.Later, when Gee asserted that nothing more in the case was appropriate to unseal, Cabranes seemed incredulous.
''You can't possibly be serious?'' the judge asked.
''I am, your honor,'' Gee replied.
While no ruling was issued Wednesday, all the appeals judges considering the issue appeared to have concluded that Sweet's decision was too sweeping and failed to make the document-by-document determination about what details were too sensitive to reveal and what the public is entitled to know.
While Dershowitz served as an attorney for Epstein during negotiations over the plea deal a decade ago, the 80-year-old Harvard professor emeritus said after the hearing that he's now acting on his own to defend his name.
The bitterness surrounding the case was on display in awkward body language seen playing out even before the arguments began. When Cassell left the courtroom briefly as Dershowitz was entering, the former federal judge and attorney for Epstein's accusers stepped aside to avoid coming face to face with Dershowitz.
And while Dershowitz greeted various observers and journalists, he rebuffed a handshake offered by Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown, whose series on the handling of Epstein's prosecution recently won a prestigious George Polk Award.
In addition to Giuffre, a court transcript released Nov. 7 shows that another Epstein accuser, Sarah Ransome, alleged she was directed to have sex with the Harvard professor, who socialized with Epstein before becoming his lawyer.
Dershowitz says records produced during the civil litigation '-- but still under seal '-- will show both women to be serial fabricators who have repeatedly lied about him and others and whose stories are often so outlandish that they cannot possibly be true.
''I categorically and unequivocally deny it all,'' Dershowitz said in an interview Tuesday. ''I have volunteered to testify '... to prove in court that they were perjurers.''
Dershowitz is still fuming that Giuffre's lawyers included her allegation against him in a court filing in 2014 that was first discovered and published by POLITICO. He retained former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate the claims. Freeh said evidence ''directly contradicted'' several of the accusations against him.
Dershowitz sued two of Giuffre's attorneys, Cassell and Florida lawyer Bradley Edwards, for airing the allegation. The case was later settled out of court, with Giuffre's attorneys admitting it was ''a tactical mistake'' to raise the claim as they did, but insisting that Giuffre was not backing down from her story.
After the hearing concluded, a visibly angry Dershowitz called for Giuffre and her attorneys to be investigated by federal authorities.
''I think the federal government should open up a criminal investigation of [Giuffre] and her lawyers,'' Dershowitz said. ''I will be able to prove conclusively that she committed perjury'...One of us is committing perjury. The one who's committed perjury should not be walking the streets.''
Dershowitz said Giuffre's allegations are not only damaging him, but others with legitimate claims of sexual assault or harassment. ''She is hurting the #metoo movement terribly,'' he said.
Another curious player in the saga is alt-right author and blogger Mike Cernovich, who moved to unseal records in the Epstein case in January 2017, prior to Dershowitz's demand. Cernovich drew attention for propagating Pizzagate, an unfounded conspiracy theory claiming sex abuse by Hillary Clinton allies at a Washington pizza restaurant. He has said that he mentioned the issue on only a few occasions and that it was part of a broader concern about underage-sex cases being covered up by political elites.
Cernovich said that when he began digging into Giuffre's suit he was astonished by the scope of the secrecy the judge had permitted, with large swaths of court filings blacked out.
Cernovich attorney Marc Randazza showed the court portions of documents from the case that were largely or entirely redacted.
''It's just pages and pages of black,'' Randazza said.
Cernovich's role in the case added a wild card of sorts to the arguments Wednesday.
Another curious player in the saga is alt-right author and blogger Mike Cernovich. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Giuffre's lawyer Cassell blasted the blogger and men's rights advocate as an avowed ''slut-shamer'' acting as a straw man for Dershowitz, something the Harvard professor and his attorney vehemently denied.
''He's not part of the slut-shaming cabal?'' Pooler quipped about Dershowitz.
''He's not part of the slut-shaming cabal,'' Celli assured the court.
That prompted Cabranes to note that Dershowitz and Giuffre both now seem content to have the record of the case opened up.
''You appear to be on all fours with Mr. Dershowitz,'' the judge said.
Pooler asked if Cernovich's call for unsealing was undercut by him not being a ''recognized journalist.''
''The fact he doesn't write for the Miami Herald or the New York Times makes him no less a journalist,'' Randazza replied.
When Pooler pressed on whether Cernovich needed to pass some ''credibility'' test to pursue the documents, Randazza said that would be improper and could sweep more broadly than intended.
''That might be a good thing, but the New York Times would probably fail that,'' he said.
The Miami Herald entered the fray last April, filing a similar request to unseal everything filed in the Giuffre case.
Sweet, who oversaw the case, denied all of the unsealing requests. He said parties submitted and exchanged information in the cases on the understanding that certain materials would remain confidential. He also said the subject matter of the suit '-- allegations of sexual abuse of minors '-- was particularly sensitive and merited particular protection.
A lawyer for the Miami Herald, Sanford Bohrer, swung for the fences Wednesday, urging the court not only to order a new review of the sealed records but to allow Bohrer in the room as a judge, magistrate or court-appointed special master considers what to make public. Gee said there is no precedent for that in the 2nd Circuit.
It was unclear whether the judges were willing to go that far or whether they will return the case to Sweet or direct it to another judge.
Giuffre's attorneys initially opposed a more limited unsealing sought by Cernovich and Dershowitz, but now say they favor a broad unsealing of the records.
Any new disclosures about the case could fuel the furor surrounding Acosta, who has defended his decision to approve the unusual federal non-prosecution agreement that was part of the Epstein deal.
Acosta has said the arrangement was an appropriate resolution given the evidence available at the time, but he previously said prosecutors were under unusual pressure from the high-powered defense team and he expressed dismay at aspects of the punishment Epstein ultimately received: 13 months in jail, much of it on work release where he spent days at his Palm Beach office.
''At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor's office decided that a plea that guarantees someone goes to jail, that guarantees he register generally [as a sex offender] and guarantees other outcomes, is a good thing,'' Acosta said during his 2017 confirmation hearing for the Labor Department post.
At that hearing, Acosta chalked up some concerns about his office's handling of the case to evolving views about the public's right to information on the inner workings of offices like his.
''Something that I think has changed over time is trust of government,'' Acosta said. ''There was a time when keeping something confidential was less of an issue, but the public expectation today is that things be very public.''
After the court ruling last month finding that federal prosecutors violated the rights of victims in the case, a White House spokeswoman said officials were ''looking into'' Acosta's role. President Donald Trump, however, seemed to downplay the episode.
''I really don't know too much about it,'' Trump told reporters. ''I know he's done a great job as Labor secretary. And that seems like a long time ago.''
About 20 Democratic lawmakers have called for Acosta's resignation, saying Acosta's involvement in what they view as a sweetheart deal for Epstein makes Acosta unsuitable for a Cabinet post.
The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility has also opened an investigation into the matter.
Whether Epstein faces further legal jeopardy is unclear. The judge in Florida has not yet decided what action, if any, should be taken because of the breach of the victims' rights. Their attorneys, who say there are dozens of women Epstein victimized at his Palm Beach home and at the private Caribbean island he owns, are asking for Epstein's plea deal to be set aside.
However, it's uncertain whether federal prosecutors would try to bring a case even if they were no longer bound by the decade-old pact. In a letter to The New York Times this week, Epstein's lawyers defended the deal and argued that it would be a mistake to set it aside.
''The case lacked the credible and compelling proof that is required by federal criminal statutes,'' former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr and other attorneys wrote.
''The number of young women involved in the investigation has been vastly exaggerated, there was no 'international sex-trafficking operation' and there was never evidence that Mr. Epstein 'hosted sex parties' at his home,'' the defense lawyers said. ''Mr. Epstein has gone to prison and made enormous monetary settlements relying on his negotiated agreement. He is entitled to finality like every other defendant.''
No one currently representing Epstein presented arguments at Wednesday's court session.
Cabranes and Pooler are appointees of President Bill Clinton. The third judge on the panel, Christopher Droney, was appointed by President Barack Obama.
Sweet, the judge who handled the case, is 96 years old and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter.
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The Mueller report no one's talking about - POLITICO
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 11:36
Justice Department rules require an accounting of any time supervisors told the special counsel ''no'' during his work.
Most people don't know it, but there's another Mueller report coming.
Around the same time the special counsel sends his Russia investigation findings to the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr must give Congress an account of every instance where Robert Mueller's supervisors told him ''no'' during the course of his work.
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The reporting requirement is tucked into the department regulations that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein used when he appointed Mueller. No matter what the memo says, it's expected to be one of the few items on a fast track for being made public that will be closely scrutinized for insights into the inner workings of the special counsel's tight-lipped investigation.
Barr's report could very well end up being blank, which itself would be a telling reveal that gives President Donald Trump and the leaders of the Justice Department he appointed tangible proof that the special counsel was allowed to carry out his investigation without interference.
By contrast, a report that includes explosive revelations detailing instances in which Mueller clashed with his department supervisors '-- say, over a subpoena for the president or an indictment against a top Trump aide or family member '-- would open a road map for Democratic lawmakers who have already begun their own investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, as well as the president's conduct since taking office.
''Either way, it's significant,'' said Sol Wisenberg, a former deputy on independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton. ''Assuming Mueller doesn't indict anybody else, Trump will be able to say this guy wasn't kept at all from going anywhere he wanted to go. So I think that's a big deal.''
''On the other hand,'' Wisenberg added, ''if he was kept from going somewhere, that's a big deal too. The Democrats will make a big deal about that. I think it's important either way.''
Mueller has not been subject to daily supervision since he took the job in May 2017 '-- though he hasn't had total freedom, either. The special counsel answers to a small group of Trump-appointed Justice officials, led first by Rosenstein, then acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and, most recently, Barr.
Each of Mueller's bosses had the authority to say no to the special counsel on any of his investigative or prosecutorial steps if they determined such a move was ''so inappropriate or unwarranted'' that it crossed ''established departmental practices,'' according to the regulations. But under those rules, they also were required to give the special counsel's views ''great weight'' whenever there was a disagreement.
As a backstop, any and all instances in which Mueller's supervisor rejected a proposed action must be compiled into an explanatory report delivered to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees when the special counsel closes up shop.
In interviews with more than a dozen lawmakers, as well as attorneys who have worked on the Russia investigation and other legal experts, the majority view is that the report about any disputes could be all but blank '-- indicating that none of Mueller's moves was denied by his superiors.
''We'll see, but I bet you there are none,'' Ty Cobb, a former Trump White House attorney, said.
On Capitol Hill, many lawmakers said they had no idea that they were set to receive such a report from the Justice Department '-- but not for lack of interest in its findings.
Democrats said they were particularly curious to see whether there's anything in the other Mueller report that homes in on presidential interference in the special counsel's work '-- considering Trump's repeated criticisms of the Justice Department leadership, call to fire Mueller and decision to appoint Whitaker, who was a vocal critic of the investigation, after he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November.
