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- 04/29/16--15:40: _GOP candidates jock...
- 04/29/16--15:45: _Pentagon: Hospital ...
- 04/29/16--15:50: _News Wrap: Proteste...
- 04/30/16--08:34: _Trump insists Clint...
- 04/30/16--10:12: _Pennsylvania GOP vo...
- 04/30/16--10:12: _Thousands of protes...
- 04/30/16--11:07: _How the Supreme Cou...
- 04/30/16--11:07: _Lawmakers call for ...
- 04/30/16--11:48: _70 years on, the se...
- 04/30/16--12:31: _GOP race scrambles ...
- 04/30/16--12:34: _Former California g...
- 04/30/16--12:43: _Was Walt Whitman a ...
- 04/30/16--13:23: _In message to poach...
- 04/30/16--13:57: _How ex-convicts are...
- 04/30/16--14:05: _Death toll rises in...
- 04/30/16--14:27: _Teen birthrate reac...
- 04/30/16--14:49: _Grandmother and her...
- 05/01/16--07:29: _Hazardous cleanup u...
- 05/01/16--07:35: _Daniel Berrigan, pr...
- 05/01/16--09:08: _Can ‘smart gun’ tec...
- 04/29/16--15:40: GOP candidates jockey for delegate ‘free agents’ in Virginia
- 04/29/16--15:50: News Wrap: Protesters and police clash at Trump rally
- 04/30/16--08:34: Trump insists Clinton campaign relies on ‘woman’s card’
- 04/30/16--10:12: Pennsylvania GOP voting delegates voice strong support for Trump
- 04/30/16--10:12: Thousands of protesters break into Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone
- 04/30/16--11:07: How the Supreme Court is functioning following Scalia’s death
- 04/30/16--11:07: Lawmakers call for protected status for Ecuadorians living in U.S.
- 04/30/16--11:48: 70 years on, the search continues for artwork looted by the Nazis
- 04/30/16--12:31: GOP race scrambles California’s political fault lines
- 04/30/16--12:34: Former California governor Pete Wilson endorses Cruz
- 04/30/16--12:43: Was Walt Whitman a follower of the ‘Paleo’ diet?
- 04/30/16--13:57: How ex-convicts are adapting after three strikes reform
- 04/30/16--14:05: Death toll rises in Syrian city of Aleppo as ceasefire breaks down
- 04/30/16--14:27: Teen birthrate reaches all-time low, CDC report says
- 04/30/16--14:49: Grandmother and her four grandchildren drown in Texas flooding
- 05/01/16--07:29: Hazardous cleanup underway after train derails in northeast D.C.
- 05/01/16--07:35: Daniel Berrigan, priest and peace activist, dies at 94
- 05/01/16--09:08: Can ‘smart gun’ technology make firearms safer?
JUDY WOODRUFF: After Donald Trump swept the primaries in five Northeastern states this week, the front-runner edged even closer to that magic number of delegates we have all heard so much about; 1,237 are needed to secure the GOP nomination.
His opponents are redoubling their efforts to keep Trump from reaching that number, which would make this the first contested convention in four decades.
If that happens, it’s the delegates, the actual people in those seats at the Cleveland hall, who will play a make-or-break role in selecting the nominee.
John Yang takes a look at how all this is playing out behind the scenes in a key state, Virginia.
JOHN YANG: It’s a Friday afternoon in the woods of Southern Virginia. There’s a heaping helping of smoked shad, country music, and politics.
It’s the 68th Annual Shad Planking Festival, a Virginia tradition that’s part cookout, part political gathering. This year, it’s a key stop for Republicans who want to be delegates to the national convention in Cleveland.
WOMAN: I have been very vocal about my support for Ted Cruz. I believe that he is the clear constitutional conservative.
CLAY CHASE, Virginia Delegate Candidate: Party unity is critical right now. We need to coalesce behind Mr. Trump and win in November.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: The Virginia one was just a great win.
JOHN YANG: Donald Trump won the Virginia primary on March 1, but that was just the first step in selecting the state’s convention delegates to the national convention. Winning the primary gave Trump 17 delegate votes, one more than Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz came away with eight delegate votes. John Kasich got five.
Under state party rules, that’s how the Virginia delegation will vote on the first ballot at the Cleveland convention. But — and this is key — if nobody gets that 1,237 on the first ballot, Virginia’s delegates, like most of the delegates from the other states, will become free agents, able to vote for whomever they want.
From gatherings like the Shad Planking to the state party convention this weekend, the campaigns are trying to pack Virginia’s delegation with their supporters.
STEPHEN FARNSWORTH, University of Mary Washington: What you are seeing in Virginia looks a lot like what you are seeing in a number of other states, where the Donald Trump campaign may have won the primary, but when it comes time to go through the integral process of delegate selection, it looks like Ted Cruz is doing a lot better.
JOHN YANG: Stephen Farnsworth is a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington. He says voting for Trump on a second ballot or a third, or even a fourth would be a tough sell for many Virginia delegates.
STEPHEN FARNSWORTH: A lot of the truly committed Republicans believe that Donald Trump is not the best standard-bearer for the Republican Party. He is going to have to try to convince them this late in the game that he is, and that’s going to be an uphill battle, because a lot of these people are already committed in their own minds, in their own hearts to other candidates.
JOHN YANG: Shak Hill is one of those Virginia committed Republicans. He’s a Cruz organizer who’s been recruiting supporters to run to be delegates at the Cleveland Convention.
SHAK HILL, Virginia Co-Chair, Cruz Organizer: What we have been doing behind the scenes is finding like-minded teachers and like-minded policemen and business owners to come to the convention and actually participate in the process. And the beauty about this is, we actually started in November trying to identify folks that would end up coming to the convention, and this is going to give Senator Cruz a huge advantage.
JOHN YANG: He sees the contest as a heavyweight title fight.
SHAK HILL: The first round of that boxing match is getting the delegates, 1,237. So if none of the Republican candidates actually get to that threshold, we are going to have a second ballot. And the second ballot is going to hopefully go towards Senator Ted Cruz.
COREY STEWART, Virginia Chair, Trump Campaign: We’re confident at this point that it’s going to be a first ballot victory. We’re confident we’re going to hit 1,237.
JOHN YANG: Corey Stewart is Trump’s Virginia chairman.
The Cruz organization is trying to get as many people in hopes that there will be a second ballot.
COREY STEWART: Yes.
JOHN YANG: Are they preparing for a war, are they arming for a battle that may not happen, do you think?
COREY STEWART: I think Cruz is counting on a lot of people to support him on a second ballot who are not going to go down in flames with him. They’re going to want to support the winner, and they’re going to support Trump.
JOHN YANG: And, of course, there’s another man in the race, John Kasich. He’s behind in the delegate count, but his top delegate adviser, Charlie Black, is undeterred.
CHARLIE BLACK, Advisor, Kasich Campaign: We believe, because a lot of those people are party regulars and elected officials, they will go to Kasich, more to Kasich than Cruz, because the big issue to those delegates when they sit down at the convention in Cleveland is: Who can win? Who can beat Hillary Clinton? And John Kasich’s been consistently ahead of her in the polls by 10 points.
JOHN YANG: Black knows about contested conventions: He was a delegate hunter at the last one in 1976. One of his aides? A 24-year-old John Kasich.
CHARLIE BLACK: In both cases you have to learn who the delegates are, communicate with them, talk to them, make friends with them, and try to convince them, in this case, for John Kasich that he’s the reform conservative who can win, and ask them to, whether its the second, third, fourth, fifth ballot, to keep him in mind.
JOHN YANG: But there is a floor fight in Cleveland, political analyst Farnsworth warns this won’t be your grandfather’s convention.
STEPHEN FARNSWORTH: This is completely new.
