Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2013/12/node/240581 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Vandalized Mosques, Threats of Violence—Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes on the Rise http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/anti-muslim-hate-crimes-rise <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>One day after the deadly terror attacks in Paris, a woman in Michigan went on Twitter and <a href="http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2015/11/17/fbi-anti-muslim-threats-dearborn/75951472/" target="_blank">threatened</a> to "send a message to ISIS." How? By violently targeting Dearborn, Michigan,&nbsp;a Detroit suburb where more than 40 percent of the population is of Arab ancestry. In response, the head of the FBI's Detroit&nbsp;office&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2015/11/17/fbi-anti-muslim-threats-dearborn/75951472/" target="_blank">announced an investigation</a> into a string of<strong>&nbsp;</strong>recent threats in the city. (Sarah Beebee, the woman who sent the tweet, publicly <a href="http://www.wxyz.com/news/region/wayne-county/woman-who-made-online-threat-toward-dearborn-speaks-only-to-7-action-news" target="_blank">apologized</a>.)</p> <p>Since the Paris attacks, there have been similar incidents across the United States, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-us-muslims-backlash-paris-attacks-20151118-story.html" target="_blank">from vandalized mosques to threats of violence</a>, rattling Muslim Americans.</p> <p>Based on the latest FBI hate crime figures, these incidents are on the rise. The most recent FBI data, released last Monday, <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/november/latest-hate-crime-statistics-available" target="_blank">indicates</a> that hate crimes based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation have dropped across the board&mdash;with the exception of crimes against Muslim Americans.&nbsp;In 2014, even as the total number of hate crimes dipped nearly 8 percent from the year before, anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 14 percent.&nbsp;</p> <p>While anti-Muslim incidents have risen, they trail behind incidents targeting Jewish Americans. Last year, 609 hate crime incidents were reported against Jews, the highest number of crimes based on religious beliefs&mdash;and four times the number of anti-Muslim crimes. As Christopher Ingraham at the <em>Washington Post</em> <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/11/anti-muslim-hate-crimes-are-still-five-times-more-common-today-than-before-911/" target="_blank">points out</a>, these figures are likely undercounted, since police departments' participation in the FBI's crime assessment is voluntary and some departments track figures better than others.</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe frameborder="0" height="371" scrolling="no" seamless="" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1r4gEX3Mp8whduAs_mzFa8vKjDbR3wXENj2oE4kDk1N8/pubchart?oid=117193962&amp;format=interactive" width="624.5"></iframe>&acirc;&#128;&#139;</p> <p>Some bright spots can be found in the FBI data: Crimes against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity dropped from 1,264 in 2013 to 1,115 in 2014. And recorded incidents against Hispanic and black Americans dipped nearly 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively.&nbsp;</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe frameborder="0" height="371" scrolling="no" seamless="" src="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1r4gEX3Mp8whduAs_mzFa8vKjDbR3wXENj2oE4kDk1N8/pubchart?oid=100025665&amp;format=interactive" width="623.51"></iframe>&acirc;&#128;&#139;</p> <p>The uptick in crimes against Muslim Americans, though, signals a troubling trend that lingers more than 15 years after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-us-muslims-backlash-paris-attacks-20151118-story.html" target="_blank">described</a> the climate in the aftermath of the Paris attacks as "increasingly bleak." "There's been an accumulation of anti-Islamic rhetoric in our lives and that, I think, has triggered these overt acts of violence and vandalism," he <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-us-muslims-backlash-paris-attacks-20151118-story.html" target="_blank">recently told</a> the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Between 1996 and 2000, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/11/anti-muslim-hate-crimes-are-still-five-times-more-common-today-than-before-911/" target="_blank">according</a> to the <em>Washington Post</em>, the FBI recorded between 20 and 30 hate crime incidents against Muslim Americans. In 2001 alone, the figure skyrocketed to nearly 500. Even before the terrorist attacks in Paris, the number of anti-Muslim hate crime incidents remained roughly five times as high as it was before 9/11.