''My sense is that Rosenstein and the Department of Justice have given Mueller wide latitude,'' said Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a senior Democratic member of the House Oversight Committee. ''That's just an impression. I don't know that for a fact. And I'll be surprised if I learn otherwise.''
Republicans say they'll be looking to the final report about any Mueller rejections for a better understanding of how Justice Department leaders dealt with the scope of the special counsel's investigation. Set up to examine Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Mueller's inquiry has covered a wide range of Trump associates who had contact with Russian operatives, as well as allegations of presidential obstruction of justice.
''It will be interesting to see if he got outside the scope,'' Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview. ''Remember, he was under a scope. He wasn't free to just go willy-nilly wherever he wants. So that's what we'll see '-- if it was a scope issue.''
While there is less concern that Rosenstein interfered improperly in the investigation, given that he first appointed Mueller, Democrats have directly questioned whether Whitaker took any actions on behalf of the president to suppress Mueller's investigative track. Whitaker himself could come away vindicated when the special counsel completes his work if there's nothing to report, which would line up with recent congressional testimony he gave in which he denied taking such actions.
''There's been no event, no decision that has required me to take any action,'' Whitaker told the House Judiciary Committee last month before Barr took over. ''I've not interfered in any way with the special counsel's investigation.''
The report describing any instances in which Mueller didn't get Justice Department approval could become even more significant if Barr were to refrain from releasing much in the way of details about the special counsel's overall investigation.
The top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate judiciary committees will be the first members of Congress to be notified when Mueller's work is done, but all the special counsel himself is required to do under department regulations is give a confidential report to Barr detailing whom he has prosecuted and whom he declined to bring charges against. It's then up to the attorney general to make anything from Mueller's work public, and the most Barr has said on the topic is a vow during his Senate confirmation hearing to release a summary document.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, meanwhile, has threatened to issue a subpoena for the special counsel's full report. The only acceptable redactions, the New York Democrat told POLITICO, are the most sensitive Justice Department ''sources and methods, and certain grand jury information that's secret by law.''
Rosenstein has also set off alarm bells about what will be released from the Mueller investigation. During a speech last week in Washington, the outgoing deputy attorney general suggested that the department wouldn't make public information about someone who isn't being charged with a crime '-- a suggestion that many lawmakers interpreted as meaning that Trump himself could escape further congressional scrutiny, including an impeachment proceeding.
''If we aren't prepared to prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt in court, then we have no business making allegations against American citizens,'' Rosenstein told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ''I know there's a tension there.''
Democrats have argued that Congress should be able to view all of that information about Trump to determine whether impeachment is necessary, given that Justice Department policy states that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
''There's a lot of fear around the notion that the DOJ doesn't release information unless they do an indictment, and the DOJ also believes that the president can't be indicted,'' Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the Intelligence panel, said in an interview. ''That is a logical tautology that would suggest nothing need be conveyed to Congress.''
A Mueller spokesman declined to comment for this article. The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.
According to several legal experts and lawmakers, the requirement that Barr disclose any disagreements between Mueller and his department supervisors may have helped to keep Trump and Justice leaders from meddling with the special counsel or rejecting his moves outright.
''If you know that on the back end you're going to have to justify yourself to Congress, it has a good deterrent effect of preventing anyone from maybe squashing something the special counsel wanted to do,'' said Matthew Axelrod, a former senior official at the Justice Department during the Obama administration.
''If we aren't prepared to prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt in court, then we have no business making allegations against American citizens,'' said Rod Rosenstein. | Getty Images
For Rosenstein, a blank report would also back up the notion that he did not get entangled in the day-to-day operations of the investigation '-- something several former Justice Department officials said wouldn't surprise them.
''I doubt that he exercised the kind of supervision that a supervisor of a line attorney would,'' said William Moschella, the former head of the department's legislative affairs office during the George W. Bush administration. He added that he didn't think Rosenstein was ''litigating this subpoena versus that subpoena, or this interview versus that interview.''
James Trusty, a former Justice official who is friends with Rosenstein, said he thinks that the Mueller-Rosenstein relationship has always been on solid footing and that any disagreements were probably resolved without triggering the reporting requirements.
''There may be differences between the special counsel and DOJ management from time to time, but unless it became a line in the sand on behalf of Mueller, I don't think it's going to make its way into this report,'' Trusty said.
The Mueller inquiry and all of its different reporting requirements are on track to land amid a deeply partisan atmosphere on Capitol Hill, in which all sides are expected to interpret the results in whatever way benefits their political interests.
It will also set up an institutional clash between two branches of government: a Trump-led Justice Department that's trying to adhere to its own internal regulations and oversight-hungry lawmakers.
''This isn't the first time those two institutional forces end up in tension with one another,'' Axelrod, the Obama-era official, said. ''It's just this one, because of the stakes and because of the profile, are going to really shine a spotlight on how that accommodation process works.''
He added that Barr's disclosure of instances in which the Justice Department turned down Mueller, if there are any, would be one in a sequence of events that is part of a protracted back-and-forth about what's appropriate to share with lawmakers.
''This is the tail of what is likely to be a very significant and large dog,'' Axelrod said. ''Yes, it's something of interest. '... But to me, that's dwarfed in comparison and size to what's in the actual meat of the report itself.''
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Essex and Glasgow universities are evacuated after suspicious packages are found | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:18
Police have linked a suspicious package discovered at the University of Glasgow this morning to the parcel bombs sent to London transport hubs yesterday.
Detectives have made the connection after part of the Scottish campus was shut down and evacuated today while a controlled explosion took place.
Buildings at the University of Essex were also cleared today after a suspicious package arrived, although it was later found to be harmless.
Police Scotland now believe the Glasgow package was linked to the improvised explosives, seemingly sent from Ireland in A4 jiffy bags, which caused a terror scare at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo station on Tuesday.
Students have been evacuated from the University of Glasgow after a 'suspicious package' was discovered in the mailroom
Hundreds of people outside a university building at Essex amid the security alert today
Buildings at the University of Essex were cleared this morning at 11.50am and hundreds of students gathered outside
A member of the bomb squad in body armour is pictured outside the University of Glasgow this afternoon
Police Scotland officer Steve Johnson said: 'There are similarities in the package, its markings and the type of device that was recovered in Glasgow to those in London.
'Therefore, we are now treating it as being linked to the three packages being investigated by the Met in London and both investigations are being run in tandem.'
He added: 'Our enquiries into the Glasgow package are at an early stage but there is no ongoing risk to the public.
'The package in Glasgow was identified by alert staff at the university mailroom who had received protective security information advising them to be vigilant and to report suspicious packages.'
The Metropolitan Police said the latest package contained a 'similar-type device' to those at London's major transport terminals on Tuesday.
The scare in Glasgow began this morning when students were ordered to move away from a campus building after a suspicious package was found in the post room.
One student said: 'Just been evacuated from the med school due to a suspicious package getting told to move to byres road, loads of police, fire engines and all cordoned off now!'
She added: 'Scary stuff, guy just came shouting we needed to evacuate as suspicious package found then the police were shouting at us to move away from the building!!'
Roads around the university were cordoned off by police and buildings including an Officer Training Corps centre were shut down.
The device was blown up in a controlled explosion on Wednesday afternoon after bomb disposal experts were sent to the campus.
The package was not opened and no-one was injured, Police Scotland said.
'Police Scotland officers investigating a suspicious package sent to the University of Glasgow today (6 March) have now linked the incident with a similar investigation being carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service into three small improvised explosive devices sent to addresses in London on Tuesday,' they said tonight.
Essex Police said in a statement that they were called at 11.50am. The force said: As a precaution we have put a 100m cordon in place and have evacuated a section of the university and some nearby buildings'
Police officers have cordoned off roads outside the University of Glasgow
Police have cordoned off roads in the area and fire fighters were also called to the scene
The bomb squad was also called to Colchester after Essex Police received a call about a suspect package at the university.
Police put a cordon in place and cleared out part of the university amid fears of another explosive device.
University chiefs sent for the Ministry of Defence's bomb disposal squad, but later said the package 'posed no risk to the public'.
In Edinburgh, workers at the RBS building in Gogarburn were also evacuated after another suspicious item was found but it proved to be a false alarm.
A spokesman for Police Scotland's Edinburgh division said: 'Police were called to the Royal Bank of Scotland premises on Glasgow Road following a report of a suspicious package inside the building.
'The incident was reported to police at 10.45am on Wednesday and an area of the building has been evacuated as a precaution.'
There was also a brief alert at Westminster as police warned peers and members of the public to avoid the House of Lords because of an unknown item.
The scare at Parliament was over within five minutes as police said they were 'happy to update the item found was non-suspicious'.
Photographs taken at the scene show roads and areas cordoned off outside the university in Glasgow
The university's Boyd Orr Building, the mailroom, the OTC (Officer Training Corps), Wolfson Medical Building, Bower Building, Isabella Elder Building, James McCune Smith Learning Hub site and the Joseph Black Building have all been closed
Another image posted on social media shows a police cordon at the university in Colchester, Essex
Workers at the RBS building (pictured) in Gogarburn in Edinburgh were evacuated at around the same time as students were ushered out of the university. It was later ruled to be a false alarm
Police say explosive devices capable to starting a small fire were sent to Heathrow, London City Airport and Waterloo railway station police have confirmed
An image released today by the Metropolitan Police show the package sent to City Airport yesterday
Pictures shared online show the crude devices packed in envelopes reading simply 'Heathrow' and 'London Waterloo'
Counter terror police are probing possible links to the New IRA over the firebomb plot which saw three improvised explosive devices sent to Heathrow Airport, City Airport and Waterloo.
Searches are ongoing to locate any other similar packages that may have been sent but not yet identified as Scotland Yard circulated two images of the devices to sorting offices and transport workers.
The Met Police, who are investigating the three 'linked' firebombs sent from addresses in Dublin alongside police in Ireland, told staff to 'be vigilant and report suspicious packages to the police.'
The latest parcel bombs risk provoking anti-Irish sentiment in the UK at a highly sensitive time during the negotiations on the border.
It comes as extra 300 officers will be drafted in to Northern Ireland over the coming months to deal with the threat of violence around Brexit.
Intelligence sources in Ireland have been claiming for months that terrorist action may be ramped up to exploit opportunities from Brexit, particularly if it resulted in a hard border which could come into effect after a no-deal withdrawal.
The police cordon at Waterloo Station where the suspicious package was found yesterday afternoon
Security alert: Two police vehicles and several officers at the scene at London Waterloo station on Tuesday after one of the explosives was found at the country's busiest rail terminal
The New IRA, who were behind the Londonderry car bomb in January, also admitted responsibility for a spate of letter bombs sent to British Army recruitment centres in 2014.
Ireland's Gardai police force is assisting the Metropolitan Police with their investigation into Tuesday's parcel bomb plot.
Security sources said there were 'multiple possibilities' for the motive behind the attack, including 'mental health, general protest, grudges' but they have not ruled out dissident republican terrorists.