I sometimes think that this is a process of sort of like people today trying to understand how to use a telegraph. It is really a technological change. It’s really a very different system, the way that these delegates are selected today.
JOHN YANG: And if Trump fails to get the nomination on the first ballot, delegates selected at state conventions, like this weekend’s in Virginia, could well determine who will become the Republican nominee.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang.
The post GOP candidates jockey for delegate ‘free agents’ in Virginia appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It was an American bombing of an Afghan hospital that killed dozens last year. Today, the Pentagon released a 3,000-page-long inquiry into the attack and the major mistakes that led to it.
Hari Sreenivasan has the story.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The Pentagon laid out the key findings of its full investigation today, as well as the fallout affecting 16 service members.
Head of U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel:
GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL, Commander, U.S. Central Command: The investigation concluded that certain personnel failed to comply with the rules of engagement in the law of armed conflict.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital last October in Kunduz, Afghanistan killed 42 people. Of the 16 service members who were punished, one was a two-star general and some were specials ops forces. They face administrative actions, but Votel maintained their actions didn’t constitute a war crime.
GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL: The label war crimes is typically reserved for intentional acts, intentionally targeting civilians or intentionally targeting protected objects or locations.
The investigation found that the incident resulted from a combination of unintentional human errors, process errors and equipment failures, and that none of the personnel knew they were striking a hospital.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Even though they didn’t know they were hitting a hospital, the investigation found they made multiple fundamental and fatal errors.
For example, the AC-130 gunship’s targeting system became misaligned after its crew attempted to avoid fire over Kunduz. That resulted in their target appearing as an empty field, instead of a building filled with Taliban fighters firing on Afghan troops. The crew then switched its focus to the hospital, thinking it was the original target, based on descriptions relayed from special forces on the ground.
GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL: So the aircraft is looking at one location. The ground force is thinking they’re looking at another location. There’s no way to visually confirm that back and forth between them, and their discussions, as you look at the transcripts, don’t add clarity to that.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Officials from Doctors Without Borders called it an insufficient explanation.
In a statement, the group’s president wrote: “Today’s briefing amounts to an admission of an uncontrolled military operation in a densely populated urban area, during which U.S. forces failed to follow the basic laws of war.”
The organization pressed for an independent investigation. They pulled out of Kunduz entirely after the attack in October.
For more on the military’s investigation and the mistakes that were made, we turn to veteran Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre. He’s now with The Washington Examiner and an occasional special correspondent for the “NewsHour.”
Jamie, when we first started reported the story when it happened in October, the narrative was that U.S. forces or Afghan forces were under attack and that this air cover was there in almost a defensive capacity. But the report paints a different picture.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, Washington Examiner: That’s right.
This is a really important point, Hari, because unlike in Iraq, where U.S. airstrikes are routinely helping forces on the ground conduct offensive operations, in Afghanistan, that’s not supposed to be the case.
Combat officially ended in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, so U.S. airstrikes are limited to just three very specific instances, protecting U.S. troops on the ground, going after remnants of al-Qaida, and protecting Afghan forces, if they’re in danger of being overrun and slaughtered.
Now, the commander on the ground said he did this because his forces were under fire. But what the report shows is that they were nowhere near this building. They weren’t taking fire. In fact, he called in the airstrike in order to help the Afghan forces who were going to launch a raid on this government building where the Taliban was held up.
So this tragic accident, which has a whole series of factors involved, never would have happened if the commander on the ground had not exceeded his authority in calling in that airstrike which was essentially to soften up the target so Afghani forces could mount an offensive. That’s not something U.S. troops supposedly doing.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, so let’s talk about the series of errors that led to this tragedy.
First, Doctors Without Borders has said, listen, we tell everyone in the battle theater exactly where our locations are. The military has this list. But it looks like this flight took off without that list to begin with.
JAMIE MCINTYRE: Yes, there is no question this was a protected site that was not supposed to be hit. It was on a no-strike list.
But, as in any accident or mishap like this, there is a whole series of things that go wrong. You interrupt that chain at any point, the bad thing doesn’t happen. And this one started when the AC-130 gunship took off in what it thought was an emergency mission to go help some U.S. troops on the ground. Turned out they didn’t have to. They were on their way back.
Because of that, they took off early, didn’t have the no-strike list loaded into their plane. They also were then threatened by a shoulder-fired missile from the ground. That caused them to divert their course. Their radio antenna and satellite radio didn’t work, so they couldn’t get updated~ information.
As you said in your report, when they came back, they were at a different angle. The targeting system pointed them to an empty field. And then they made the really fatal mistake. And that was to try to identify the target visually on the ground based on the description that they had.
And they simply confused the hospital building for this government compound that was about a quarter-mile away. And once they thought that was the target, they were convinced. They were locked onto it. And they began really withering fire from the air that lasted almost a half-an-hour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And this is based~ off a description they’re getting from someone who’s on the ground not next to the hospital or next to where the fighting allegedly was happening, but several kilometers away.
JAMIE MCINTYRE: Yes, they were nine kilometers away.
And that’s another — normally, you have to have eyes on the target. There is somebody on the ground called a JTAC, joint tactical air controller, essentially a spotter who is spotting the target. They’re supposed to have eyes on the target. What the report found was, nobody had eyes on the target, not the Afghans, not the Americans.
And, of course, course, the crew of the plane didn’t either. And this, by the way, is a very fearsome weapon, this AC-130 gunship. It’s a modified AC-130 — C-130 aircraft with a series of cannons out the left side. It circles the target and just rains shells down on the target. It can really do damage to a target. And that’s what happened here.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Jamie, even in this report, there still seems to be a discrepancy in how long this attack took place. The government has one number and how many minutes the AC-130 was circling this hospital. But the Doctors Without Borders folks in the beginning had a different number.
JAMIE MCINTYRE: Yes, so they say it was about an hour-and-a-half.
And, by the way, they were making desperate calls to the U.S.~ military headquarters, saying, look, we’re being attacked. Call off that plane.
The Pentagon today admitted~ that those calls, as you might expect, went through some layers of bureaucracy before they — the message was passed to ground commanders. According to the Pentagon’s investigation, once they determined that was happening, the information was relayed to the plane crew, and they stopped shooting.
But, again, as you mentioned, there’s a discrepancy about that. And Doctors Without Borders has put out their own investigation, their own account of what happened based on the eyewitness reports of the people on the ground. And, really, it’s really just a horrific description of this very, very terrible tragedy that happened in the very early morning hours of the day.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Finally, let’s talk about what’s happening to these individuals. There were no criminal charges here. Why? And what happens to these people?
JAMIE MCINTYRE: Well, they decided not to court-martial anyone because they~ decided that this was an unintentional act, that at every step of the way, people were trying to do the right thing. They just made some very, very terrible mistakes.
Now, ~the people involved in this got reprimands. Some of them got ordered to do training. That in the military is a serious thing. They refer to that as a career-ending letter of reprimand, because once you get one of these in your file, you’re not going to be promoted. In the military, if you’re not promoted, you have to leave.
So, many of these people will end up leaving the military. And the Pentagon has made some changes since then. One thing they’re doing now is, they’re not sending out any planes out without pre-loading the information that has the no-strike list. You might think they had been doing that all along, but they weren’t.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Yes.
JAMIE MCINTYRE: And so they’re trying to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Washington Examiner Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre, thanks so much.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: A U.S. attack on a charity hospital in Afghanistan that left 42 people dead was not a war crime. That is the conclusion of a Pentagon investigation which determined the October strike was unintentional, the result of human error and equipment failures.
Sixteen U.S. service members have been disciplined as a result, but none will face criminal charges. We will delve deeper into the findings right after this news summary.
A protest and an endorsement stole much of the show in Republican presidential politics today.
John Yang begins our coverage.
