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FBI and US military personnel arrive in Sri Lanka to help investigate bombings

FBI and US military personnel arrive in Sri Lanka to help investigate bombingsThe Islamic State claimed responsibility for bombings at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that killed 359 and injured 500.



In Mexico, migrants turn to 'The Beast' after highway raids

In Mexico, migrants turn to 'The Beast' after highway raidsIXTEPEC, Mexico (AP) — The train known as "The Beast" is once again rumbling through the night loaded with people headed toward the U.S. border after a raid on a migrant caravan threatened to end the practice of massive highway marches through Mexico



Bernie Sanders Got It Right on CNN: Felons Ought to Be Allowed to Vote

Bernie Sanders Got It Right on CNN: Felons Ought to Be Allowed to VotePhoto Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyIn their CNN town halls Monday night, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg disagreed on whether current prisoners should be able to vote. Sen. Kamala Harris refused to endorse a plan for expanding the franchise to incarcerated people, but supported voting rights for former prisoners.Sanders was specifically asked about Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and “those convicted of sexual assault.” What sane person would want them to vote? Our political system is already run by crooks. Do we want to add murderers and rapists too?In European history dating to Roman times, criminals could be stripped of their legal personality after committing a crime. They could not sign contracts or own property. They were outlaws, banished from the city walls. John Locke and other political theorists argued that criminals broke an implicit social contract: a rule-breaker should lose the right to make rules for others. But Locke lived in a time when only white, male, wealthy landowners could vote. Today, the right to vote is enshrined in democratic constitutions and international treaties. In American history, many states’ exclusions of those with a criminal record from voting date to the post-Civil War period and were clearly aimed at denying the franchise to African Americans. Criminal justice reform advocates argue that suffering a Medieval-style “civil death” dehumanizes prisoners, prevents their reintegration into society, and perpetuates inequalities in our political system. We should not assume that prisoners are less knowledgeable about politics than those outside of prison—that’s a pretty low bar, after all. Encouraging prisoners to feel involved in the political process can have real benefits too. Isolating prisoners from the political process during and after their incarceration further stigmatizes and isolates them, and that can encourage reoffending.Prisoners lose many of their rights when they go to prison. They can’t serve on a jury from a prison cell, or own guns; both of those are probably reasonable proscriptions. They probably should not own guns. But prisoners do not lose all their rights in prison. They are entitled to practice their religion and can challenge the conditions of their confinement. Taking away prisoners’ liberty is already a heavy punishment. Allowing them to cast an absentee ballot is not an unreasonable privilege.The most important consequence of allowing prisoners to vote is that it would remove the incentives for “prison gerrymandering.” In most U.S. states, prisoners are counted by the census based on where they are incarcerated, not where they are registered to vote. Because most large prisons are in sparsely populated rural areas, prison complexes have an important effect on gerrymandering. Many prisoners are racial minorities or people who live in urban areas, which means these places lose voting population, while more conservative areas gain nonvoting population. This advantages Republican congressmen in places like upstate New York, who benefit from inflated populations for redistricting purposes, but have nothing to fear at election time. Prisoner disenfranchisement therefore contributes to a structural disparity that causes Congress and state legislatures to be more conservative than the public at large.While many states are in the process of revising their laws to allow ex-prisoners to vote, voting by current prisoners only exists in Maine, Puerto Rico, and Vermont—the latter represented by Sanders in the U.S. Senate. In addition, the trend across the developed world is to allow at least some prisoners to vote. The supreme courts of South Africa, Canada, and Israel have legalized voting for at least some prisoners. The European Court of Human Rights has also rejected blanket prohibitions on prisoner voting, though it has allowed exceptions.The policy options are far broader than a single audience question would suggest. In Germany, prisoners can vote unless they were convicted of terrorism or political violence, an exception that would encompass Tsarnaev’s marathon attack. Other European countries prevent violent criminals, those serving lengthy or life sentences, or war criminals from voting. Exceptions for crimes of dishonesty or fraud might be reasonable as well. In a few countries, only those convicted of misdemeanors can vote, rather than felonies.These are policy debates we should be willing to have. Even if we allowed only persons serving misdemeanor sentences in local jails to vote, this alone might add nearly 300,000 voters to the rolls. Prisoner voting is already underway in some states and developed countries, so it is hardly a revolutionary position. Overbroad restrictions on voting help ensure that politicians select their own voters, rather than voters electing their own politicians.Andrew Novak is Assistant Professor of Criminology Law and Society at George Mason University.Read more at The Daily Beast.