It comes just months after Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable George Hamilton welcomed the announcement the force was receiving £16million in additional funding which would allow for an extra 308 officer and staff by April 2020.
He had warned that the return of infrastructure to the Irish border could make border posts a target for dissident republican violence.
PSNI chief George Hamilton has warned that the return of infrastructure to the Irish border could make border posts a target for dissident republican violence
The New IRA were responsible for the Londonderry car bomb on January 20, 2019. Pictured: The wreckage of the car that was laden with explosives
The New IRA also admitted responsibility for a spate of letter bombs sent to British Army recruitment centres in 2014. Pictured: The bomb squad outside an army recruitment centre in Brighton
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said the funding, announced in December, would help manage 'pressures and contingencies arising from EU exit preparations, reflecting the specific and unique concerns in Northern Ireland'.
Speaking in November last year, Mr Hamilton rejected claims that the threat of violence at the border after Brexit was being exaggerated.
He told BBC News that those who say the PSNI or others, are 'overplaying the border and Brexit in policing terms' are 'simply wrong'.
The threat from dissident republican groups is currently graded as 'severe' by the PSNI.
What are the Irish stamps on the three packages? Pictures of the three explosive packages appeared to show a postage stamp issued in the Republic of Ireland.
The word 'Dublin' also seems to be scrawled on the 'return address' section of the envelopes sent to Waterloo, Heathrow and London City.
The heart-shaped 'Love and Marriage' stamp was issued in 2018 and offered as a 'romantic touch' to greetings cards.
A postcard marked with one of the 'Love and Marriage' stamps issued in the Republic of Ireland in 2018
On the letters addressed to Heathrow and Waterloo the stamps are seen to bear the words 'Love' and 'Eire'.
They match the 2018 edition of the annual 'love stamp' issued by the Irish postal service.
The stamps are still for sale on the website of the Irish post office, with ten stamps on offer for '¬10.00 (£8.50).
Irish police have said they are assisting Scotland Yard with the investigation into the three suspect packages.
The Met's counter-terror command said they are keeping an 'open mind' about a possible motive.
Mr Hamilton said that if the Brexit negotiations resulted in no deal, it would 'magnify all the demands and difficulties' and said that dissident republicans who are opposed to the peace process would try to 'exploit' any hardening of the border - both 'politically and ideologically' and through engaging in organised crime, such as smuggling.
At Westminster today DUP leader Nigel Dodds asked Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley if there was any prospect of the security threat level being raised.
She told the Commons that the threat level was at 'severe' and there was no suggestion it was going to change.
She said: 'I had a conversation with the chief constable this morning and in terms of the specific incident it is the early days of an ongoing investigation, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to say anything further at this stage.'
Mr Dodds replied: 'She will understand the concern that is out there about these devices having been sent through the post.
Officers in Ireland and the UK now hope that forensic examination of the packages will provide clues to the identity of those responsible.
The stamps appeared similar to some issued by An Post for Valentine's Day 2018, featuring a heart motif and the words 'Love' and 'Eire'.
The three 'linked' packages which were discovered within hours of each other, as one of them burst into flames at Heathrow when an airport worker tried to open it, and the others had to be defused by bomb squad officers.
No-one was injured by the packages and there was little disruption to rail or air passengers even as Scotland Yard's Terrorism Command sealed off parts of the transport hubs. No arrests have yet been made.
Security sources said the 'unsophisticated' parcel bombs seemed to have been intended to 'alarm not maim', as police said they were keeping an 'open mind' about the motive.
Sources told the Irish Times that the devices had been sent by post from Dublin, matching what appeared to be a return address written on the envelopes.
One of them purported to come from Bus Eireann, an Irish coach operator, while the other was hard to read. It was not clear whether the return addresses were genuine.
The bus operator said police had not been in touch, adding: 'Bus Eireann are currently not aware of this and we have no further comment.'
The last dissident plot against the British mainland was in 2014 when explosives were sent to Army recruitment officers in cities including Oxford and Brighton.
A diagram showing where and when the three explosive devices were received, at three of London's major transport hubs
Armed police on the scene at London City Airport where police were called to reports of a suspicious package
Three police officers guard a cordon outside Waterloo station - the busiest railway hub in the country - after they received reports of suspicious packages
On Tuesday night specialist officers were boarding trains and guarding station concourses to reassure passengers travelling home on trains and the London Underground, although the police cordon at Waterloo has been lifted.
The first package went off at the offices of Heathrow Airport bosses in a building called The Compass Centre, to the north of the runway, shortly before 10am on Tuesday.
Nobody was hurt in the small fire which ensued but the building was evacuated and anti-terror experts took over and made the device safe.
Shortly after 11.30am, a similar device was found in the post room at Waterloo Station. This package was not opened and police experts have made it safe.
Forensics experts were seen at Waterloo yesterday afternoon, where a suspicious package was sent
Security personnel stand guard at the Cab Road entrance to Waterloo station this afternoon, where police said a cordon was in place but railway services were continuing to operate
The British Transport Police said: 'Teams from British Transport Police are at Waterloo station (pictured) after a suspicion item was discovered'
The third package was received around midday at City Aviation House in the Royal Docks. Again staff were evacuated and the package was not opened before bomb squad experts took over.
Where were the three explosive packages sent? The three packages sent to London transport hubs in what police believe is a 'linked' series of events all arrived at administrative centres.
As a result there was little impact on rail or air passengers as flights continued to take off from City and Heathrow and South Western Railway services ran as normal from Waterloo.
At Heathrow , the package arrived at The Compass Centre, an office building on the perimeter of the airport site.
At City Airport , police responded to reports of the suspicious package at City Aviation House, another administrative building.
And at Waterloo , the UK's busiest station, the package was received in a post room.
A spokesman for London City Airport said Aviation House was a staff-only building about three minutes from the terminal, and no flights or passengers were affected.
Docklands Light Railway trains to City Airport were briefly suspended but resumed later on Tuesday.
In a statement released yesterday, a Met spokesman said: 'The packages '' all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags - have been assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices.
'These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.'
British Transport Police officers had to rush away from a Security Expo at the Olympia exhibition centre in Kensington when they received the alert, Sky News reported.
One man who was among staff outside the Network Rail office at Waterloo said he was the individual who found the package.
Asked about the discovery, he said: 'I'm sorry, I've been told I can't talk about it.'
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: 'Our thanks go to police, security, transport staff and all involved for their swift actions to keep our city safe.'
Commuters on the busy concourse at Waterloo station after one of the suspicious packages was sent there
A British Transport Police car is parked outside Waterloo station after an explosive device was sent to the London terminus
A police officer stands in front of a van and a line of tape outside Waterloo station amid the alert on Tuesday
One of Waterloo's exits, a taxi rank on Station Approach and the bike storage areas were closed as a precaution as police responded to the packages.
Waterloo is the most-used railway station in Britain, according to the latest Office of Rail and Road figures, with more than 94million passengers using it last year.
It is the London terminus for the South Western Railway franchise - which runs busy commuter services as well as longer-distance trains - and is on the London Underground's Jubilee, Bakerloo, Northern and Waterloo & City lines.
Heathrow is by far the UK's busiest airport, carrying 80million passengers in 2018, while London City is the 14th-most used in the country.
Security expert Will Geddes claimed the incidents at Heathrow, London City and London Waterloo were to be expected given the current threat level.
Specialist officers guarding the cordon at Waterloo, where services continued operating as normal yesterday afternoon
Security staff put up a sign on Tuesday afternoon saying that one of the exits to Waterloo station was closed amid the security alert
A police car at the scene at Compass Centre, Heathrow Airport as police deal with a suspicious package on Tuesday
Police were at the offices of Heathrow Airport in a building called the Compass Centre
He said: 'We've not had a significant incident for quite some time. To be honest, we were anticipating something happening. Transportation hubs have always been on the agenda for any kind of terrorist group.'
Who are the New IRA?The Provisional IRA (PIRA) emerged in 1969 and was an Irish republican paramilitary organisation, that wanted to end British rule in Northern Ireland and facilitate the reunification of Ireland.
PIRA split into a number of Dissident Republican factions after the Good Friday agreement in 1998.
The largest factions were the Continuity IRA, and the so called Real IRA.
The Real IRA claimed responsibility for the Omagh bombing in 1998 which killed 29 people.
Since then Dissident Republican groups have splintered further.
In 2002, a group called 'Soldiers of Ireland' split from the Real IRA.
This then splintered further, into the Irish Republican Movement and the Army of the Republic.
In 2012, what was left of the Real IRA was then bolstered by a number of unaffiliated dissident groups.
They were joined by a vigilante gang called Republican Action Against Drugs in Londonderry and 'independent' armed republican units in east Tyrone.
This new group was called the New IRA.
He said it was 'really tricky' to keep train stations and airports safe, saying: 'The biggest threat you're always going to have is someone leaving an IED in an unattended bag.'
Mr Geddes noted that there have been 'constant messages' urging passengers to report unattended bags for several decades.
Discussing the pictures of the packages, he said: 'It would appear that they have been hand written addressed envelopes, which in itself will be potential forensic treasure for the investigators to try and track and trace who might have been the originator.'
Former Scotland Yard counter-terror detective David Videcette said the writing on the envelope 'looks like a child's writing or done with someone's non-dominant hand'.
He said: 'Someone wants this to look like it's come from the Republic of Ireland.'
A Heathrow spokesman earlier said that flights and passengers were not affected by the packages, saying: 'Earlier today, police responded to reports of an incident in the Compass Centre.
'Police response teams and the emergency services attended quickly, enabling colleagues to evacuate safely without injury.'
The airport spokesman added: 'Heathrow Airport remains operational, flights are not impacted and passengers are able to travel as normal.
'The police are treating this as a criminal act and we will be assisting with this investigation.'
Build The Wall
Border at 'Breaking Point' as More than 76,000 Migrants Cross in a Month - The New York Times
Wed, 06 Mar 2019 09:46
Video The Trump administration's hard-line stance on keeping migrants out is pushing asylum seekers to take remote and dangerous routes into the United States. And a wall might not be able to fix that.The number of migrant families crossing the southwest border has once again broken records, with unauthorized entries nearly doubling what they were a year ago, suggesting that the Trump administration's aggressive policies have not discouraged new migration to the United States.
More than 76,000 migrants crossed the border without authorization in February, an 11-year high and a strong sign that stepped-up prosecutions, new controls on asylum and harsher detention policies have not reversed what remains a powerful lure for thousands of families fleeing violence and poverty.
''The system is well beyond capacity, and remains at the breaking point,'' Kevin K. McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters in announcing the new data on Tuesday.
The nation's top border enforcement officer painted a picture of processing centers filled to capacity, border agents struggling to meet medical needs and thousands of exhausted members of migrant families crammed into a detention system that was not built to house them '-- all while newcomers continue to arrive, sometimes by the busload, at the rate of 2,200 a day.