JOHN YANG: A melee today, as protesters and police clashed outside the hotel hosting the California Republican Party Convention. The scheduled speaker? Front-runner Donald Trump. Because of the commotion, the candidate had to take the long way in.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: That wasn’t the easiest entrance I have ever made.
DONALD TRUMP: My wife called. She said, “There are helicopters following you.” And we did. And then we went under a fence and through a fence. And, oh, boy, it felt like I was crossing the border, actually.
DONALD TRUMP: It’s true.
JOHN YANG: It’s his second straight day in the state, and the second day marred by protests; 17 people were arrested outside his rally last night in Orange County.
MAN: Live from the heartland!
JOHN YANG: From a hotly contested Indiana, the state’s top Republican, Governor Mike Pence, told Republican listeners who won his coveted endorsement.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), Indiana: I’m not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the upcoming Republican primary. I see Ted Cruz as a principled conservative who’s dedicated his career to advocating the Reagan agenda. And I’m pleased to support him.
JOHN YANG: The Texas senator is banking on a good showing in the Hoosier State next week.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Republican Presidential Candidate: We have a choice. Do we want to get behind a campaign that is based on yelling and screaming and cursing and insults, or do we want to unite behind a positive, optimistic, forward-looking, conservative campaign based on real solutions to the problems in this country?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
JOHN YANG: Democrat Bernie Sanders is also hoping for a good result in Indiana. Today, he had tough words for a major employer in Indianapolis, its now-shuttered factory providing the backdrop.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Today, we are sending a very loud and clear message to the CEO of United Technologies: Stop the greed. Stop destroying the middle class in America. Respect your workers. Respect the American people.
JOHN YANG: Sanders, though, is still the underdog for the nomination, trailing Hillary Clinton by about 300 pledged delegates, by 800 if you count superdelegates.
Clinton ended her two-day break from the public eye in New York City, talking race and education.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Given the right circumstances, given the appropriate adult involvement and attention, every child can succeed. And we have got to believe that, and we have got to invest in that.
JOHN YANG: In 2008, Clinton beat then-Senator Obama in the Indiana primary.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We will take a closer look at the presidential race, including the key role the individual delegates will play in selecting a nominee, later in the program.
In Syria, fresh violence rocked the war-torn city of Aleppo today. Insurgents shelled a mosque in a government-held neighborhood, killing at least 15 people. Meanwhile, new air raids hit rebel-controlled areas of Aleppo, while the death toll from Wednesday’s strike on a hospital rose to 50, all that as the U.S. and Russia tried to reinforce a cease-fire in a Damascus suburb, and in the port city of Latakia.
MARK TONER, State Department Spokesman: We want to focus on strengthening the cessation of hostilities, renewing it, reaffirming it, so that we can quell the fighting or the violations, the ongoing violations in these areas. We’re fully aware of that. Aleppo is a trouble spot. But we’re starting here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Violence in and around Aleppo has claimed the lives of more than 200 people in just the last eight days.
North Korea’s Supreme Court has sentenced a Korean-American businessman to 10 years of hard labor, after finding him guilty of spying and stealing state secrets. Kim Dong Chul appeared today in court in Pyongyang. He was handcuffed and could be seen wiping away tears. Kim is the second American imprisoned by North Korea this year.
The U.S. reported its first Zika virus-related death today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a 70-year-old man in Puerto Rico died from complications from the mosquito-borne virus. The U.S. territory has at least 683 confirmed Zika cases; 65 of those are pregnant women.
Vice President Biden visited the Vatican today, and called for a global commitment to the fight against cancer. His appearance was part of the Vatican’s conference on regenerative medicine. The vice president met Pope Francis, and in a speech urged philanthropists, corporations, and governments to increase cancer research funding.
VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: As we stand on the cusp of unprecedented scientific and technological change, of amazing discoveries that were once unimaginable breakthroughs, we cannot forget that real lives and real people are at the heart and reason for all that we do.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The vice president’s elder son died of brain cancer last year. Months later, Mr. Biden declared a — quote — “moon shot” to cure cancer, when he announced he wouldn’t run for president.
The Eurozone has bounced back to pre-recession levels after an eight-year financial crisis. Its economy unexpectedly doubled in the first three months of this year.
Meanwhile, on Wall Street, stocks fell after the U.S. economy recorded its slowest pace of growth in two years. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 57 points to close at 17773. The Nasdaq fell nearly 30, and the S&P 500 dropped 10. For the week, both the Dow and the S&P 500 lost more than a percent. The Nasdaq fell nearly 3 percent.
And a treasure trove of ancient Roman coins has been unearthed in Southern Spain. Construction workers made the discovery while laying pipes in a small town outside Seville. The 1,300 pounds of bronze- and silver-coated coins had been stored in clay jugs. Archaeologists say they date back to the late 4th century, when Romans ruled the region.
ANA NAVARRO ORTEGA, Director, Andalucian Archaeological Museum (through interpreter): We had already seen coins like this, but what is incredible is a discovery of this dimension. There are 19 jugs full. I can assure you that the jugs cannot be lifted by one person because of all the weight and the quantity of the coins inside. So now what we have to do is begin to understand the historical and archaeological context of this discovery.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Researchers believe the coins had been stored away to pay for soldiers or civil servants. Images of Emperors Constantine and Maximian were on the coins. No women, of course.
Still to come on the “NewsHour”: a deeper look into the U.S. bombing of an Afghan hospital; selecting the delegates who will hold the keys to the presidential nomination; Mark Shields and David Brooks delve into this week’s news; and much more.
The post News Wrap: Protesters and police clash at Trump rally appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — She has no stamina. She shouts. She’s got nothing going for her but being a woman.
Donald Trump, after toying with gender politics off and on during the campaign, is all in on a mission to undercut Hillary Clinton’s credentials by syncing up his say-anything campaign strategy with his alpha-male persona.
The same Republican presidential candidate who mocked “little” Marco Rubio, dismissed “low-energy” Jeb Bush and promises to “cherish” and “protect” women as president is dismissing the former senator, secretary of state and first lady as little more than a token female who’s playing the “woman’s card.”
“Frankly, all I’m doing is stating the obvious,” Trump insisted, when pressed about whether his latest Clinton take-downs were sexist. “Without the woman’s card, Hillary would not even be a viable person to run for city council.”
That message may resonate with one subset of the electorate and touch off outrage with another. But for many other voters, Trump’s line of attack is simply baffling when America is trying to deal with far more complex matters of gender, such as gay marriage and transgender rights.
“It’s a very simplistic notion of gender,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. She said Trump is “putting out there a notion of masculinity” that fits with popular images of the presidency. “He is playing the gender card but not connecting it to policy, instead connecting it to his own macho image and his bravado.”
Trump’s messages about women represent a tangle of views, said Stanley Renshon, a political psychologist at the City University of New York.
There’s the Trump who has no qualms about advancing women within his business enterprises, the Trump who disparages women just because “I can say whatever comes to mind,” and the retrograde Trump who never outgrew an adolescent fixation with desirable and beautiful women, Renshon said.
“I don’t think he knows how to talk about them in a modern sensibility way,” said Renshon, adding that the billionaire businessman is not used to having his utterances corrected by anyone.
Trump rival Ted Cruz says the GOP front-runner’s attacks on Clinton are unsurprising.
“Donald Trump has a real problem with strong women,” Cruz said. “It’s one of the reasons he can’t win a general election.”
Trump’s issues with women in the campaign extend well beyond Clinton.
He has mocked the face of onetime GOP rival Carly Fiorina, who’s now Cruz’s running mate. He’s retweeted an unflattering image of Heidi Cruz, the Texas senator’s wife, juxtaposed with a glamorous photo of his wife, Melania. He engaged in a long-running dispute with Megyn Kelly of Fox News in which he dismissed her as a “lightweight” and “bimbo,” and described her at one point as having “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
He was just as unfiltered in his thoughts about women and their appearances before entering politics. In 1996, Trump reportedly described a Miss Universe who had gained weight as “an eating machine.” He described Rosie O’Donnell as “my nice fat little Rosie” in a 2006 spat. In 2012, he tweeted that Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington was “unattractive both inside and out.”