Leader of self-styled U.S. citizen border patrol attacked in jail

Leader of self-styled U.S. citizen border patrol attacked in jailLarry Hopkins, 69, whose group of self-styled citizen border cops drew condemnation from civil liberties advocates, suffered broken ribs in the beating by fellow inmates on Tuesday at the Dona Ana County Detention Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, according to his attorney, Kelly O'Connell. Hopkins was arrested on Saturday by the FBI on an outstanding warrant accusing him of being a felon in illegal possession of firearms, a charge dating back to a 2017 search of his home. The detention facility, about 200 miles south of Albuquerque, confirmed that Hopkins was "the alleged victim" of a Tuesday night attack and said the incident was under investigation.



Trump: Mueller report 'didn't lay a glove on me'

Trump: Mueller report 'didn't lay a glove on me'The president continues to fume about special counsel Robert Mueller's report amid a debate among Democrats whether Trump's repeated attempts to interfere with the probe justify pursuing his impeachment.



'I smiled in the face of bigotry': A woman's response to anti-Islam protesters goes viral

'I smiled in the face of bigotry': A woman's response to anti-Islam protesters goes viralA group of anti-Islam protesters gathered at a conference in Washington, D.C. One woman's reaction: 'I smiled in the face of bigotry.'



Elizabeth Warren's plan to end student debt is glorious. We can make it a reality

Elizabeth Warren's plan to end student debt is glorious. We can make it a realityWe fully support the 2020 nominee’s student debt relief proposal. But to make it happen, we’ll need to kick our efforts into higher gear ‘Elizabeth Warren’s proposal is a stunning, visionary plan that would transform our educational system and dramatically improve millions of people’s lives.’ Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP This week, Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, announced a proposal to cancel student debt for millions of people and make public college free. This is a stunning, visionary plan that would transform our educational system and dramatically improve millions of people’s lives. But like every other progressive proposal now being touted by presidential hopefuls, from Medicare for All to the Green New Deal, the call for debt relief and free education first came from the grassroots. And if we want a real student debt jubilee to actually happen – to go from policy paper to reality – the grassroots will need to continue to push for it. Fortunately, it’s a battle that can be won. Raising our voices is how we got this far. Ten years ago, student debt, even as it soared, was not seen as a serious issue. Writers including Tamara Draut and Anya Kamenetz were early to sound the alarm, exposing young people’s disproportionate indebtedness as a structural issue. Scholars such as Darrick Hamilton and Tressie McMillan Cottom would later go on to document the racially disparate impact of student loans, which burden women and people of color most of all. But it took the Occupy Wall Street movement to make public how profoundly the pinch of monthly payments was felt by an entire generation. Sign up to receive the latest US opinion pieces every weekday In April 2012 a group of Occupiers organized a “1T Day” protest to mark the day student debt in America surpassed $1tn. Seven years later, that number has ballooned to more than $1.5tn. That protest represented a watershed moment, the point when student debt went from being a personal problem to a political one, the result of decades of disinvestment in public colleges and universities that turned education into a consumer product instead of a public good. Some of the organizers of that event would go on to help launch the Debt Collective, a union for debtors that I co-founded. We kicked things off with the Rolling Jubilee fund, a public education campaign that bought and cancelled more than $30m in medical, student debt, payday loans and private probation debts. Then, in 2015, the Debt Collective launched the country’s first student debt strike. Since the strike was announced, we have won more than $1bn (and counting) in student debt cancellation for people who attended fraudulent for-profit colleges. Our team accomplished this by building a membership base of for-profit borrowers themselves. These debtors, a multiracial group of working-class people from across the country, led a campaign to pressure the Department of Education to cancel their loans. Their victory – and the fact that our primary demand of a debt jubilee and free college is now on Warren’s platform – demonstrates the power of grassroots organizing. The precedent-setting significance of the Debt Collective’s work is clear and cannot be overstated: Warren knows that student loans can be cancelled because they already have been on a smaller scale for for-profit college borrowers. That said, Warren’s plan, as bold as it is, is hardly inevitable. Her proposal of canceling student debt and ensuring free college seems contingent on the passage of a millionaire’s tax that, barring a miracle, is likely to be stymied by an intransigent Congress. In order to win a jubilee, then, we will have to kick our grassroots efforts into a higher gear. Debtors must continue to fight for their rights and advocate for the best possible solutions. We are preparing to do just that. Since 2016, along with our partners at Harvard Law School’s Project on Predatory Student Lending, we have been working out a roadmap that would allow all federal student loans to be cancelled without waiting for Congress to act. Congress, it turns out, has already given administrative agencies the power to cancel debts. Just as the Securities and Exchange Commission can cut low-dollar deals with banks that break the law, for example, the secretary of education can settle with debtors for a fraction of what they owe or suspend the collection of student debt altogether. When it was first given the power to issue and collect student loans in 1958, the Department of Education also received the power to “compromise, waive, or release any right” to collect on them. And when the Higher Education Act of 1965 made student loan authorities permanent, it solidified their power to compromise. Nothing in the law prevents the secretary of education from using compromise and settlement authority to address the worst effects of decades of failed higher education policy. But only a movement with that as its goal can get us there. Student debt abolition and free college would be a win-win for the entire country To win a jubilee, we need a movement focused on motivating candidates to commit to using the full powers available to them in office to address this emergency and stop collections on all student loans. While millionaires and billionaires should be taxed at a much higher rate, in the short term we should not let a Congress bought off by the super-rich prevent us from doing what’s right and legal – and economically beneficial. Indeed, student debt abolition and free college would be a win-win for the entire country. Not only would debtors get relief, academic research shows it would be a significant stimulus that might “supercharge” the economy and help address the racial wealth gap. Money currently used to pay back loans with interest would be redirected to other goods and services. But the win would be more profound than just an economic boost. Education could finally be a public good and not a commodity (or worse, a debt trap). This transformation would help inaugurate a new political vision that redefines liberty as the ability to freely access the social services that we all need to survive and thrive. The Debt Collective has been leading this fight for years – and our growing membership will continue to do so. Grassroots organizing is what got us this far, and it’s the only thing that can get us to the finish line: an end to student debt and free public college for everyone, once and for all. Astra Taylor is a writer, organizer, and documentarian. Her books include the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age and Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. Her most recent film is What Is Democracy?