''This is clearly both a border security and a humanitarian crisis,'' Mr. McAleenan said.
[Read the latest edition of Crossing the Border, a limited-run newsletter about life where the United States and Mexico meet. Sign up here to receive the next issue in your inbox.]
President Trump has used the escalating numbers to justify his plan to build an expanded wall along the 1,900-mile border with Mexico. But a wall would do little to slow migration, most immigration analysts say. While the exact numbers are not known, many of those apprehended along the southern border, including the thousands who present themselves at legal ports of entry, surrender voluntarily to Border Patrol agents and eventually submit legal asylum claims.
Over the past two decades, there were large declines in apprehensions along the southwestern border with Mexico. Despite the overall trend, illegal border crossings have surged in the current fiscal year, which began in October.
Apprehensions at the southwestern border, by month
Average per month: 81,588
Average per month
People traveling with family have crossed in far greater numbers in the last six months. These migrants are now the majority of those caught trying to illegally cross the border.
Apprehensions at the southwestern border, by month
The main problem is not one of uncontrolled masses scaling the fences, but a humanitarian challenge created as thousands of migrant families surge into remote areas where the administration has so far failed to devote sufficient resources to care for them, as is required under the law.
The latest numbers stung an administration that has over the past two years introduced a rash of aggressive policies intended to deter migrants from journeying to the United States, including separating families, limiting entries at official ports and requiring some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico through the duration of their immigration cases.
More than 50,000 adults are currently in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, the highest number ever.
Despite targeted successes in certain areas '-- about 2,000 migrants who traveled in a caravan from Central America last year appeared to have given up their cause as of last month after being discouraged by long delays in Tijuana '-- migrants seem only to have adjusted their routes rather than turn back. Indeed, they are traveling in even larger numbers than before.
[Read more about why more migrants are crossing the border.]
Arrests along the southern border have increased 97 percent since last year, the Border Patrol said, with a 434 percent increase in the El Paso sector, which covers the state of New Mexico and the two westernmost counties of Texas. Families, mainly from Central America, continue to arrive in ever-larger groups in remote parts of the southwest.
At least 70 such groups of 100 or more people have turned themselves in at Border Patrol stations that typically are staffed by only a handful of agents, often hours away from civilization. By comparison, only 13 such groups arrived in the last fiscal year, and two in the year before.
Understanding what is happening on the border is difficult because, while the numbers are currently higher than they have been in several years, they are nowhere near the historic levels of migration seen across the southwest border. Arrests for illegally crossing the border reached up to 1.64 million in 2000, under President Clinton. In the 2018 fiscal year, they reached 396,579. For the first five months of the current fiscal year, 268,044 have been apprehended.
Image Migrants from Central America turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents in Penitas, Tex., last month. Credit Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times The difference is that the nature of immigration has changed, and the demographics of those arriving now are proving more taxing for border officials to accommodate. Most of those entering the country in earlier years were single men, most of them from Mexico, coming to look for work. If they were arrested, they could quickly be deported.
Now, the majority of border crossers are not single men but families '-- fathers from Honduras with adolescent boys they are pulling away from gang violence, mothers with toddlers from Guatemala whose farms have been lost to drought. Most of these migrants may not have a good case to remain in the United States permanently, but because of legal constraints, it is not so easy to speedily deport them if they arrive with children and claim protection under the asylum laws.
Families with children can be held in detention for no longer than 20 days, under a much-debated court ruling, and since there are a limited number of detention centers certified to hold families, the practical effect is that most families are released into the country to await their hearings in immigration court. The courts are so backlogged that it could take months or years for cases to be decided. Some people never show up for court at all.
Finally, detaining families even for the first few days after their arrival in the United States, while they are undergoing initial processing, is also a challenging job.
Often arriving exhausted, dehydrated, and some of them requiring urgent medical care, the families need food, diapers, infant formula and space to play. They often spend days inside cramped concrete cells that were built to house the previous generation of border crossers '-- young, single men who would likely be there only a few hours.
As part of the announcements on Tuesday, Mr. McAleenan also said the agency is making sweeping changes to procedures for guaranteeing adequate medical care for migrants '-- an overhaul brought on by the deaths of two migrant children in the agency's custody in December. The measures, which include comprehensive health screenings for all migrant children and a new processing center in El Paso that would help provide better shelter and medical care for migrant families, are an attempt to fix years of health care inadequacies that have left many at risk.
The agency will also expand medical contracts to place health care practitioners '-- largely registered nurses and nurse practitioners '-- in ''high-risk'' and high-traffic locations along the border. It will also dedicate more money for translation services to meet increasing demand from Central Americans, many of whom speak indigenous dialects and may not be able to communicate their needs in English or Spanish.
Image A migrant child from Honduras at a shelter in El Paso, Tex. As of March 3, 237,327 migrants had been apprehended along the southwest border since the fiscal year began in October, a 97 percent increase from the previous year. Credit Sara Naomi Lewkowicz for The New York Times [Read: Border Patrol Facilities Put Detainees With Medical Conditions at Risk]
''These solutions are temporary and this situation is not sustainable,'' Mr. McAleenan said.
Mr. McAleenan said the authorities believe that the large numbers of families are coming because smugglers have effectively communicated across Central America that adults who travel with children will be allowed to enter and stay in the United States.
Brian Hastings, the agency's chief of law enforcement operations, said that since April 2018, border agents had detected nearly 2,400 cases in which migrants had falsely claimed to be related when they were not, or untruthfully claimed to be younger than 18.
The throngs of new families are also affecting communities on the American side of the border. In El Paso, a volunteer network that temporarily houses the migrants after they are released from custody has had to expand to 20 facilities, compared with only three during the same period last year. Migrants are now being housed in churches, a converted nursing home and about 125 hotel rooms that are being paid for with donations.
''We had never seen these kinds of numbers,'' said Ruben Garcia, the director of the organization, called Annunciation House. He said that during one week in February, immigration authorities had released more than 3,600 migrants to his organization, the highest number in any single week since the group's founding in 1978.
For the most part, Mr. Garcia said that his staff and volunteer workers had been able to keep up with the surge, often making frantic calls to churches to request access to more space for housing families on short notice. But sometimes their best efforts were upended, he said, including on one day last week, when the authorities dropped off 150 more migrants than planned.
''We just didn't have the space,'' Mr. Garcia said.
Reporting was contributed by Miriam Jordan in Los Angeles, Sheri Fink in New York and Zolan Kanno-Youngs from Washington.
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Why Eating Roadkill Makes Roads Safer for People and Animals | The Pew Charitable Trusts
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:12
NAMPA, Idaho '-- It's taco night at the Lindskoog household in this suburban community 20 miles west of Boise. Nate Lindskoog has seasoned the red meat sizzling in his cast-iron skillet with a mixture of chili powder and Himalayan pink salt. In a few minutes, he will wrap it in corn tortillas and top it off with lime-soaked avocados.
The 36-year-old father of six isn't making carne asada with meat he bought from a butcher or at the grocery store. Instead, he's searing venison from a deer killed by a car on Lake Avenue.
''That is just fine,'' he said, taking a bite of the cilantro- and onion-garnished taco. ''I've had worse tacos in restaurants that were $10. This was free, laying on the side of the road.''
Between 1 million and 2 million large animals are hit by vehicles every year in the United States in accidents that kill 200 people and cost nearly $8.4 billion in damages, according to estimates from the Federal Highway Administration.
Instead of wasting roadkill or mocking it as hillbilly cuisine, Idaho is tracking the carnage and allowing residents to salvage the carcasses to reduce the number of vehicle-animal collisions and feed hungry people.
Now more states are joining Idaho and others, letting people like Lindskoog, owner of a local breakfast and burger joint, reclaim fresh, nutrient-dense, grass-fed meat that might otherwise end up as a grease stain on the highway. (''We don't serve any game at the restaurant,'' he assured.)
Lindskoog has salvaged three deer, a couple of times getting a tip from a local sheriff's deputy about an accident near his home. At a safe distance off the highway shoulder, he can butcher all the meat he wants in 30 minutes or less, later freezing it to be used in a year's worth of meals.
As a conservationist, he's eager to let the coyotes, eagles and the rest of the ecosystem take care of what remains.
Roadkill venison and caramelized onions.The Pew Charitable Trusts
''This was a living thing,'' he said. ''It's the most respectful thing to do if wild game dies. It's the best way to dignify its death.''
After Lindskoog returns home, he's required by state law to visit the Idaho Fish and Game website within 24 hours to describe the roadkill: what species he salvaged, its gender and where and when he found the animal.
For Idaho, each dead deer, elk, moose, coyote, black bear, porcupine and pronghorn is a data point.
State officials use the information to identify animal migration patterns, feeding areas and dangerous stretches of road. Their goal is to protect animals, but also people and their vehicles, said Gregg Servheen, Idaho Fish and Game wildlife program coordinator.
''We've built an entire transportation system across the whole United States, and for decades it's been, 'Flattened fauna, who cares?''' Servheen said in his Boise office. ''You hoped you didn't hit one. You drove by them all the time. It was just a given.
''Now we're getting to a point where maybe there's a better way.''
In the mountains just north of Boise, drivers are warned about crossing deer and elk. Idaho is one of more than two dozen states that have legalized roadkill salvaging.The Pew Charitable Trusts
Since legalizing roadkill salvaging in 2012, Idaho has used its data to build fencing, warning signs, wildlife underpass tunnels and wildlife overpasses to protect deer, elk and other animals.
In the first two months of this year, Idahoans salvaged more than 300 animals from the side of the road, adding to the more than 5,000 animals retrieved since 2016.
Not every animal is legally salvageable in Idaho. Nongame wildlife, threatened or endangered species, migratory birds and other animals that are not legally hunted are off-limits. This includes bald eagles, Canada lynx and grizzly bears.
Servheen acknowledges that the state's data depends on scattered reports from residents. Data might identify a migration pattern, or it might just identify a community where people more diligently report roadkill. The online form isn't accessible to many Idahoans who live in the backcountry without reliable cell or internet service.
Whatever its limitations, Idaho's salvaging law has been the basis of similar laws that have recently passed in neighboring Oregon and Washington.
Idaho officials use data from roadkill salvagers to determine where to build new wildlife underpasses, like this one north of Boise, Idaho.The Pew Charitable Trusts
Oregon state Sen. Bill Hansell has a new nickname around the chamber. ''Roadkill Bill,'' a Republican from a rural district the size of Maryland, Hansell authored the bill that unanimously passed the legislature in 2018.
He saw the roadkill as a wasted opportunity. Now, he said, Oregonians ''are being fed high-protein, organic meat they've chosen to eat that otherwise would have rotted on the side of the road.''
In January, the month the law went into effect, Oregonians salvaged 124 animals, mostly deer and elk. Unlike in Idaho, though, residents must turn in the antlers and heads of the animals to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials. Hansell hasn't salvaged any roadkill yet.