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Crime and Justice International Race and Ethnicity Religion Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:00:36 +0000 Edwin Rios 290296 at http://www.motherjones.com Police Just Released Dashcam Footage of the Laquan McDonald Shooting http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/police-release-dashcam-footage-laquan-mcdonald-shooting <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Tuesday, Chicago officials released the dashcam footage from the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/11/laquan-mcdonald-police-shooting-jason-van-dyke-first-degree-murder" target="_blank">shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald</a>. The video&rsquo;s release came hours after state prosecutors charged Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/11/laquan-mcdonald-police-shooting-jason-van-dyke-first-degree-murder" target="_blank">with first-degree murder</a> in McDonald&rsquo;s shooting last October, reportedly becoming the first cop in the city to face such charges in nearly 35 years.</p> <p>The video, posted below, is disturbing. (<strong>WARNING: </strong>Seriously, watch at your own discretion.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ix2N6_jLAgA" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>In April, the city of Chicago paid McDonald&rsquo;s family $5 million, before any lawsuit was formally filed.</p> <p>The footage and a bond hearing early Tuesday <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-cop-shooting-video-laquan-mcdonald-charges-20151124-story.html" target="_blank">revealed details</a> that differed from the initial police narrative of events. Police previously said they had found McDonald in the street slashing a car&rsquo;s tires, and that when ordered to drop his knife, he walked away. After a second police car arrived and police tried to block McDonald&rsquo;s path, police said, McDonald punctured a police car&rsquo;s tires. When officers got out of the car, police officials alleged McDonald lunged at them with the knife and Van Dyke, who feared for his life, shot him.</p> <p>Instead, the footage shows McDonald, who was carrying a knife, ambling away from police as Van Dyke and his partner get out of their car. Van Dyke then unloads a barrage of bullets on the teen about six seconds after then. The <em>Chicago Tribune</em> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-cop-shooting-video-laquan-mcdonald-charges-20151124-story.html" target="_blank">reported</a> that according to prosecutors, Van Dyke fired 16 rounds at McDonald in 14 or 15 seconds and was told to hold his fire when he began to reload his weapon. For about 13 of those seconds, McDonald is on the ground.</p> <p>At a press conference on Tuesday, Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-cop-shooting-video-laquan-mcdonald-charges-20151124-story.html" target="_blank">described</a> the video as "deeply disturbing" and told reporters that Van Dyke&rsquo;s actions "were not justified and were not a proper use of deadly force."</p> <p>A judge had ordered the video&rsquo;s release by Wednesday, but Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced that the city would release the video a day early. "The officer in this case took a young man's life and he's going to have to account for his actions," McCarthy told reporters. Van Dyke could face between 20 years and life in prison if convicted.</p> <p>"With these charges, we are bringing a full measure of justice that this demands," Alvarez said. &nbsp;</p> <p>Van Dyke's attorney Daniel Herbert <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-cop-shooting-video-laquan-mcdonald-charges-20151124-story.html" target="_blank">questioned</a> whether the case amounted to a murder case and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/25/us/chicago-officer-charged-in-death-of-black-teenager-official-says.html?_r=0" target="_blank">believed</a> the shooting was justified. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked for calm after the video&rsquo;s release. "Jason Van Dyke will be judged in the court of law," Emanuel told reporters. "That's exactly how it should be." In a statement through attorneys, McDonald&rsquo;s family reiterated a call for peace and said they would have preferred for the video not to be released.</p> <p>"No one understands the anger more than us, but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful," the family said. "Don&rsquo;t resort to violence in Laquan&rsquo;s name. Let his legacy be better than that."