Air Canada says its 737 MAX jets grounded until at least August

Air Canada says its 737 MAX jets grounded until at least AugustAir Canada said Thursday that its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX jets will remain grounded until at least August 1, pushing back a previous estimate for their return to service. Two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft -- one operated by Ethiopian Airlines and another by Lion Air -- have crashed in recent months, killing nearly 350 people. Air Canada's 24 MAX jetliners were grounded in March following the second crash.



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Fiery multi-vehicle crash in Colorado claims multiple lives

Fiery multi-vehicle crash in Colorado claims multiple livesMultiple people were killed and many others injured in a fiery multi-vehicle crash west of Denver during the evening commute on Thursday when a tractor-trailer careened out of the control into several other vehicles, police said. Flames ignited by the crash on Interstate 70 engulfed three trucks and 12 cars, Ty Countryman, a spokesman for the police department in Lakewood, Colorado, told reporters.   "The vehicle came down and ended up colliding with slower traffic, causing a very big chain-reaction crash that also ignited and started a fire," Countryman said, adding that six other people injured in the crash were taken to local hospitals.



U.S. measles outbreak triggers quarantine at two Los Angeles universities

U.S. measles outbreak triggers quarantine at two Los Angeles universitiesThe quarantine affects the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) and comes as the United States battles the highest number of measles cases since the country declared the virus eliminated in 2000. The United States has confirmed 695 cases of measles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. California has confirmed 38 cases, state health officials have said.



Trump approved payment of $2 million North Korea bill for care of Warmbier: report

Trump approved payment of $2 million North Korea bill for care of Warmbier: reportPresident Donald Trump approved payment of a $2 million bill presented by North Korea to cover its care of comatose American Otto Warmbier, a college student who died shortly after being returned home from 17 months in a North Korean prison, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. The Post said an invoice was handed to State Department envoy Joseph Yun hours before Warmbier, 22, was flown out of Pyongyang in a coma on June 13, 2017. Warmbier died six days later.



Ex-Minnesota policeman says he shot Australian woman to protect partner

Ex-Minnesota policeman says he shot Australian woman to protect partnerMohamed Noor, 33, is charged in the murder of 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond, whom he shot through his patrol car window during the night of July 15, 2017 in a dark alley while responding to her 911 call to report a possible sexual assault near her Minneapolis home. Noor testified in a Minneapolis courtroom that he shot Damond after he and his partner Matthew Harrity, who was in the driver's seat, heard a loud noise. Harrity had trouble removing his gun from its holster and "he turned to me with fear in his eyes," Noor said during his five-hour testimony.