None of this has seemed to bother Trump’s loyal followers in the GOP primaries. But it could be a different matter in the general election, when Republican candidates typically suffer from a gender gap. In every presidential election since 1980, a greater proportion of women than men preferred the Democratic candidate.
“The challenge for Republican candidates has been trying to make some inroads into that women’s vote,” Walsh said. “And it’s hard to imagine that Donald Trump, as of right now, is well positioned to be the Republican candidate to make those inroads, given the things that he’s said.”
A woman’s candidacy can cut both ways with voters.
In an Associated Press-GfK poll in February, 14 percent said a female candidate would be at least somewhat less likely to get their vote. Likewise, 19 percent said a woman would be at least somewhat more likely to get their vote.
In the primaries, Trump has drawn a disproportionate amount of his support from men, with an average of 44 percent of men and 36 percent of women supporting him in states where exit polls were conducted.
Further, in a recent AP-GfK poll, women (66 percent) were slightly more likely than men (60 percent) to say they definitely would not vote for Trump in a general election.
Karlyn Bowman, a public opinion analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, cautioned that both Trump and Clinton “have a problem with gender in this election.”
“Trump’s is more serious,” she added, pointing to his high unfavorable ratings with women, who make up a larger share of the electorate than do men.
Clinton, she said, shows significant weakness with white men, particularly white working-class males.
The question in November, Bowman said, will be whether party loyalty will trump gender politics.
“Party is really powerful in the end,” she said.
Clinton is betting on gender.
After playing down women’s issues in her 2008 campaign against Barack Obama, this time Clinton is embracing the historic nature of her candidacy and playing up her roles as grandmother and longtime advocate for women. She happily addressed Trump’s accusations that she was making much of her candidacy as a woman.
“If fighting for women’s health care, and paid family leave, and equal pay is playing the woman card,” she said, “then deal me in.”
As for Trump’s intemperate remarks, Clinton told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that she “could really care less.”
“I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak,” she said. “I’m not going to deal with their temper tantrums or their bullying or their efforts to try to provoke me.”
Associated Press writer Scott Bauer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and AP News Survey Specialist Emily Swanson contributed to this report.
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HARRISBURG, Pa. — A solid majority of Pennsylvania Republicans elected as delegates to the GOP’s presidential nominating convention in Cleveland say they intend to vote for the candidate who won a thumping primary victory in their state – Donald Trump.
The ballot didn’t tell voters which candidate the delegates support, and the 54 people who were elected can vote for whomever they want. It’s an unusual system that raised the prospect that the Pennsylvania contingent could be decisive in depriving Trump of the nomination by scattering to his rivals despite his victory in the state.
That appears unlikely.
A canvass of the winners by The Associated Press after Tuesday’s primary found that 40 of the 54 intend to vote for Trump, propelling him closer to the support he needs to win the nomination on the first vote at the convention in July.
About two-thirds of those 40 were Trump supporters from the start; the rest said they would support him because he won their congressional district. Four are expected to vote for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, nine are uncommitted and one is waiting for a final tally in her congressional district.
Several Trump supporters reported getting significant logistical help from Trump’s team during their own campaign to become delegates. Trump took 57 percent of the Republican vote statewide and won all 67 counties, and the strength of that performance also has delegates committing to him.
“On all ballots, I will vote for Donald Trump,” said James Klein, a delegate-elect from central Pennsylvania. “It’s Trump or consequences, Donald or the door.”
What some of the other 53 elected delegates had to say:
Mary Ann Meloy ran as an uncommitted delegate and plans to remain that way for now. The Pittsburgh resident says the state’s rules were drawn up to give her latitude to take into account events leading to the convention, including Trump’s considerable support in western Pennsylvania.
“There are just so many things that can happen in this world between now and July when we take that first vote,” said Meloy, a semi-retired public affairs consultant who has held several appointed posts in state and federal government. “I really prefer to wait.”
“Truly uncommitted” delegate Gordon Denlinger, a former state lawmaker who is now a managing partner of a venture capital firm, said he’ll give great weight to how his district in the heart of Amish country voted – Trump won it with 44 percent.
But he’s also weighing factors such as electability, leadership and adherence to conservative principles
NOT GOING TO SWITCH
Wayne Buckwalter ran for delegate on a promise to vote for Trump, and he said he’ll stick with that candidate no matter what.
He said the Trump campaign’s organization impressed him from its first contact in November, providing advice and help circulating petitions and printed matter to hand out at the polls.
“I’ve been saying for months I will vote for Trump in the first through the last ballot,” said Buckwalter, an estate and trusts lawyer from suburban Philadelphia.
“The way the Pennsylvania system goes, the only thing people are bound by is their morality,” he said. Will he ever switch from Trump? “Never.”
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN
Scott Uehlinger, a retired CIA operations officer and retired naval officer, did not emphasize his support for Trump during the campaign, instead promising to cast his vote however his district voted. Like the rest of Pennsylvania, his district went for Trump.
“The people’s choice was Trump, and I have no problem with it,” said Uehlinger, who lives near Allentown in eastern Pennsylvania.
THE INEVITABLE WINNER
Jim Vasilko, a construction company owner in Johnstown, likes Trump’s views on trade and immigration, and ran as a delegate committed to vote for Trump at the convention. Vasilko has a hard time envisioning a contested convention.
“The way I look at it is, he is ahead by millions of votes and hundreds of delegates and to sit there and try to deny him the nomination is just asinine,” Vasilko said. Trump “says out loud what the rest of us feel.”
Delegate-elect Rick Morelli has been called a couple of times recently by the Cruz campaign – including by the candidate’s wife, Heidi – “asking a couple questions, stating the fact that their campaign would like to stay in touch.”
The software salesman from Sugarloaf in northeastern Pennsylvania believes “there will be shenanigans” from those who want to nominate others, but that won’t sway him from supporting Trump “the whole way through.”
THE OTHER 17
Pennsylvania will also send 17 other people to the convention who will be bound to vote for Trump, as the statewide winner, on the first ballot.
This report was written by Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy of the Associated Press.
The post Pennsylvania GOP voting delegates voice strong support for Trump appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Iraqi officials declared a state of emergency in Baghdad Saturday after thousands of protesters climbed over the blast walls of the capital’s fortified international government center and broke into parliament.
Security forces fired tear gas and bullets into the air in an effort to disperse the crowd and stop more demonstrators from entering, Reuters reported.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 30, 2016
The protesters were spurred by resistance leader Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who held a news conference after members of parliament postponed a vote to approve new ministers.
Al-Sadr has accused politicians of blocking reforms against corruption.
“They are against reform, they hope to behead the will of the Iraqi people,” he said of the country’s politicians, according to the Washington Post. “I’m with the people, no matter what they decide. I’m standing and waiting for a major uprising of the Iraqi people.”
While he reportedly did not call for demonstrators to enter the Green Zone, the most secure area in the country and home to many ministries and foreign embassies, he has threatened this action in the past.
Within minutes of his speech, protesters pulled down the heavy concrete walls and also scaled them, according to the Associated Press.
“We are all with you (al-Sadr),” one group of men yelled as they entered the building’s main chamber, the AP reported.
Videos from the scene showed demonstrators smashing vehicles and waving flags, dancing and chanting inside parliament.
The failure to hold the vote for a reshuffle escalated months of demonstrations and sit-ins, as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi keeps promising to reform but is stunted by politicians who don’t want change.