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:18:35 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss and Edwin Rios 290626 at http://www.motherjones.com On His Way Out, Kentucky Governor Restores Voting Rights for 140,000 People http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/kentucky-governor-voting-rights <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Outgoing Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order on Tuesday immediately restoring voting rights to more than 100,000 ex-felons convicted of nonviolent offenses. Until now, Kentucky was one of three states,&nbsp;along with Iowa and Florida, that did not give ex-felons their voting rights back after they completed their sentences. "This disenfranchisement makes no sense," Beshear, a Democrat, said in his <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iIqrcq5jLQ" target="_blank">announcement</a>. "It makes no sense&nbsp;because it dilutes the energy of democracy, which functions only if all classes and categories of people have a voice, not just a privileged, powerful few. It makes no sense because it defeats a primary goal of our corrections system, which is to rehabilitate those who have committed crimes."</p> <p>The restoration does not apply to sex crimes, other violent crimes, or treason. Going forward, felons exiting the criminal justice system will be presented with a certificate indicating the restoration of their right to vote and to run for public office. Those who are already eligible must submit a form to get their rights back. The Brennan Center for Justice in New York estimates that 140,000 Kentuckians are now eligible for rights restoration, along with another 30,000 who will become eligible in the future.</p> <p>A spokesman for Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin told <a href="http://insiderlouisville.com/metro/social_good/gov-beshear-signs-executive-order-to-restore-voting-rights-for-nonviolent-former-felons/" target="_blank"><em>Insider Louisville</em></a> that "restoration of voting rights for certain offenders is the right thing to do," but he did not weigh in on the specifics of Beshear's order. Beshear's move is particularly significant because such restrictions on the franchise have disproportionately affected African Americans&mdash;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/jeb-bush-florida-felon-voting-rights-clemency" target="_blank">often by design</a>. Racial disparities in the criminal justice system are generally reflected in felon disenfranchisement rates, and Kentucky is no exception. According to <a href="http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/fd_State_Level_Estimates_of_Felon_Disen_2010.pdf" target="_blank">2010 census data</a> compiled by the Sentencing Project, 5.5 percent of the state's voting age population were disenfranchised due to a past conviction. But for African Americans, the number is 16.7 percent.</p> <p>Beshear's order comes after years of failed attempts by Kentucky lawmakers to address the issue. Because permanent disenfranchisement is in the state's constitution, a change would require approval by 60 percent of lawmakers and by voters via a ballot referendum. In 2014, the effort stalled. The GOP-controlled state Senate wanted a five-year waiting period before ex-felons could apply for their rights, and the Democratic-controlled state House would not agree to it.&nbsp;Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, now a Republican presidential candidate, opposes disenfranchisement for ex-offenders and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/rand-paul-kentucky-felon-voting" target="_blank">tried to revive the issue</a> earlier this year.</p> <p>Beshear said he waited until now to take executive action in order to give the legislative process a chance, according to the <em><a href="http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2015/11/24/beshear-restores-voting-rights-some-felons/76282838/" target="_blank">Louisville Courier-Journal</a>.</em> Bevin will be sworn in December 8.</p> <p>Kentucky joins several states that have eased restrictions on felon voting since the mid-1990s. One of the exceptions to this trend is Florida, a perennial swing state where Democratic-leaning black voters are disenfranchised at an even higher rate than in Kentucky. In Florida, many ex-offenders must personally petition the governor and his cabinet for rights restoration. Under the current governor, Republican Rick Scott, Florida has <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/jeb-bush-florida-felon-voting-rights-clemency" target="_blank">made it very difficult</a> for ex-felons to have their rights restored.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Tue, 24 Nov 2015 17:15:37 +0000 Tim Murphy and Pema Levy 290551 at http://www.motherjones.com Republican Super-PAC Attacks Trump Because He's Creepy About His Daughter http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/kasich-super-pac-ad-donald-trump-creepy-daughter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4TATnH9bhLg?