U.S. measles outbreak triggers quarantine at two Los Angeles universities

U.S. measles outbreak triggers quarantine at two Los Angeles universitiesThe quarantine affects the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) and comes as the United States battles the highest number of measles cases since the country declared the virus eliminated in 2000. The people ordered quarantined at two California campuses were exposed to measles and could not provide evidence they had been immunized against the disease, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement.



U.S. judge blocks Trump's cutoff of family planning subsidies: plaintiffs

U.S. judge blocks Trump's cutoff of family planning subsidies: plaintiffsThe preliminary injunction bars enforcement nationwide of a policy due to go into effect on May 3 over the vehement objections of abortion supporters, who have decried it as a "gag rule" that would prevent doctors from doing their jobs. “Today’s ruling ensures that clinics across the nation can remain open and continue to provide quality, unbiased healthcare to women,” Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement announcing the decision. Washington state was a named plaintiff in the court challenge, along with the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association.



Massachusetts judge faces federal charges for blocking immigration arrest

Massachusetts judge faces federal charges for blocking immigration arrestU.S. federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a Massachusetts judge and court officer with conspiracy and obstruction, saying they blocked an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer from arresting an illegal immigrant at a 2018 court proceeding. The move marks the latest skirmish over immigration between President Donald Trump's administration and local governments who have resisted his crackdown.



Judge gives U.S. six months to identify separated migrant children

Judge gives U.S. six months to identify separated migrant childrenWhile a government official said at Thursday's hearing he hoped to meet the deadline, the government said earlier this month it might take two years to identify the separated children. "I am going to issue an order to do this in six months, subject to good cause," said U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw at a hearing in San Diego. "It is important for all government actors to have a time frame and I intend to stand on it." The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of parents separated from their children, pressed Sabraw to give the government a firm deadline.