Special forces from Iraq’s army were dispatched in armored vehicles to protect the area, according to Reuters. Roads were also blocked with checkpoints as security tightened around the capital.
Iraq’s political unrest has been exacerbated by multiple crises. Plummeting oil prices have added to economic instability while the country struggles to fight an insurgent Islamic State.
Earlier on Saturday, a truck bombing killed at least 21 people and wounded at least 42 others in a market filled with Shiite civilians. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
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WASHINGTON — Two months, 31 arguments and 18 decisions since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, is the Supreme Court hopelessly deadlocked or coping as a party of eight?
The answer varies with the issue, but arguments last week in the corruption case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell show there are high-profile cases on which justices from the left and the right agree more often than they don’t.
There also is some indication, hazy though it may be, that the court is trying to avoid division in an era of stark political partisanship and during a rollicking presidential campaign.
“The court prides itself appropriately as being an institution that works,” said Washington lawyer Andy Pincus, who argues regularly at the Supreme Court.
If the court can demonstrate an ability to get its work done, that could reinforce Republican opposition to confirming federal Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia, who died in February.
At the same time, the court has split 4-4 in two cases and part of a third, and the justices could end up similarly divided over immigration, birth control and a couple of other issues. Scalia’s death has deprived the court’s conservatives of a fifth, majority-making vote on some high-profile issues.
In McDonnell’s appeal of his corruption convictions, however, liberal and conservative justices seemed to share a deep skepticism of the government’s case. They strongly suggested that the court eventually will set aside his criminal conviction.
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and the justice between them on the ideological spectrum, Anthony Kennedy, all sharply questioned the government’s case against McDonnell. The onetime rising Republican star was convicted of accepting, along with his wife, Maureen, more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement.
Breyer said he worried about putting too much power in the hands of a criminal prosecutor, “who is virtually uncontrollable.” Roberts said perhaps the court should strike at the root of the problem and declare unconstitutional a key federal bribery law.
The justices long have expressed their discomfort about overzealous prosecutors and their pursuit of corruption charges, previously limiting the very law Roberts speculated about Wednesday. Scalia was a loud voice against the “honest services” fraud statue, but he was not alone.
If corruption prosecutions are one area in which ideology seems less important, concern about digital-age privacy is another. Two years ago, the court unanimously ruled for a suspected gang member after police searched his smartphone without a warrant.
On both topics, the fear of unbridled government power worries liberals and conservatives alike.
In two more cases, the court unanimously turned away Republican- and conservative-led voting rights challenges in Arizona and Texas. Both cases still might have come out the same way – with the challengers losing – had Scalia been on the court.
But John Elwood, a lawyer who writes a popular feature about the court’s caseload for Scotusblog, said he thinks the court resolved the cases more narrowly after Scalia’s death, perhaps to avoid division.
The court doesn’t just miss Scalia’s vote, but his distinctive voice as well. The biggest difference at the court since Scalia’s death has been the way the justices relate to each other during arguments that once were filled with Scalia’s pointed barbs and wry wit.
In some arguments, Justice Sonia Sotomayor has adopted a more aggressive tone, even challenging Roberts or interrupting his line of questioning. During arguments last month over the Obama health care law’s contraception mandate, Roberts suggested that women who work at faith-based groups that object to birth control coverage could instead apply for it through the federal insurance exchanges.
“That’s a falsehood,” Sotomayor said before Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. could respond.
In a second case involving Puerto Rico’s financial plight, Sotomayor essentially answered a question Roberts had asked lawyer Chris Landau.
The exchange prompted Roberts to say: “You came up with a very good answer, Mr. Landau, to my question.”
In a case involving the federal Clean Water Act, Elwood said Kennedy seemed to fill the role once played by Scalia as the law’s chief skeptic.
In last week’s McDonnell case, Kennedy offered a tart response to Justice Department lawyer Michael Dreeben’s assertion that it would be stunning if the court were to strike down long-standing anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.
“Would it be absolutely stunning to say that the government has given us no workable standard?” Kennedy asked.
In some ways, the justices could be trying on roles as they adjust to life without Scalia. There are fewer big cases in the pipeline for next term, almost certainly a product of the court’s desire to avoid controversial topics until the bench is once again full.
The eight-justice court probably will be around for a while – at least through the presidential election in November and possibly some months beyond that.
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As Ecuador grapples with a lengthy recovery following an earthquake earlier this month, some American politicians and immigration advocacy groups are requesting the Department of Homeland Security use a little-known law to extend the stay of Ecuadorians living in the United States.
Lawmakers including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on the Obama administration this week to designate Temporary Protected Status for Ecuadorians in the U.S.
TPS is a program enacted as part of the U.S. Immigration Act of 1990 which allows the government to extend the stay of foreigners whose countries are affected by war, natural disaster or another urgent need — like the threat of Ebola.
More than 650 Ecuadorians were killed and 16,000 were injured after 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck on April 16, toppling buildings and leaving widespread destruction in cities and towns along the northern coast of the South American country. Several dozen people are still missing amid the ruins.
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-ill.) and de Blasio both sent letters and made public statement this week backing the designation, with these politicians representing some of the more significant Ecuadorian populations in the country.
“New York City alone is home to nearly 140,000 Ecuadorian immigrants,” de Blasio said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “Many of these New Yorkers face additional uncertainty about whether it is safe for them to return to Ecuador at this time. We must extend whatever support we can at this critical moment.”
The call comes amid a contentious presidential election season that has once again brought the long-standing issue of immigration to the forefront.
Approximately 340,000 people from eight countries were in the U.S. under the TPS program as of 2014. Those with TPS status are protected from being deported and are permitted to work on a temporary basis, according to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), which tracks the movements of migrants across the globe.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, TPS status is granted for a period of six to 18 months, but has in some cases been extended for decades. People from 13 countries have been granted TPS status.
More than 200,000 El Salvadorans, an estimated 64,000 Hondurans and some 58,000 Haitians have been allowed to stay in the country under TPS, according to the MPI.
Critics of the program point to the TPS’ ability to grant protections to those who overstayed their visas or entered the U.S. illegally.
One such critic, Mark Krikorian, executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for a reduction in the number of immigrants allowed into the United States, called the law the “earthquake lottery for illegal aliens.”
“There’s nothing as permanent as a temporary refugee,” he wrote on the organization’s website this week.
Roughly 143,000 Ecuadorians reside in the U.S. illegally, many of them centered in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California and Florida, according to an MPI map that estimates the number of Ecuadorians living in the U.S. between 2009 and 2013,
But Muzaffar Chishti, an attorney and director of MPI’s office at the NYU School of Law, said based on precedence Ecuadorians likely qualify for the status, barring a spillover from the current presidential race.
“It appears to me to be the appropriate situation,” he said, in an interview with the PBS NewsHour. “If we saw resistance or an unfortunate failure of the (Obama) administration it would demonstrate the chilling effect this election has had on immigration.”
Gutierrez, who wrote a letter to the president on Monday requesting TPS status for the Ecuadorians and citing the “magnitude of destruction” in their home country, said the law allows Mr. Obama to make the designation without Congressional approval.
“The United States Congress created TPS for exactly these types of dire circumstances in foreign countries, when those citizens cannot safely return to their country and are already living in the U.S.,” he wrote. “Ecuadorians cannot safely return home.”
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Read the full transcript below:
Phil Hirschkorn: Simon Goodman has spent 20 years searching for his family’s art collection looted by the Nazis in World War II. Much of the art, taken from Jewish families, was intended to stock Adolf Hitler’s planned museum in Linz, Austria. Goodman’s grandfather, Fritz, was a wealthy Dutch banker who amassed a great art collection with his wife, Louise.
Simon Goodman: He had at least 60 Old Masters, some of them very important. Some Impressionists.