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>New Day for America, a super-PAC supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich, one of the back-of-the pack GOP presidential contenders, has a bold new plan to take down front-runner Donald Trump: tell Iowa voters how creepy he is. The group posted a web ad on Tuesday that mocks Trump for, among other things, saying of his daughter,&nbsp;while sitting next to her on national television, "If Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."</p> <p>Of all the Republican wannabes, Kasich took the lead in the last debate in assailing Trump, noting that Trump's plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants was nutso. But Kasich's verbal punches did not land, and, so far, it's tough to see him as the guy to dethrone Trump&mdash;and there's not much evidence to date that a YouTube clip like this will persuade Trump fans that he's too weird to be president.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Donald Trump Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:28:07 +0000 Tim Murphy 290526 at http://www.motherjones.com 5 People Shot at Black Lives Matter Protest in Minneapolis http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/jamar-clark-shooting-protest-minneapolis <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Update, November 25, 7:50 a.m. EST:</strong>&nbsp;A third man is now in custody. The <em>Star Tribune</em> reports the <a href="http://www.startribune.com/police-searching-for-suspects-who-fired-into-crowd-at-blm-protest-outside-4th-precinct/353154811/" target="_blank">three suspects</a> are&nbsp;Allen Lawrence "Lance"&nbsp;Scarsella III, Nathan Gustavsson, and Daniel Macey. Police say the Hispanic man arrested earlier in the day was released after officials determined he was not at the scene of Monday's shooting.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong style="line-height: 2em;">Update, November 24, 2:28 p.m. EST: </strong><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">Police have </span><a href="https://twitter.com/MinneapoliSam/status/669230256503390208" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">arrested</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;"> two suspects in connection to Monday night's shooting in Minneapolis. The </span><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/24/two-arrested-minneapolis-shooting-black-lives-matter-protest" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank"><em>Guardian</em></a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;"> reports the two suspects are a 23-year-old white man and a 32-year-old Hispanic man.</span></p> <p><em>Previously: </em></p> <p>The police are searching for three gunmen who reportedly shot five people during the continued Black Lives Matter demonstration in Minneapolis on Monday, where demonstrators are protesting the <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/21/us/minneapolis-jamar-clark-police-shooting/" target="_blank">November 15 killing</a> of an unarmed black man by the police.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">5 people shot near 4th PCT, transported to hospital w/ non-life threatening injuries. OFCs searching for 3 white male suspects.</p> &mdash; Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) <a href="https://twitter.com/MinneapolisPD/status/669056985829154816">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Officials say the victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.</p> <p>A witness told NBC News that the <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jamar-clark-protests-5-shot-near-black-lives-matter-encampment-n468656" target="_blank">gunmen</a> arrived at the scene "yelling and being aggressive and it was obvious they were here to antagonize and confront people." At least one of the suspected gunmen was seen wearing a <a href="http://www.startribune.com/several-people-were-shot-near-black-lives-matter-protest-site/353121881/" target="_blank">mask. </a></p> <p>Black Lives Matter protester Miski Noor told the <em>Star Tribune </em>that the group was attempting to <a href="http://www.startribune.com/several-people-were-shot-near-black-lives-matter-protest-site/353121881/" target="_blank">escort</a> the men away from the demonstration, when gunfire broke out. On <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatterMinneapolis/posts/1012367852140341" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, the activist group described the gunmen as "white supremacists."</p> <p>"I don't want to perpetuate rumor," Rep. Keith Ellison, whose son has been participating in the protests,<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/24/five-people-shot-near-minneapolis-protest-cops-searching-for-3-white-male-suspects/" target="_blank"> said in response</a> to Monday's shooting. "I'd rather just try to get the facts out. That's a better way to go. I know there's a lot of speculation as to who these people were. And they well could have been, I'm not trying to say they weren&rsquo;t white supremacists. But I just haven't been able to piece together enough information to say with any real clarity."