While more than half of states have some version of a roadkill salvaging law '-- some even for decades '-- momentum has been growing in Western states to pass new legislation.
Is California Next?Rennie Cleland was tired of seeing good meat go to waste.
When he was hired in 1988 as the game warden in Dorris, California '-- a small town of 900 people at the Oregon border '-- he wanted to find an alternative to spending taxpayer dollars to pick up dead deer off mountain roads and throw them into a ditch.
While salvaging roadkill was illegal throughout the state, Cleland worked with his superiors at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service officials and the local police chief to create a program under which residents could opt to accept meat from animals killed nearby.
Over the course of 23 years, local officials processed and delivered 36,700 pounds of wild game meat to needy people in the area.
''That is a lot of meat,'' Cleland said. ''It's criminal that we don't do something with this meat. It's worse than criminal that we as a state are wasting that meat and issuing citations to people who salvage it.''
But state officials in Sacramento shut down the program in 2011, saying they feared people would hit animals on purpose.
John Griffin, senior director of the urban wildlife program at the Humane Society of the United States, said verifying that animals were truly killed by accident and not targeted has long been a concern of his group and others.
''People run down animals with snow machines,'' he said. ''That's exactly the opposite thing we would want to encourage. Does someone do that on the road? It's hard to say.''
California's policy may soon change, however. State lawmakers now are considering new legislation that would legalize roadkill salvaging. One of Cleland's old game warden colleagues helped write the bill after, he said, he witnessed how successful salvaging can be for a community and potentially a state.
Roy Griffith, legislative liaison for the conservation group California Rifle & Pistol Association, reworked language from similar Idaho, Oregon and Washington laws to fit California and found a willing lawmaker, Democratic state Sen. Bob Archuleta, to introduce the legislation. The tens of thousands of animals killed on California highways every year may not die in vain, he said.
''I don't care if it was killed by a rifle or a bumper,'' he said. ''It's a beautiful, incredible animal rotting on the roadside. To me, it's a sin to see it die in a magpie pile.''
As in Idaho, it would be legal to kill a suffering animal wounded in a collision.
Eat Roadkill at Your Own RiskIn some communities, roadkill has long been used to feed low-income families. In Alaska, where between 600 and 800 moose are killed by cars each year, state troopers will notify charities and families after an accident to salvage the meat.
But food safety concerns have led some charities to restrict roadkill donations. While many charities gladly accept donations of hunted deer, elk and moose meat that has been packaged by a professional processor, Idaho Foodbank sites will not accept meat from animals killed by vehicles. It's a precaution for the families, said Jennifer Erickson, the agency's food safety and compliance manager.
''You just don't know if the animal is diseased,'' she said. ''Depending on the impact, there might be contamination. You just don't know.''
E. coli, which has been found in elk, deer and moose, also concerns Deirdre Schlunegger, the CEO of the Chicago-based nonprofit Stop Foodborne Illness. As does chronic wasting disease (CWD), an infectious disease fatal to deer, elk and moose that can now be found in at least 24 states.
While people consume between 7,000 and 15,000 infected deer each year, there are no cases of the chronic wasting disease being transmitted to humans, according to a 2017 report from the Alliance for Public Wildlife. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still trying to determine whether consuming infected deer or elk meat could harm people.
The brain-eating disease has appeared in neighboring Montana, Utah and Wyoming, prompting Idaho Fish and Game to request, but not require, the heads of salvaged animals so they can be tested for the disease. Officials want to know when the disease makes its way into their state.
Despite these concerns, eating roadkill remains popular in Idaho. If you know how to identify bruised or tainted meat, salvaging roadkill is a nourishing and respectful practice, said Jerry Myers, a resident of North Fork, nearly six hours north of Boise.
As snow builds in the winter, deer, elk and bighorn sheep descend from the mountains to the valley floor near his home, said Myers, 64. They often wander onto the two-lane highway that hugs the Salmon River, where blinking lights and signs fail to prevent many collisions.
Late one winter evening in 2016, Myers and his wife were driving near their home when a semitruck ahead of them hit a yearling elk. They stopped to make sure the driver wasn't injured. He was fine, but the elk was dead.
Myers saw that most of the elk could be salvaged, so the couple loaded it into their pickup and took it home. It produced a hundred pounds of meat.
''I really hate to have something that's potentially salvageable go to waste,'' Myers said. ''We appreciate the animals where we live.''
The One-and-Only Billy Shears: An Interview with William Campbell on Sgt. Pepper '' The Avocado
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 11:13
This interview was originally published in the May 2017 print edition of The Avocado and is now made available online for the first time.
The moment I walk in the door, he's asking me how my drive over was in that famous Liverpudlian accent, but he stops himself midway through the first sentence. ''Sorry,'' he says, in a different voice. ''You just do this for so long, you know, it's hard to break character.''
His ''real'' accent is a curious blended stew of his native Ontario with a whisper of Southern twang acquired from the years spent in Athens, Georgia. But you can hear the Scouse coming through constantly, and it's not always clear whether he's having trouble ''breaking character'' or if this really is just how he pronounces these words after fifty years.
''I do think in, I suppose, 'British English' now,'' he admits. ''Biscuit, lift, lorry, all that. Funnily enough, of all the pitfalls involved in what we were doing, the lies and paying people off and the cosmetic surgery, the biggest thing Brian [Epstein, the Beatles' manager] used to worry about is that I'd keep slipping into 'American' and give the whole thing away that way.''
We're meeting today on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. His name is William Campbell, and beginning with Sgt. Pepper, he became The Man Who Would Be Paul McCartney.
AVOCADO: So The Beatles had already started recording Sgt. Pepper when Brian Epstein recruited you?
CAMPBELL: Well, you have to remember it wasn't called Sgt. Pepper at that point. The idea for Sgt. Pepper wasn't even there. The original intent that John and Paul had had was to write an album themed around their own childhoods, kind of going back to where it all began. That's where ''Penny Lane'' and ''Strawberry Fields Forever'' came from, of course; those were places in Liverpool they used to know.
So those two songs were already written and recorded by the time I came in. There was also ''When I'm 64,'' which is the only McCartney song on the album that isn't me. It was an old song of his he decided to revive as part of the childhood idea. Paul had laid down a rough vocal that they built the, you know, the clarinets and all that around. But they had me re-record it. Maybe it was a test, I don't know.
AVOCADO: Did you pass the test?
CAMPBELL: Well, the thing is, right, it was actually John's idea to do the song. I think it was'...well, you know his humor. I suppose he thought it was funny, in a way. His friend had written a joke song about what it would be like to be an old man, and it turns out he'd never even make it to 30. So to have me sing that'...I think he got a weird kick out of it. But that was how he processed the pain, I suppose, and all the other surreal stuff going on with the situation, was to embrace the darkly funny side, at least as he saw it from a certain perspective.
AVOCADO: So John was on board with the switch pretty much right away?
CAMPBELL: Yeah, people assume he wasn't. But when Brian would be talking to George and Ringo about it and trying to convince them that this was what they needed to do, John was always, ''That's right, Brian's right.''
AVOCADO: Did George and Ringo need convincing?
CAMPBELL: I mean, they were all in a state of shock, and it's a pretty ludicrous idea on the face of it.
AVOCADO: Imagining what the recording sessions must have been like'...what did they actually call you? ''William''? ''Paul''?
CAMPBELL: At first they didn't call me anything at all! [Laughs.] 'Cause they didn't know. It was, you know, ''Hey.'' Funnily enough, it was George who was the first one to call me ''Paul.'' It was a total accident. He was tuning his guitar, focusing on that, and absent-mindedly said, you know, ''Paul, would you hand me this or that'' or whatever it was. The tea. And we all just froze there, you know? I mean, George was the most skeptical of anyone about the idea. He liked it the least. But he still went along with it, of course.
AVOCADO: And then all of a sudden, you were writing songs as part of the greatest songwriting partnership of the 20th century like nothing had happened.
CAMPBELL: I mean, I was in shock too! But I had to pretend like I wasn't, of course. The thing is, that was why Brian kept calling it such a miracle stroke of luck, finding not just someone who looked a lot like Paul and sounded like him and could play left-handed, but was also this, you know, not to be immodest, but this undiscovered songwriter.
Because Paul didn't leave behind a lot of material, you know. That was the first assumption everyone makes, is that he had drawers and drawers with everything from Pepper and the White Album and Abbey Road and the singles for me to play and sing, but he didn't. There were the hundreds of songs he and John had written as kids, but they couldn't go back to those, and John couldn't write a whole album at that point, and George was kind of preoccupied. So they asked me what I could contribute being supposedly this songwriter, and the first thing I offered was ''Oh! Darling.''
CAMPBELL: Oh yeah, I mean'...it was a song I had written back before this whole thing, and I'd written it with Paul sort of on my mind, I suppose. But when I played it for the others, they thought it was a bit too old fashioned at that point in, you know, The Beatles' musical progression, because it was. So instead, I went back and wrote ''Getting Better'' from scratch, which was me listening to ''Penny Lane'' and trying to do something along those lines, you know. That, they liked'--I think it surprised them how much they liked it'--and so John worked on the lyrics, helped out some.
AVOCADO: So was Pepper all new material you wrote or co-wrote with John?
CAMPBELL: It was a mix of new tunes and some older things I had written before in Athens. ''Fixing a Hole,'' that was one I had in my back pocket maybe a year or two, that I just changed a couple lyrics to. People assume that was some kind of a little joke or clue, looking back: me coming in to ''fix'' the ''hole'' in the Beatles. Honestly, it's almost embarrassing, but it actually just was literally about Mary [Campbell, nee Smithers, William Campbell's estranged first wife and father of William Jr.] bothering me to fix some hole in the roof of our house when I wasn't in the mood and turning my grumbling over it into this song.
''Lovely Rita'' was maybe half-written by that point; John and them, they didn't know the word ''meter maid'' because they're called ''traffic wardens'' in Britain. They thought it sounded a bit cheeky, you know, like a French maid or whatever, and I then sort of fleshed it out along those lines.
AVOCADO: ''She's Leaving Home''?
CAMPBELL: That was'...I guess that had been a sort of fantasy when I was living with Mary and Junior in Athens. I suppose that doesn't reflect well on me.
AVOCADO: So at what point did the Pepper concept actually come together?
CAMPBELL: Well, that was sort of a Brian notion, and you know, worked out with George Martin once he was let in on what had happened. The music had been getting more psychedelic and using more studio trickery anyway on Revolver, so on some level it was a progression from that. But the sort of idea of Pepper comes from wanting a bit of smoke and mirrors. The thing about wearing ''musical costumes'' and being a ''different band,'' so if I don't sound exactly like Paul McCartney, you can wave it away saying, ''Oh, well they're just trying something new.'' And all the strange effects on the voice and instruments, it's there to disguise things a bit. But then we leaned into that creatively.