Phil Hirschkorn: After the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, Hitler’s art agents forced Fritz and Louise to sell, telling them if they did, they would survive.
Simon Goodman: They take everything…all the way down to the China teacups. The trick was that they would be given a train ticket to Italy. And that train ticket ended up taking them to a concentration camp instead.
Phil Hirschkorn: Goodman’s grandparents were killed in the camps. His father, Bernard, living in England, survived the war, got married, and had Simon and his brother, Nick. Bernard traveled frequently to look for the missing art. Some resurfaced in the Netherlands, but it was a fight to get it back.
Simon Goodman: The Dutch government didn’t consider a forced sale to be any kind of extenuating circumstances. They said, “It’s still a sale. You complied. You signed this contract.”
Phil Hirschkorn: After Bernard died in 1994, boxes of his papers arrived at Simon’s doorstep in Los Angeles. As Simon recounts in his new memoir, “The Orpheus Clock,” a reference to a piece that he eventually recovered, his father’s quest became his own.
One of the most important pieces of evidence that was in your father’s papers was an envelope with three black-and-white slides. What did that show?
Simon Goodman: I held them up to the light. They were obviously French Impressionist paintings. So we had them blown up. And then we started asking around. I could clearly see one was by Edgar Degas.
Phil Hirschkorn: This 1980 Degas landscape was a painting his grandparents were forced to sell. Simon first saw a color image of it in a book at UCLA Library in 1995.
Simon Goodman: So really, my life changes at that point.
Phil Hirschkorn: The collector who had purchased the Degas had donated it to the Art Institute of Chicago. Simon and his brother sued and in 1998 were named the rightful owners. They agreed to split the value of the painting with the collector, and the museum bought out their half. The successful claim was the first case of its kind in the U.S., and many more have followed for them and for other families, in other museums and in other countries.
Lucian Simmons: It’s like a forensic job. You’re trying to piece together the ownership history of a painting.
Phil Hirschkorn: Lucian Simmons’ job is to check artworks offered to Sotheby’s Auction House and weed out any with a tainted past by checking documents, physically examining the art and checking databases of missing works.
Lucian Simmons: That process is designed to ascertain whether or not the painting could have been in, if you like, the wrong place at the wrong time. Could have been in continental Europe between 1933 and 1945 and could have been stolen. Once in a blue moon we find a picture which was with a bad person, somebody who’s a red flag.
Phil Hirschkorn: So, I guess the easy ones to reject are the ones that have been reported stolen in the Art Loss Register and similar databases?
Lucian Simmons: We wouldn’t reject them. What we do is to say to our consigner, our client, “Look, we have a problem here. Let’s now sit down together and try and work out if we can bring about a resolution.”
Phil Hirschkorn: I imagine the reaction is, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I paid good money for this. I did nothing wrong. I have a legal bill of sale.”
Lucian Simmons: It’s a typical reaction. Or people say, “I never knew. I inherited this from my grandmother.”
It’s a shock. But my job is to actually talk people off the ledge, and then try and make it in from a bad story to a good story.
Phil Hirschkorn: Simmons and Sotheby’s were able to turn a bad story into a good story by selling this Paris street scene by French impressionist Camille Pissarro. The painting had belonged to a German-Jewish businessman killed in the Holocaust. When the painting resurfaced in the Israel Museum 60 years later, the family made a claim. The museum returned it to the family, who took it to Sotheby’s, who sold it for $31,000,000 in 2014. Museums are often caught in the middle.
Eric Lee: Before we buy a work of art, we do as much research as we can.
Phil Hirschkorn: Eric Lee is director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. After a flurry of looted art claims, 15 years ago American museums adopted guidelines telling them how to handle Nazi-looted art.
Eric Lee: It’s an ongoing process, but there are always gaps. And rarely do we have a history of complete ownership of a work of art from the time it was created until today.
Phil Hirschkorn: The Kimbell decided to review everything and be transparent, posting online the ownership histories, calling the Provenance. Sometimes this process meant reckoning with uncomfortable truths. This canvass by 19th century British painter Joseph Turner hung in the museum for 40 years. In 2006, a family came forward with proof the painting was looted from them. The Kimbell returned it and then repurchased at auction for $6,000,000. A big price for doing the right thing, and then it happened again.
Eric Lee: It’s a sculpture of extremely high quality of a very beautiful woman from the Italian Renaissance.
Phil Hirschkorn: In 2011, Lee was shown this photograph of the sculpture in the hands of a special allied army unit dedicated to post-war art recovery, “The Monuments Men,” who found it stashed with Nazi loot in an Austrian salt mine.
Eric Lee: I was completely floored by this. We had no idea that the sculpture had been taken by the Nazis.
Phil Hirschkorn: Because the sculpture was returned after the war to the rightful owners before being resold, the Kimbell got to keep it. The latest looted art case to be settled in the U.S. involved the University of Oklahoma.
David Boren: Hit me right between the eyes the minute I learned of this.
Phil Hirschkorn: What university president David Boren learned about in 2012 was that there was a problem with a gift of 30 paintings bequeathed to the school by a prominent Oklahoma family 12 years earlier. Among them was this Pissarro painting of a shepherdess. After the war, it travelled from France to Switzerland, the Netherlands and New York, where a gallery sold it to the Oklahoma family in 1956. Just four year ago, the heir of a Jewish couple whose collection was looted during the Nazi occupation of France, said the Pissarro was hers. Then she sued the university in federal court to get it back.
David Boren: So we were confronted with a very difficult situation. A very generous donor who in good faith gave us this art, and another family that clearly had this art stolen from them by the Nazis.
Phil Hirschkorn: Last month, the university settled the case, ceding title, or ownership, to the French claimant and agreeing to share its public display: a few years in Paris, then a few years in Oklahoma and back again.
David Boren: It’s an ethical and moral issue, not just a legal issue. We weren’t about to try to compromise our ethics in order to continue to build collections.
Phil Hirschkorn: Claudia Shaum’s family never had a big collection, but her grandparents bought some paintings in the 1920s and 30s. Decades later, her parents inherited them, including this small picture of “a man and a wife weighing gold” by a 17th century Dutch artist. It hung in the Manhattan apartment where Shaum grew up.
Claudia Shaum: I remember exactly where it was. Passed by it every day.
Phil Hirschkorn: When her father died in 2011, Shaum and her siblings tried to sell it along with other paintings he owned. Sotheby’s auctioned five of them, but declined to sell the Dutch painting, which had been appraised at $400,000. The red flag? A Nazi officer named “Menton” once possessed it. Shaum was unable to prove it was never stolen.
Claudia Shaum: Sotheby’s just said, “Full stop, out, we’re not touching it.” And their recommendation, at the time, was “Just have a family member hang it on their wall, because that’s just all that’s ever going to happen to this painting.”
Phil Hirschkorn: It’s tainted?
Claudia Shaum: Yeah. Exactly.
Phil Hirschkorn: In the past year, Shaum gave up. Today, it hangs in her brother’s home. Ironically, the notoriety of being looted can add value to an art work.
Lucian Simmons: It’s a rare picture, and it’s in beautiful condition.
Phil Hirschkorn: Since Lucian Simmons started his job at Sotheby’s 21 years ago, the auction house has cleared and sold $800,000,000 of once-looted art.
Lucian Simmons: They used to say, “Don’t mention this difficult history of a painting. People won’t want to know that this belonged maybe to a Nazi, or stolen from a Jewish family.” But now people have gone the other way in that they actually want to hear the story. They want to hear the background of the painting.
Phil Hirschkorn: Next month, Sotheby’s will auction this painting from 1660 by the Dutch artist Gabriel Metsu. It belonged to the Rothschild family in Vienna, until the Nazis took it in 1938 and hung it in Hitler’s residence in Munich. The Monuments Men found it after the war with a Nazi inventory number on the back.