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The President will now contend with a Democratic front-runner whose opening argument went directly after his fitness for office
He's the Democratic candidate President Donald Trump has long worried would emerge as his general election rival. Now, with the entry of former Vice President Joe Biden into a crowded primary field, a race that once seemed to Trum
Warren and Sanders pounce as Biden enters the race
Joe Biden is in -- and the knives are out.
Ana Navarro: Biden is not about gold-leaf and wealth
Joe Biden has finally made it official. He announced Thursday that he is running to be the Democratic nominee for President.
Here's what went wrong in Biden's past presidential bids
CNN's Chris Cillizza explains what went wrong in Vice President Joe Biden's previous presidential campaigns.
Joe Biden and Anita Hill finally spoke. She says he doesn't understand the damage he caused.
Former Vice President Joe Biden had a conversation with Anita Hill in which he shared "his regret for what she endured" during the 1991 hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, his campaign revealed Thursday.
Rep. Connolly threatens to jail Trump officials who won't comply with subpoenas
Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly on Thursday threatened jail time for White House officials who are declining to comply with congressional committees' efforts to conduct oversight of President Donald Trump's administration.
Trump says there was an attempted 'coup.' 'It's far bigger than Watergate'
President Donald Trump called 2016 texts between former FBI officials evidence of an attempted "coup" after a news report showed they were discussing people inside the Trump administration who they could "develop for potential rel
Rosenstein unloads on critics, defends handling of Russia investigation
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended his handling of the Russia investigation Thursday evening, recalling how he had promised to "do it right" during his Senate confirmation hearing and "take it to the appropriate concl
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Federal Agents Raid Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's Home, Office And Nonprofit
Federal agents raided Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's offices Thursday following investigations into her "self-dealings." She sold thousands of her children's books to groups under her influence.
New Mexico County Declares State Of Emergency Over Abandoned Checkpoints
A New Mexico county declared a state of emergency over fears that drugs are freely flowing after the U.S. Border Patrol, beleaguered by a surge of migrants, closed a highway checkpoint last month.
Judge Is Open To Releasing Man Prosecutors Have Called 'Domestic Terrorist'
The judge notes the only charges against Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson involve drug and weapons violations and says he should be released pending trial with "a whole lot of supervision."
Boy Scouts Of America Estimates More Than 12,000 Victims Of Sexual Abuse
Newly exposed court testimony suggests the Boy Scouts of America had considerably more leaders involved in the sexual abuse of minors than previously thought.
How Communities Affected By Measles Work To Contain Outbreaks
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Steve McGraw, EMS Medical Director for Oakland County, Mich., and member of the local Hatzalah emergency response group, about the measles outbreak there.
Trump Administration Puts Offshore Drilling Plan On Hold After Setback In Court
The Trump administration is delaying efforts to boost offshore oil and gas drilling in the wake of a recent court setback. The plans have been controversial, even in Republican-held states.
After Pentagon Ends Contract, Top-Secret Scientists Group Vows To Carry On
The 60 or so members of the Jasons are normal academics by day. But each summer, they come together to study tough problems for the military, intelligence agencies and other parts of the government.
Federal Court Rules That Michigan's Congressional Map Was Unfairly Gerrymandered
It's the latest ruling by a court that political boundaries are unconstitutional when they give too much advantage to one party over another.
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  NYT > U.S. Show All 
San Francisco Had an Ambitious Plan to Tackle School Segregation. It Made It Worse.
A system devised to empower parents and integrate schools has not worked as intended, offering a cautionary tale to districts across the country.
Amid Measles Outbreak, Quarantine Is Ordered at U.C.L.A. and California State-Los Angeles
More than 200 university students and employees in Los Angeles County may have been exposed to measles and were given quarantine orders this week.
Judges Rule Michigan Congressional Districts Are Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered
The panel wrote it was joining “the growing chorus of federal courts” that have held that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional.
Crime Is Down, Yet U.S. Incarceration Rates Are Still Among the Highest in the World
The number of people in prisons decreased slightly to 1.5 million in 2017, new data shows, a population that if gathered in one place would be one of the largest cities in the country.
Flint’s Water Crisis Started 5 Years Ago. It’s Not Over.
Pipes are now being replaced and officials say the water is safe, but residents still worry, drink bottled water and doubt their elected leaders.
A Houston High School Has a New Dress Code. For Parents.
The dress code, which bans satin caps, bonnets, hair rollers, pajamas and revealing and sagging clothing, has been criticized as racist and elitist.
Americans Are Among the Most Stressed People in the World, Poll Finds
An annual, global Gallup poll, released Thursday, reported that feelings of stress and worry are particularly high in the United States.
Sooner or Later Your Cousin’s DNA Is Going to Solve a Murder
The Golden State Killer case was just the start. Hundreds of cold cases are hot again thanks to a new genealogy technique. The price may be everyone’s genetic privacy.
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*Disclaimer: Data may be delayed or may not be correct.
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  Reuters: U.S. Show All 
Fiery multi-vehicle crash in Colorado claims multiple lives
Multiple people were killed and many others injured in a fiery multi-vehicle crash west of Denver during the evening commute on Thursday when a tractor-trailer careened out of the control into several other vehicles, police said.
Trump approved payment of $2 million North Korea bill for care of Warmbier: report
President Donald Trump approved payment of a $2 million bill presented by North Korea to cover its care of comatose American Otto Warmbier, a college student who died shortly after being returned home from 17 months in a North Kor
U.S. measles outbreak triggers quarantine at two Los Angeles universities
A nationwide measles outbreak has led health officials to quarantine dozens of people at two Los Angeles universities, officials said on Thursday.
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Catherine Pugh: Federal agents raid Baltimore mayor's home
The mayor struck lucrative deals to sell her children's book Healthy Holly to city entities.
Biden rebukes Trump in campaign launch
The former vice-president declares his White House run with a rebuke of Donald Trump.
North Korea 'demanded $2m for care of Otto Warmbier'
North Korea billed the US $2m for the hospital care of comatose US student Otto Warmbier.
US judge charged with aiding undocumented immigrant in escape
A US judge and a court officer are accused of assisting an undocumented immigrant in evading arrest.
Should the colour of plasters match skin tones?
A man receives an overwhelming response after sharing an image of a plaster that matched his skin tone.
Pentagon chief cleared of favouring Boeing
Acting defence secretary Patrick Shanahan is cleared of trying to promote his former employer.
North Korea summit: Kim accuses US of 'bad faith'
Kim Jong-un said peace on the Korean peninsula would depend entirely on Washington's future attitude.
Facebook broke Canada privacy laws, watchdog says
The privacy watchdog launched an investigation into the firm after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
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Here’s Who Lives, Dies and Comes Back to Life in Avengers: Endgame
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. When Thanos gathered the Infinity Stones so he could snap his fingers and destroy half of all life in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War, many superheroes disappeared
Does Avengers: Endgame Have a Post-Credits Scene? An Investigation
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Marvel Studios movies have changed the cinematic landscape: A decade ago few people would have thought to sit through the credits of a movie in order to see a teaser for
Dejan Anastasijevic, Journalist and Witness to War Crimes, Dies at 57
TIME’s former Belgrade correspondent was a mentor to a generation
A Measles Outbreak Has Triggered Quarantines at Two Los Angeles Universities
Measles cases in the country have climbed to their highest level in 25 years
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