And you know, literal costumes as well. There's the mustache, just so if someone thought I didn't look quite right, you could put it down to that, and the costumes, and the cover where we were quite small but there was a lot of other stuff to distract you.
AVOCADO: You're facing backwards on the back cover.
CAMPBELL: Exactly! Exactly. You play it off as being cheeky, those wacky lads, but it really was, just, maybe don't encourage people to look too closely. But then we ended up shooting that gatefold anyway, and it turned out just fine. They'd done excellent work, the doctors.
AVOCADO: You mentioned ''clues'' earlier. Fans have, of course, been picking up on those for decades. Were these intentional or coincidence, or'--?
CAMPBELL: Some of them were just made up and coincidences, or people hearing stuff that wasn't there in the background. Maybe some of it was subconscious on our parts, or maybe the fans had picked up on the switch and it was affecting their subconscious? At any rate, it actually just is ''cranberry sauce'' John's saying, you know.
AVOCADO: There's the supposed ''OPD'' badge. [Campbell wears a badge in the Pepper photoshoot that says ''OPP,'' standing for Ontario Provincial Police.]
CAMPBELL: And they thought it was ''Officially Pronounced Dead'' but it wasn't. Although that was an entirely different joke, me having been a cop and having come from Ontario. That was John's idea. Again, dealing with grief through jokes. The big one that was actually intentional was ''Billy Shears,'' which means, ''Billy's here,'' of course, although I hate being called Billy. But then the character of Billy is actually Ringo, so it doesn't mean anything.
AVOCADO: Given the stakes of what you were doing, it's hard to imagine Brian tolerating you and John leaving clues that could possibly undermine everything.
CAMPBELL: Well, those he didn't even know about or catch. He was busy with, you know, paying people off and covering up and arranging a secret funeral and a million other large-scale concerns, he didn't have time to pore over the lyrics sheets like the fans did or play tapes backwards.
But some of those things, you know, it's not ''clues,'' it wasn't a game we were playing, it's just that you're a songwriter and you draw from your life, and it just so happened that my life was particularly strange. [Laughs.] Later on, ''She Came in Through the Bathroom Window'' was almost a full confession, but I walked it back and obscured it, and pretty soon even I didn't know what it was about anymore.
AVOCADO: So Pepper is released and is immediately celebrated as a landmark achievement in rock music. And it's in large part because of your contributions. How did that feel?
CAMPBELL: Extremely validating. [Laughs.] I mean how else could it have felt? I mean, to be perfectly honest, despite the unbelievably elevated stage I suddenly found myself on, I was confident in my abilities as a songwriter and a performer. All those dead-end years in Athens where I was haunted by this sense of being cheated by the way my life had turned out, that my potential had been smothered by my responsibilities. So to have this million-to-one'--I mean, trillion-to-one, really'--opportunity and take it? To put out a record with my songs and be told they're brilliant? ''Actually, you're as good as you always thought you would be.''
AVOCADO: Do you feel now that it was dishonest to do it under the name ''Paul McCartney''?
CAMPBELL: [Pause.] No.
AVOCADO: Can you explain why not?
CAMPBELL: I would ask'... [Pause.] I would ask why I should feel it was dishonest. If you want to tell me it's dishonest to play ''Yesterday'' or ''Penny Lane'' at my live shows, I mean'...I would argue it's tribute but I don't think I'd ever convince you. Agree to disagree.
But Sgt. Pepper'...I wrote those songs, with the exception of ''When I'm 64.'' Whatever my name is, if it's William Campbell or Paul McCartney, that's my work. Every Beatle album after that is my work, every album credited to ''Paul McCartney'' is my work.
And I'm not saying I'm better than Paul or that he wouldn't have developed into a totally different songwriter and musician than I turned out to be. Maybe The Beatles would never have broken up if Paul had been there, but maybe they would have anyway. I was a fan, remember, of his Beatles songs, and I just happened to look like him and both of those contributed to how I got caught up in this scheme.
So if I come off as conceited or ungrateful, or disrespectful and a deadbeat dad for so many years or whatever you think of me'...I'll take that. I've been privileged with an amazing life. If that's the price I pay now in the court of public opinion, I'll pay it.
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VIDEO - Manny_Ottawa on Twitter: "3/ OMG. This is equally disturbing @cathmckenna preaching about her religion of Global Warming to draw unity and applause. Warm summer = Global Warming Cold winter = ''denier'' ''don't you know difference between wea
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:29
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VIDEO - Security Stepped Up Across NYC After 3 Small Bombs Found Near London Transit Hubs '' CBS New York
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:23
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) '' Officials have announced stepped up security measures in New York after
three bombs were found near major transportation hubs in London.
CBS News reported the bombs were contained in three padded mailing bags and described them as small explosive devices.
.@Metpoliceuk Counter Terrorism Command has launched an investigation after three suspicious packages were found at locations around London today '' thankfully there have been no injuries. I would like to thank first responders for their swift actions to keep Londoners safe. pic.twitter.com/d3OVfy4uYn
'-- Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) March 5, 2019
London's Metropolitan Police said they were ''treating the incidents as a linked series.'' There's was no immediate word on a motive.
We're treating the incidents as a linked series & keeping an open mind regarding motives. Flights at Heathrow & City Airport have not been effected. Train services at Waterloo Station continue to operate. As a precaution, some DLR services were suspended but now fully operational
'-- Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 5, 2019
Police in New York City said they were stepping up bag checks in the subway system and at other transit hubs. Critical response ''Striker Teams'' are also being dispatched to assist in the screenings.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered security increased at ''high-profile locations around the state, including our airports, train stations, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems.''
''The explosives found in London transportation hubs are stark reminders of the threats we face today. In the wake of this act of violence, New York stands with Britain and all our allies against terrorism in all its forms,'' Cuomo said. ''In New York, we understand the dangers of our time and we will continue to work aggressively with all local and federal partners to keep New Yorkers safe.''
VIDEO - AER orders Vesta Energy to stop fracking ops immediately after Sylvan Lake earthquake | Globalnews.ca
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:56
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has ordered Vesta Energy Ltd. to suspend its operations indefinitely at a well site near Sylvan Lake on Tuesday after Monday's earthquake.
According to AER, the epicentre of the quake was about 2.5 kilometres from Vesta's well site.
READ MORE: 4.6 magnitude earthquake hits central Alberta near Red Deer
AER said Vesta contacted the regulator on March 4 at 6:20 a.m. saying that seismic activity was detected due to hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) at the site. AER said that Vesta had shut down fracking right away.
Fracking involves pumping chemicals and sand underground to break up rocks to help get oil and natural gas flowing.
WATCH (March 5, 2019): A 4.6-magnitude earthquake in central Alberta on Monday was triggered by hydraulic fracturing, according to the energy company working in the area. Vesta Energy has been ordered to stop fracking operations by the Alberta Energy Regulator. Lauren Pullen has the details from the order.
Erik Kuleba, AER's director of environment and operational performance, said that a release of substances '-- defined in the order as ''vibrations and the release of energy'' '-- has occurred and that substances ''have caused, are causing or may cause an adverse effect.''
The order said Kuleba considers it ''necessary to suspend the well in order to protect the public and the environment.''
The regulator said the Calgary-based company must submit a report of all seismic activity in the area since April and specific fracturing data for the well site from Jan. 29 to Monday. It has also ordered Vesta to file a plan to eliminate or reduce future seismic activity from fracturing.
A 4.6-magnitude earthquake hit central Alberta near Sylvan Lake (pictured) and Red Deer just before 6 a.m. on Monday, according to Natural Resources Canada
Global NewsThere are no reports of injuries or property damage as a result of the seismic event, Vesta said in an emailed statement to Global News.
''The safety of the public, employees and contractors is paramount, and Vesta takes this incident very seriously,'' it read. ''The company is co-operating with the Alberta Energy Regulator and is focused on meeting the conditions required to lift the order.'''
A 4.6-magnitude earthquake hit central Alberta near Sylvan Lake and Red Deer just before 6 a.m. on Monday, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRC). There were no immediate reports of damage, but the community of Sylvan Lake said the power went out in most of the town Monday morning. The tremor was classified as a light earthquake, according to NRC.
Cause for concern and a chance to learnQuakes occur occasionally in Alberta, and the ones caused by fracking are happening more often, according to University of Alberta geophysics professor Jeff Gu.
''Prior to 2010, there were fewer events of this size, and a lot of those were regular tectonic earthquakes,'' he said. ''But since 2010 or so, there have been heightened focuses on the Fox Creek area, which has many earthquakes associated with hydraulic fracturing.''
There is a strong correlation between earthquakes and ventures in the area, Gu said.
''In particular, the volume of injection has been associated with the heightened activities in that area,'' he said.
However, Gu is not so worried about deaths and damage from quakes in this province.
''Here, magnitude 4.0s, 4.5s don't usually lead to significant structural damages, loss of life, but there's always concern about the environmental impact of these events, releases of substances from the operations, groundwater contamination,'' Gu explained. ''We're more concerned about those issues here.''
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has ordered Vesta Energy Ltd. to suspend its operations indefinitely at a well site near Sylvan Lake on Tuesday after Monday's earthquake.
Global NewsWhen seismic episodes crop up, there is, thankfully, a lot of data to mine to expand upon a limited set. Scientists can learn from these events '-- the stresses that lead to faults, which faults are active '-- and better understand the region so new laws can be developed.
''Eventually, we want to lead to safer practices in the future, to reduce the risks,'' Gu said.
''This is, really, a big problem that involves all parties. That includes the academics, the regulators, the operators. I think everybody can work together, work as a team to understand what happened and hopefully prevent future occurrences of these earthquakes.''
'' With files from The Canadian Press
(C) 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
VIDEO - Jack Dorsey, Vijaya Gadde & Tim Pool
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:48
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VIDEO - Source: Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database - NBC 7 San Diego
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:21
This story has been updated with a new statement from Customs and Border Protection and a response from the ACLU.
Documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates show the U.S. government created a secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan and in some cases, placed alerts on their passports.
At the end of 2018, roughly 5,000 immigrants from Central America made their way north through Mexico to the United States southern border. The story made international headlines.
As the migrant caravan reached the San Ysidro Port of Entry in south San Diego County, so did journalists, attorneys, and advocates who were there to work and witness the events unfolding.
But in the months that followed, journalists who covered the caravan, as well as those who offered assistance to caravan members, said they felt they had become targets of intense inspections and scrutiny by border officials.
One photojournalist said she was pulled into secondary inspections three times and asked questions about who she saw and photographed in Tijuana shelters. Another photojournalist said she spent 13 hours detained by Mexican authorities when she tried to cross the border into Mexico City. Eventually, she was denied entry into Mexico and sent back to the U.S.
These American photojournalists and attorneys said they suspected the U.S. government was monitoring them closely but until now, they couldn't prove it.
Now, documents leaked to NBC 7 Investigates show their fears weren't baseless. In fact, their own government had listed their names in a secret database of targets, where agents collected information on them. Some had alerts placed on their passports, keeping at least three photojournalists and an attorney from entering Mexico to work.