Lucian Simmons: The accounts clerks in the museum marked this AR, this is Alfonse von Rothschild, 8-5-7.
Phil Hirschkorn: A story that is part of the marketing of a painting estimated to be worth six to eight million dollars.
Lucian Simmons: The provenance is certainly going to add to its rarity, add to its appeal.
Phil Hirschkorn: Hitler’s museum never got built, but tens of thousands art works stolen in his name are unaccounted for. Simon Goodman is still searching. He currently has a claim against the Boijmans museum in Rotterdam for these hand-painted Renaissance-era dishes. Only recently, did Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum return his family’s 500-year-old silver and gold pitcher and these 17th century Chinese vases.
Are you doing this for the money?
Simon Goodman: The money is important, because it’s our–it’s my delayed inheritance. It’s my family’s heritage. These are our belongings.
But my primary motivation is, as long as these things are out there that belong to my family, and it’s my duty to get them back. Because otherwise, in a way, Hitler won.
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BURLINGAME, Calif. — The Republican Party in California has been riven for decades between those who want to tack to the ideological center to expand its diminishing appeal and those who want it to enforce conservative purity.
But the prospect of Donald Trump clinching the nomination in the Golden State has scrambled the party’s political fault lines in advance of its pivotal June primary, forging unexpected alliances that blur those longstanding divisions.
Trump has snapped up support from stalwarts on California’s right, like conservative activist Ted Costa and former state Sen. Tony Strickland, and its middle, like former congressman Doug Ose. But Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz might also be effectively helped by big-tent Republicans trying to stop Trump.
“There’s always been that conservative versus moderate, can you speak to the middle or only to the base? And this transcends that,” said Tim Clark, Trump’s state director and a seasoned GOP strategist here.
California caps the epic Republican contest with its June 7 primary. It will be the first time in memory that the state’s unusual system could decide a presidential nomination. The state will parcel out most of its delegates to the winners of each of its 53 congressional districts, with only 13 going to the statewide winner.
The state’s Republican presidential primaries are usually low-profile affairs, occurring after the nomination has been clinched. All sides agree that makes it very hard to predict how this race, expected to draw millions to the polls, will go.
There’s no question it will be tumultuous. That was made clear at the state party convention in Burlingame, a suburb just outside San Francisco airport. On Friday, Trump had to enter the convention hotel from a rear entrance to avoid hundreds of demonstrators who had pushed through police barricades to the front door of the hotel. The previous night, after the front-runner’s rally in Orange County, protesters damaged police cars and struggled with police.
California, the home turf of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, was once a reliable Republican state in presidential elections. But the party’s fortunes started to erode in the late 1990s after a series of measures targeting immigrants, which alienated growing segments of the state’s population. In 2007, then-Gov. Schwarzenegger warned party members that the GOP was “dying at the box office.”
The party has continued to shrivel – Republican registration accounts for just 28 percent of the state total. Democrats control every statewide office and both chambers of the Legislature. Republicans consider it a victory just to win one-third of state legislative races so it can have a say in state budgeting.
A polarizing figure like Trump might actually make the party’s relationship with California’s growing Hispanic and Asian voters worse, analysts warn. “He does nothing to ease that,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a veteran California political analyst at the University of Southern California.
The upcoming primary has triggered a surge in new voter registrations and they are overwhelmingly young, Democratic and Latino, according to Paul Mitchell, who runs a political data firm in Sacramento. Some of those voters may be drawn by the promise of voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, but some may be registering to vote against Trump in November.
“Do the Republicans actually think they can win an election scaring every Hispanic in this country to death?” Kasich asked during a press conference in Burlingame Friday.
Still, California Republicans are angry, too, and that could help Trump. “If you’re a Republican in California, you have a Democratic president you don’t like, Hillary Clinton is likely to be the Democratic nominee, you have a Democratic governor,” said Matt Rexroad, a GOP consultant. “If you’re one of these Republicans and you think everything is going wrong, what’s the best way to throw a wrench in everything? Donald Trump.”
Ose, the former congressman viewed as a moderate, said that’s why people of all ideological stripes are coalescing around Trump. “It’s not about philosophy for most of these people,” Ose said. “People are just fed up with business as usual.”
Cruz’s state political director, Michael Schroeder, agreed. “The traditional moderate-conservative divide has been redefined by an establishment-anti-establishment divide,” he said. Since both Trump and Cruz are outsiders, “people are saying, ‘I have to choose,'” Schroeder added. “Then the alliances don’t become unlikely. They become likely.”
Trump’s campaign hopes his dominance of the airwaves will let him run the table in a state where ground-level campaigning is often eclipsed by television ads and the media. The Cruz campaign hopes its long time organizing in the state will let it capture enough delegates in individual districts to block Trump. Kasich would be a fit with more technocratic California Republicans but his little-funded campaign may not be enough to capture the coastal areas where he’d play best.
Even those skeptical of Trump see why his appeal is broad in a party that is powerless in California. Chuck Page is mayor of the Silicon Valley suburb of Saratoga and talks of his friendship with Democratic politicians. He said it’s hard to be a Republican in the state.
“Everybody pounds it into you that you can’t win without a dramatic change,” Page said after hearing Trump give a 30-minute speak filled with his trademark braggadocio and jokes. “Listening today — I don’t buy into it — but that could be a dramatic change.”
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WASHINGTON — In a key pickup for his California campaign, Ted Cruz is being endorsed by former Gov. Pete Wilson.
Two Republicans with knowledge of Wilson’s decision told The Associated Press that the former governor and U.S. senator will announce his support for Cruz on Saturday at the state Republican Party convention in Burlingame.
The Republicans spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly before the announcement.
In a year when outsiders have upended the presidential election, Wilson’s backing gives Cruz an influential ally within the party establishment. While Cruz is a tea party favorite and social conservative, Wilson is regarded as a moderate who could help Cruz draw support from the political middle.
California’s primary is June 7.
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There are many takeaways from a series on health written by Walt Whitman in 1858 and recently published online, but one thing is clear — the celebrated American poet was not a fan of vegetarians.
“Let the main part of a diet be meat, to the exclusion of all else,” he wrote.
The series called “Manly Health Training”, which Whitman wrote under the pseudonym Mose Velsor for a New York paper, was discovered by a graduate student last summer and was digitized for the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review.
While there are about 125 pages of tips and insights – including worries that diseases spread by prostitution threatened man’s ability to procreate – the New York Times pointed out his allegiance to meat, aligning him with the modern Paleo diet.
The path to a “noble-bodied, pure-bodied” according to Whitman, was an almost exclusively meat-based diet of lean meats. He said vegetarianism had a weakening effect, and did not mince words.
“We have seen New England and New York vegetarians, gaunt, hard, melancholy, and unhappy looking persons, that looked like anything else than a recommendation of their doctrine — for that is the proof, after all,” he wrote.
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An estimated 115 tons of elephant and rhino tusks confiscated by authorities were set ablaze in Kenya on Saturday to draw attention to the country’s continued fight against poaching.
Africa’s population of elephants and rhinos are dwindling, as poachers killed an estimated 20,000 elephants and 1,300 rhinos just last year.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta initiated the burning in Nairobi National Park.
Black market buyers from Asia and the United States have driven the price of ivory to $1,000 per pound, and rhino horn to $45,000 per pound, making it more expensive than gold, PBS NewsHour reported in January.
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Syrian warplanes pounded the city of Aleppo for a ninth straight day on Saturday as United States Secretary of State John Kerry prepared to meet with world leaders in Geneva to revive a fledgling ceasefire between government forces and rebel groups.
Upwards of 20 airstrikes on Saturday targeted 10 neighborhoods in Aleppo, with 250 civilians killed since April 22 on both sides of the conflict, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory on Human Rights, which monitors the atrocities that have enveloped the fractured nation since 2011.