The documents were provided to NBC 7 by a Homeland Security source on the condition of anonymity, given the sensitive nature of what they were divulging.
The source said the documents or screenshots show a SharePoint application that was used by agents from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and some agents from the San Diego sector of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
The intelligence gathering efforts were done under the umbrella of ''Operation Secure Line,'' the operation designated to monitor the migrant caravan, according to the source.
The documents list people who officials think should be targeted for screening at the border.
The individuals listed include ten journalists, seven of whom are U.S. citizens, a U.S. attorney, and 47 people from the U.S. and other countries, labeled as organizers, instigators or their roles ''unknown.'' The target list includes advocates from organizations like Border Angels and Pueblo Sin Fronteras.
To view the documents, click here or the link below.
PHOTOS: Leaked Documents Show Government Tracking Journalists, Immigration Advocates
NBC 7 Investigates is blurring the names and photos of individuals who haven't given us permission to publish their information.
The documents are titled ''San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch: Migrant Caravan FY-2019, Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators and Media'' and are dated January 9, 2019.
Emblazoned on it are the American and Mexican flags, with a banner that reads: "ILU-OASSIS-OMEGA." An official at the Department of Homeland Security said the seal indicates that the documents are a product of the International Liaison Unit (ILU), which coordinates intelligence between Mexico and the United States.
This seal is emblazoned in the leaked documents to NBC 7 Investigates.
For each person, the documents show their photo, often from their passport but in some cases from their social media accounts, along with their personal information. That information includes the person's date of birth, their ''country of commencement,'' and their alleged role tied to the migrant caravan. The information also includes whether officials placed an alert on the person's passport.
Some individuals have a colored ''X'' over their photo, indicating whether they were arrested, interviewed, or had their visa or SENTRI pass revoked by officials.
In addition to flagging the individuals for secondary screenings, the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 that the agents also created dossiers on each person listed.
''We are a criminal investigation agency, we're not an intelligence agency,'' the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 Investigates. ''We can't create dossiers on people and they're creating dossiers. This is an abuse of the Border Search Authority.''
One dossier, shared with NBC 7, was on Nicole Ramos, the Refugee Director and attorney for Al Otro Lado, a law center for migrants and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico. The dossier included personal details on Ramos, including specific details about the car she drives, her mother's name, and her work and travel history.
After sharing the documents with Ramos, she said Al Otro Lado is seeking more information on why she and other attorneys at the law center have been targeted by border officials.
''The document appears to prove what we have assumed for some time, which is that we are on a law enforcement list designed to retaliate against human rights defenders who work with asylum seekers and who are critical of CBP practices that violate the rights of asylum seekers,'' Ramos told NBC 7 by email.
In addition to the dossier on Ramos, a list of other dossier files created was shared with NBC 7. Two of the dossier files were labeled with the names of journalists but no further details were available. Those journalists were also listed as targets for secondary screenings.
Customs and Border Protection has the authority to pull anyone into secondary screenings, but the documents show the agency is increasingly targeting journalists, attorneys, and immigration advocates. Former counterterrorism officials say the agency should not be targeting individuals based on their profession.
NBC 7 Investigates sent the information to all border and law enforcement agencies the source listed, asking whether the information was valid and if these tactics were legal.
A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson did not answer NBC 7's list of questions or confirm the validity of the documents shared.
By email, the spokesperson said, ''Criminal events, such as the breach of the border wall in San Diego, involving assaults on law enforcement and a risk to public safety, are routinely monitored and investigated by authorities.''
To read CBP's full statement, click here.
''It is protocol following these incidents to collect evidence that might be needed for future legal actions and to determine if the event was orchestrated,'' the statement read. ''CBP and our law enforcement partners evaluate these incidents, follow all leads garnered from information collected, conduct interviews and investigations, in preparation for, and often to prevent future incidents that could cause further harm to the public, our agents, and our economy.''
UPDATE - 4:20 p.m. Minutes after our story published and five days after a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson gave us the agency's statement above, CBP told our colleagues at NBC News that the names in the database are all people who were present during violence that broke out at the border in November. The agency also said journalists are being tracked so that the agency can learn more about what started that violence. CBP never clarified that point directly to NBC 7 Investigates.
UPDATE - 8:20 p.m.
Staff attorney Esha Bhandari with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, called the government's targeting of journalists and migrants "outrageous."
''This is an outrageous violation of the First Amendment. The government cannot use the pretext of the border to target activists critical of its policies, lawyers providing legal representation, or journalists simply doing their jobs. We are exploring all options in response,'' Bhandari said.
Senior staff attorney Mitra Ebadolahi with the ACLU of San Diego's Border Litigation Project, called NBC 7's report the latest example of abuse of power by the CBP.
''For years, the U.S. government has used the pretext of 'border security' to trample on Americans' constitutional rights. This most recent example is just the latest in a steady stream of CBP abuse of authority, and once again underscores the dire need for meaningful agency oversight and accountability," Ebadolahi said.
Journalists Targeted for Border Inspections
NBC 7 Investigates spoke with seven of the journalists listed on the database as targets for secondary screenings, including freelance photojournalist Ariana Drehsler.
''I'm interested in covering social and political issues,'' Drehsler said, adding that she covered the migrant caravan in Tijuana for Buzzfeed News and United Press International.
''I think there's a lot of misconceptions, maybe from both sides, about who are these people that are trying to seek asylum,'' Drehsler said. ''So I think as a photojournalist, it is my responsibility to cover that to the best of my abilities.''
Drehsler estimated she had crossed the border from San Ysidro dozens of times covering the caravan.
Las Playas de Tijuana on December 9, 2018. At night the beach is lit up with lights from the U.S. side to help US Customs and Border Patrol find people trying to cross illegally. Photo by Ariana Drehsler/UPI Photo credit: UPI
''I was very transparent about what I was doing,'' Drehsler said. ''Sometimes you would see me carrying a camera and if I was asked by an agent what was I doing, I would tell them I was photographing the [migrant] shelters.''
But on December 30, 2018, when Drehsler was crossing back into the United States, she was pulled into secondary inspection and questioned by border agents.
''Two people in plainclothes came down and took me to another room,'' Drehsler said. ''They questioned me in a small room, asking me questions about the shelter, what was I seeing there, who was I working for.''
''They said that I was on the ground and they're not, which I thought was really interesting.''
After about an hour, Drehsler said she was allowed to leave but agents warned her that an alert had been placed on her passport and that she would be pulled into a secondary screening again if she crossed the border. The agents told her to plan accordingly, given the screenings could last an hour or more. When she asked why this alert was placed on her passport, agents told her they had no idea.
Drehsler said she was pulled into secondary screenings two more times while crossing the border. Each time she said she was questioned by the same agents in plainclothes. The second time was on Jan. 2, 2019, and the third time was on Jan. 4, 2019.
On the third occasion, Drehsler said she was told to leave her gear, including her camera and cell phone, on a table outside of the interview room. When she returned, she said it didn't appear to her that the gear had been looked through. Agents asked Drehsler if she could show them the photos she had taken but she said she declined.
Some of the questions agents asked Drehsler on the third screening struck her as odd.
''They asked about the new caravan and if word had gotten out about how difficult it is to seek asylum in the U.S.,'' Drehsler said. ''Then before I left, the female agent asked if I rented or owned my home.''
Drehsler told NBC 7 the personal details listed for her in the leaked screenshots are accurate. She confirmed the photo officials used came from her passport. The screenshots include a green ''X'' over Drehsler's photograph, indicating she had been interviewed by agents.
Sharing the documents with Drehsler, she told NBC 7 she was ''blown away.''
''I have so many questions; I have more questions than answers,'' she said. ''Personally, I don't understand what [agents] are hoping to find.''
Other journalists and attorneys have previously told news outlets like NPR and The Intercept that they too faced the same kind of increased scrutiny surrounding their work involving the migrant caravan.
Evidence of increased scrutiny of journalists at the border was detailed in an October 2018 report prepared by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ.)
The report identified 37 journalists who said they found the secondary screenings by border officials ''invasive,'' and said 20 cases involved border agents ''conducting warrantless searches of [the journalists'] electronic devices.''
The journalists featured in the leaked documents said they were separated from their electronic devices and gear but had no evidence that agents had gone through their items.
Kitra Cahana is another freelance photojournalist and U.S. citizen listed as a target in the documents. By phone from Honduras, Cahana told NBC 7 she also faced increased scrutiny and was eventually denied entry into Mexico for no apparent reason.
Kitra Cahana is an award-winning freelance documentary photographer, videographer, a photo/video artist. Photo credit: Kitra Cahana
Cahana's work has been featured in National Geographic magazine, The New York Times and the CBC out of Canada. One night in late December, she said Mexican authorities photographed her passport while she and other journalists were working near the border.
Then, on Jan. 17, 2019, while traveling from Canada to Mexico City, Cahana said she had a connecting flight in Detroit, Michigan. Cahana said in Montreal, her passport was flagged while going through U.S. Customs pre-clearance. Cahana said she was pulled into a secondary screening where border agents asked her a list of questions about her work.
''They were interested in whether I had an assignment when I was going down to cover the caravan,'' Cahana said. ''And they wanted to know how I was funding my work.''
Cahana said she was asked to explain how freelance photojournalism works, which she found strange. Afterward, her passport was flagged again in Detroit but eventually, she was allowed to board her flight and fly to Mexico City.
But when she arrived in Mexico, her passport was flagged again. Cahana said she brought this to a Mexican official and was taken into a back room with another group of detained individuals.
There, Cahana said her phone was taken away and she couldn't leave the room. When she needed to use the restroom, an agent escorted her.
''I wasn't allowed to be in communication with anyone, I wasn't allowed to contact my embassy,'' Cahana said. ''It was very confusing because my Spanish is quite limited and no one there really spoke English.''
Cahana said the whole ordeal lasted 13 hours and in the end, she was denied entry into Mexico. She had to wait until a plane arrived that could take her back to Detroit, where her flight originated.
Since then, Cahana said she tried one more time to cross the border into Mexico.
''I was trying to cross into Mexico through Guatemala to continue my work covering the caravan and then I was denied again,'' Cahana said.
NBC 7 Investigates confirmed two more journalists were denied entry into Mexico after covering the caravan in January. Both of them are listed in the SharePoint files leaked to NBC 7.
In the documents shared with NBC 7, Cahana confirmed her personal details were accurate and that the photo used is from her passport. Cahana said she's been in contact with the Committee to Protect Journalists and the ACLU as far as the alert placed on her passport, preventing her access to Mexico.
Cahana said the increased scrutiny by border officials could have a chilling effect on freelance journalists covering the border.
''In the current state of journalism, it's really freelancers who are bringing so much news to the public,'' Cahana said. ''And the uncertainty of having an alert placed on your passport and not knowing where and when that's going to prevent you from doing your work is really problematic.''
Want to know if you're on the target list? Have you faced increased scrutiny while covering a story at the border? NBC 7 Investigates wants to hear from you. Contact us at NBC7Investigates@nbcuni.com
VIDEO - Venezuela expels German ambassador Daniel Kriener for meddling | Euronews
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 12:48
The German Ambassador to Venezuela, Daniel Kriener, has been ordered to leave the country having been declared "persona non grata" by the government.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza posted the news in a press release on Twitter.
Arreaza said the decision was based on Daniel Kriener's ''repeated acts of interference in the country's internal affairs''.
In the statement, Nicolas Maduro's administration accused him and the German government of "crass" and "unlawful" meddling.
It comes after Germany was among the countries to recognise Maduro's rival, Juan Guaido, as the country's legitimate leader.
Kriener has been given 48 hours to leave the country.
A German foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed Venezuela had expelled the ambassador and that the ministry was consulting with its allies on how to respond, according to Reuters.
VIDEO - Bad Religion - Los Angeles Is Burning - YouTube
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 11:15
VIDEO - Former U.S. president Barack Obama talks oil and gas, climate change in Calgary | Globalnews.ca
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 11:05
A message of hope and optimism about the future came from former U.S. president Barack Obama in front of a Calgary audience midday on Tuesday.
But that message came with a caveat '-- the importance of making responsible decisions about how to build that future.
''All of us are going to have to recognize that there are trade-offs involved with how we live, how our economy is structured and the world we are going to be passing on to our kids and to our grandchildren,'' the 44th president of the United States told a full Saddledome. ''No one is exempt from that conversation.''
READ MORE: Barack Obama speaks to full house in Winnipeg, leaves fans inspired
Obama credited oil and gas with powering industry and economies, saying: ''It's still the cheapest means for us to power all the things that we do.''
But the two-term president, who famously rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, said that the science is ''indisputable that the planet is getting warmer.''
''At the current pace we're on, the scale of tragedy that will consume humanity is something we have not seen '-- if we don't do something about it,'' he said.
WATCH: As the former president of the United States arrived in Calgary Tuesday, so did a convoy and tight security team. As Jenna Freeman reports, the RCMP was tasked with protecting the dignitary.
READ MORE: 'Obama effect' doubles visitors to Washington, D.C. portrait gallery
Obama pointed to the need for a plan to transition to new sources of energy and to ''clean up old energy sources,'' putting full confidence in human ingenuity to make that change.
The former Illinois senator also had some thoughts for the many Calgarians and Albertans who work in the oil and gas sector during the 70-minute discussion.
''If you are a practical person and you, let's say, work in the oil and gas industry right now and it provides a great living, and you feel like you're providing a great service. This is critical to the global economy, and you take great pride in your work '-- you should,'' Obama said.
Barack Obama enters the stage at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on March 5, 2019.
Greg Paupst / TINEPUBLIC''But understand that we're going to have to make some choices one way or another. And either we're going to do it intentionally and thoughtfully and seriously, or it will happen to us. And by the time it happens to us, it may be too late. And that, I think, is how we have to think about it.''
Obama suggested the efforts in science and engineering used in extracting bitumen and natural gas in Alberta could be used to help find alternative energy solutions.
Former U.S. president Barack Obama walks on stage in Calgary on March 5, 2019.
Greg Paupst / TINEPUBLIC''The same extraordinary engineering and science that's used at getting at hard oil '... the engineering that exists within oil and gas industries, if some of that starts to get invested by those same companies in developing other energy sources, and those engineers and scientists transition into other ways to get us to turn on the lights and get our cars moving '-- you guys can figure it out, but you have to be open to it,'' Obama said.
READ MORE: RCMP working with Secret Service to provide security for Obama
The RCMP was in charge of providing security for Obama during his appearance in Calgary.
Const. Mike Hibbs said this is standard protocol when a former head of state visits the country.
''We work in conjunction with Secret Service,'' Hibbs explained. ''I mean, they have some things they have to follow, some protocol with the former president, and we will work with those individuals and that organization to make sure that security is top.''
Seeing all sidesObama also shared the importance of having a variety of perspectives at the table when making important decisions, like he had to do during his first term as president during the Great Recession.
''Everybody has blind spots,'' Obama said.
''The benefit of having people from different perspectives around the room is they will fill in, for the group, each other's blind spots.''
READ MORE: Democrats launch sweeping probe of Donald Trump '-- could last through 2020 election
Obama also emphasized the importance of hearing all sides of an issue.
''If you want to get something done about climate change, you can't just be talking with the person who's driving a Prius and eating quinoa. You have to talk to the guy who's got a pickup truck and has to drive 30 miles to his job and, as a consequence, the price of gas is relevant to him. If you don't have a sense of his legitimate concerns, you're not going to be able to build the kind of coalition that will get something done,'' he said.
READ MORE: Michael Bloomberg won't run for president, will instead direct efforts to defeating Trump
Obama's approach, as informed by the scientific process, was met with applause from the Calgary audience.
''I am a big believer in basic enlightenment values like reason and logic and facts. I believe in science and I believe in testing your hypotheses, and if something's not working, you try something different and you apply analytical rigour to problems. I don't think everything is about opinions. I brought that attitude to bear with most of our problems,'' Obama said.
Barack Obama and Dave Kelly on stage in Calgary on March 5, 2019.
Greg Paupst / TINEPUBLICLife after the White House
The afternoon's host, Dave Kelly, asked the former American president a variety of questions about his time serving in the White House, finding time for family life and his relationship with his wife Michelle '-- who Barack says looks back fondly on her March 2018 discussion at the Calgary Stampede Corral.
Obama also spoke of his ongoing work with American youth and the Barack Obama Presidential Center, to be located on the south side of Chicago.
''What I discovered during the course of my presidency is most of the problems we face globally don't get solved not because we don't have solutions out there. Most of them don't get solved because people don't organize themselves to get things done,'' Obama said.
''The way to solve that is by developing and training leadership at every level.''
Obama said he believes young people, in the face of tribalistic reaction to rapid worldwide change, are ''instinctually more tolerant, open-minded, sophisticated.''
''It's not just a matter of sending a tweet or a hashtag. We actually have to do a little more than that.''
'--With files from Jenna Freeman
(C) 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
VIDEO - The True Toxicity of Social Media Revealed Mental Health Documents '' YouTube | PG.Chrys' No Agenda Linkblog
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 09:36
Mar 07 2019Leave a comment By pgchrys Uncategorized The True Toxicity of Social Media Revealed Mental Health Documents '' YouTube
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VIDEO - HUGE! Trump Announces He Will Sign Executive Order Requiring Universities to Support Free Speech if They Want Federal Money (VIDEO)
Sun, 03 Mar 2019 22:09
by Cristina Laila March 2, 2019
President Trump rocked CPAC on Saturday with a fiery speech that lasted over two hours.The President gave the CPAC crowd plenty of red meat by ripping the Deep State Russia witch hunt, blasting Democrats and mocking the Green New Deal.
President Trump then made a very important announcement Saturday after he brought the conservative activist who was sucker-punched at UC Berkeley, Hayden Williams onto the stage.
''Today I am proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars.''
The CPAC crowd went wild and gave President Trump a standing ovation for standing up for the First Amendment.
This is a bold move by the President and will no doubt get his base pumped up as he prepares for his 2020 presidential re-election campaign.
''I will be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars'' @realDonaldTrump #CPAC2019 #WhatMakesAmericaGreat pic.twitter.com/hyeNZ3jI6F
'-- CPAC 2019 (@CPAC) March 2, 2019
VIDEO - CPAC 2019 - Michelle Malkin - YouTube
Sun, 03 Mar 2019 21:17
VIDEO - Does 5G Internet Really Give You Cancer? Here's What We Know and Don't Know | Inverse
Sun, 03 Mar 2019 16:30
A t the Mobile World Congress earlier in February, 5G technology was on display everywhere. Since the blazingly fast fifth-generation wireless broadband technology is set to be standard equipment on phones and other connected devices very soon, information '-- and disinformation '-- on the internet will only be more easily spread in the foreseeable future. Among the stories that are already spreading are concerns that 5G internet kills birds, causes cancer, or both.
A viral news story circulated in 2018 claiming that a mass die-off of birds occurred in the Netherlands after a test of a 5G network. Snopes rounded up the evidence on this claim, determining it was false. Mass bird die-offs are bizarre but not uncommon, and this particular one took place months after a 5G test '-- and not even in the same place.
The link between cell phone use and cancer is far more complicated than that.
How 4G antennas broadcast signals compared to how 5G antennas beam signals across a city.People who promote the link between cell phones and cancer often cite a large-scale study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services.Inverse reported on the initial results of this study when they were released in 2016, but the final version came out at the end of 2018. In the study, researchers exposed more than 7,000 rats and mice to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) '-- that's the type emitted by cell phones '-- over the course of multiple years, then analyzed the effects on the animals.
Importantly, their results are based on four categories of evidence that something may cause cancer: clear evidence (highest), some evidence, equivocal evidence, no evidence (lowest).
The researchers found ''clear evidence'' of malignant (cancerous) tumors in the hearts of male rats, as well as ''some evidence'' of malignant tumors in the brains of male rats and ''some evidence'' of a mix of benign and malignant tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. ''For female rats, and male and female mice, it was unclear if tumors observed in the studies were associated with RFR used by cell phones,'' write the study's authors. ''This is also known as equivocal evidence.''
The studies from this project, which involved exposing many animal test subjects to RFR for two years at a time, seems pretty damning. But the caveats show that the findings aren't directly applicable to humans.
Even though mice and rats share many biological similarities to humans in how their response to drugs and environmental hazards, they are not the same. Furthermore, they were locked in a small chamber and exposed to RFR for 9 hours a day, which isn't representative of an average human's experience.
Rats and mice are often, but not always, decent estimations of humans in the lab.Perhaps more importantly, this study was designed in the late 1990s, when 2G was the industry standard cell phone network technology, and 3G was just over the horizon. While the currently-available 4G and 4G-LTE technologies also use RFR, they modulate the signals differently. As a result, an NTP spokesperson tells Inverse, those study results won't tell much about the health effects of 4G or 4G-LTE, and perhaps even less about the effects of 5G:
NTP studied 2G and 3G technologies only. Current wireless communication networks like 4G still use 2G and 3G technologies for voice calls and texting. 4G, 4G-LTE, and 5G networks were developed to support increased data needs like streaming video or instantly downloading email with attachments. These newer technologies use different methods of cell phone signal modulation than we used in the study. 5G is an emerging technology that hasn't really been defined yet, and it differs dramatically from what we studied.
In many cases, the impact technology has on human health is not apparent for some time, so it's not clear when, how, or if we will have reliable research on the effects of 5G on human health.
For his part, John Bucher, a senior scientist at the NTP, told reporters in 2018 when the studies came out he wouldn't be changing his cell phone use.