At least 140 people linked to the rebels have been killed by the airstrikes and 19 children are among the dead, Reuters reports. Aleppo is home to rebels as well as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Despite the ceasefire that began on Feb. 27, SOHR said it documented 2,407 deaths over the last nine weeks, with some of the deaths possibly called by Russian warplanes.
“Out of the total human losses there are 465 fighters from the rebel and Islamic factions killed in the shelling and airstrikes by the regime forces and in the clashes against the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them, in addition to 682 civilian citizens, including 140 person under the age of 18,” SOHR said.
The airstrikes Saturday come a day after four medical facilities were attacked. Another hospital managed by Doctors Without Borders was damaged Thursday in a strike that killed 50 people.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday called for an immediate cessation to the “indiscriminate violence.”
“There can be no justification for these appalling acts of violence deliberately targeting hospitals and clinics, which are prohibited under International Humanitarian Law,” said Marianne Gasser, who leads the ICRC in Syria, in a statement. “People keep dying in these attacks. There is no safe place anymore in Aleppo. Even in hospitals.”
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— Chris Essner (@ChrisEssner) April 30, 2016
A grandmother and her four grandchildren drowned in a small Texas town when torrential rains caused massive flooding in their neighborhood early Saturday morning, police said.
Lesandra Ashberry, 64, and her grandchildren ages 9, 8, 7, and 6 were pulled away from their East Texas house in the town of Palestine about 100 miles from Dallas after they attempted to escape waters that rose above their home, the Associated Press reports.
The bodies of Ashberry and her grandchildren were discovered by neighbors and police in and around Ashberry’s house after reports of the missing family reached the authorities about 3:45 a.m., local media reported. As many as 30 people were left homeless as a result of the flooding.
“The water just came up extremely fast,” Palestine Police Chief James Muniz told a Houston news station. “Before they knew it, water was waist high, then chest high, and then it was roof line.”
As torrential rains moved through Palestine, high winds also tore through Lindale, Texas causing roofs and walls to collapse on several homes.
According to the National Weather Service, more than 7 inches of rain descended on Palestine in less than one hour. The service also issued severe thunderstorm and flash flood warning in Houston, Louisiana and Mississippi.
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A CSX freight train derailed in northeast Washington D.C. early Sunday morning.
The train left the tracks near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station, causing several overturned cars and a hazardous leak. The company said on Twitter 14 railcars had derailed.
— Beth Ponsot (@bponsot) May 1, 2016
One of the derailed cars is leaking sodium hydroxide.
Sodium hydroxide is a highly caustic substance that is used to neutralize acids and make sodium salts, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“CSX is working with first responders to contain the released product,” the company said in a statement. “We are grateful for the swift response from Washington D.C. first responders and other agencies.”
No injuries or evacuations were reported, the company said.
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) May 1, 2016
CSX released this statement:
At 6:40 a.m. on May 1, a CSX train traveling from Cumberland, Md. to Hamlet, N.C. derailed approximately 10 cars near 9th Street and Rhode Island Ave. near the Rhode Island Ave. Metro station. The CSX train had three locomotives and 175 total cars, including 94 loaded cars carrying mixed freight, and 81 empties. One derailed car is leaking sodium hydroxide, which is used to produce various household products including paper, soap and detergents. CSX is working with first responders to contain the released product. We are grateful for the swift response from Washington D.C. first responders and other agencies. CSX is working closely with them on this incident. No injuries have been reported. We will provide updates when available.
We will update this report as more information becomes available.
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Rev. Daniel Berrigan, a Roman Catholic priest whose resistance to the Vietnam War landed him in jail, died Saturday in New York City at the age of 94.
He died Saturday in New York after a “long illness” a spokesperson for the Murray-Weigel Hall, a Jesuit health community, told the AP.
Berrigan, who traveled to North Vietnam in 1968, was later sentenced to prison for burning draft cards to protest America’s involvement in the conflict, according to the Associated Press.
He and nine others were sentenced on federal charges for destroying United States property and disrupting the Selective Service Act of 1967, when they entered a Maryland draft hall in 1968 and set draft documents on fire in a garbage can.
Called the “Catonsville Nine,” all of the group’s members were sentenced to prison terms of 2 to 3.5 years, the AP said.
Berrigan and his brother, the Rev. Philip Berrigan, who was among those charged, went on to become leaders of the anti-war movement.
He later protested wars in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan and participated in the Occupy Wall Street Movement in New York, Reuters reported.
Born in Minnesota, Berrigan joined the Jesuit order in 1939 and became a priest in 1952.
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Daytona Beach, Florida-based iGun Technology Corp. has been developing a “smart gun,” a firearm that uses a ring with a chip in it to send a signal to a circuit board embedded in the firearm so that only an authorized user can fire the gun.
But this isn’t the only technology that exists or is being developed.
A look at other efforts to build a “smart gun” and earlier efforts at making firearms safer:
RFID or RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION
Armatix GmbH of Unterfoehring, Germany, has developed a handgun that uses a watch that sends signals to the handgun. The iP1 is a .22-caliber pistol that carries a 10-round magazine. The accompanying watch must be within 10 inches of the handgun for it to fire.
At least two gun dealers in the United States made it available to customers in 2014 – one in California, another in Maryland. Both ceased soon after amid an outcry among gun-rights advocates. One concern is a New Jersey law that mandates that within three years of a smart gun being commercially available, only those types of guns could be bought and sold in the state.
The cost also is considerably more than a standard handgun, which can generally run around $450. Instead, the iP1 costs more than $1,300 and the buyer also has to purchase the watch separately for an additional several hundred dollars.
Among those exploring the use of biometrics – similar to what is used to unlock some iPhones – is a teenager from Colorado. Kai Kloepfer received a grant from the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation to develop the technology, which would fire the handgun only when it recognized a finger placed on the grip.
Kloepfer was partly inspired by the shooting at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, in July 2012, which is about an hour from his home in Boulder. He has since founded Aegen Technologies, a startup company devoted to developing firearms using biometrics and other smart-gun technologies.
He will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall after taking a year off after high school to spend more time developing his technology.
WHAT OTHER SAFETY MECHANISMS EXIST?
Efforts to make guns safer with technology are not new.
Many firearms include “trigger guards,” the casing that loops under the trigger, and a “safety” switch that, when engaged, prevents the gun from firing, for example.
In the 1880s, Smith & Wesson made a revolver it called “child-proof.” It had what is known as a grip safety that must be squeezed at the same time the trigger is pulled for the gun to discharge. The company stopped making firearms with that feature in the 1940s.
Other companies still use a grip safety, including the iGun Technology shotgun that also includes a programmable ring that sends a signal to the firearm to discharge. Springfield Armory produces a line of handguns with a grip safety, including the XD Compact model. It was involved in an accidental shooting in March. Authorities said a 4-year-old boy in Florida was in the back seat when he shot his mother, who was driving, with the .45-caliber handgun.
WHAT THE GUN LOBBY SAYS
The gun lobby is wary of the smart-gun technologies and questions their reliability.
In a crisis, the gun owner needs to have confidence that it’s a reliable weapon of defense – that it works and works instantaneously.
“There’s no way to practice for the batteries going dead or just when it doesn’t recognize your print,” said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. “You don’t want to be messing with buttons. … The bad guy in your home isn’t going to have to boot up his weapon.”
While the gun lobby has reservations about the reliability of the technology, it contends it is not opposed to people looking to develop a smart gun. It is concerned that if a smart gun were successfully brought to market, it would propel the government to then mandate that all firearms have that technology.
“We, the industry, are not opposed to R&D and development of this technology. We’re only opposed to mandates,” said Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents manufacturers. “Not everybody wants or needs that feature.”
This report was written by the Associated Press.