</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Talking to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JamarClark?src=hash">#JamarClark</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackLivesMatter?src=hash">#BlackLivesMatter</a> activists, <a href="https://twitter.com/keithellison">@keithellison</a> says people are telling him they are hurting. <a href="https://t.co/yPE4FySCdy">pic.twitter.com/yPE4FySCdy</a></p> &mdash; Doualy Xaykaothao (@DoualyX) <a href="https://twitter.com/DoualyX/status/669049789284093952">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Monday marked the eighth night of ongoing protests for Jamar Clark, the 24-year-old black man who was fatally shot by the police earlier this month. On Sunday, the Department of Justice announced it was opening a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/doj-lawyers-will-fly-to-minneapolis-to-probe-jamar-clark-shooting_5651bb1be4b0d4093a58177e" target="_blank">federal investigation</a> looking into Clark's death.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="https://twitter.com/nvlevy">@nvlevy</a> leading a prayer at scene of shooting outside <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/4thPrecinctShutDown?src=hash">#4thPrecinctShutDown</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JamarClark?src=hash">#JamarClark</a> <a href="https://t.co/e7XtLOlb6d">pic.twitter.com/e7XtLOlb6d</a></p> &mdash; Sam Richards (@MinneapoliSam) <a href="https://twitter.com/MinneapoliSam/status/669025841112682496">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>In the wake of Monday's violence, Clark's family has called for an end to the protests.</p> <p>"Thank you to the community for the incredible support you have shown for our family in this difficult time," Clark's' brother Eddie Sutton <a href="http://www.startribune.com/several-people-were-shot-near-black-lives-matter-protest-site/353121881/" target="_blank">said</a> in a statement released on Tuesday morning. "We appreciate Black Lives Matter for holding it down and keeping the protests peaceful. But in light of tonight&rsquo;s shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th precinct ended and onto the next step."</p> <p>Both a <a href="http://www.citypages.com/news/report-white-supremacists-shoot-five-black-lives-matters-protesters-7855265" target="_blank">school walkou</a>t and march are still planned to take place as scheduled today.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:21:14 +0000 Inae Oh 290516 at http://www.motherjones.com Turkey Just Shot Down a Russian Warplane Near the Syrian Border http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/turkey-shoots-down-russian-warplane-close-syria-border <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Update, November 24, 3:00 p.m. EST:</strong> Speaking at a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/24/politics/obama-francois-hollande-white-house-meeting/index.html" target="_blank">press conference</a> from the White House on Tuesday, President Obama responded to the situation by saying Turkey had the right to defend its airspace. But he pressed the two countries to abstain from escalating tensions. While expressing <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-expresses-solidarity-with-turkey-after-russian-jet-shooting-1448392276?mod=e2tw" target="_blank">solidarity</a> with Turkey at an emergency meeting, NATO also echoed the president's call to calm.</p> <p><em><strong>Previously:</strong></em></p> <p>A Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday, after Turkey says the Russian aircraft ignored several warnings that it was violating the country's airspace. The Kremlin denies that its warplane crossed into Turkish airspace.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border: <a href="https://t.co/ZT0JlTtndr">https://t.co/ZT0JlTtndr</a> <a href="https://t.co/Zqff04916m">pic.twitter.com/Zqff04916m</a></p> &mdash; Reuters Top News (@Reuters) <a href="https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/669133389753098240">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="tr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SONDAK%C4%B0KA?src=hash">#SONDAK&Auml;&deg;KA</a>! T&uuml;rkmen Da&Auml;&#159;&Auml;&plusmn;'n&Auml;&plusmn;n yak&Auml;&plusmn;n&Auml;&plusmn;na sava&Aring;&#159; u&ccedil;a&Auml;&#159;&Auml;&plusmn; d&uuml;&Aring;&#159;t&uuml;... U&ccedil;a&Auml;&#159;&Auml;&plusmn;n d&uuml;&Aring;&#159;me an&Auml;&plusmn;n&Auml;&plusmn; Habert&uuml;rk TV ekibi g&ouml;r&uuml;nt&uuml;ledi <a href="https://t.co/PCUK9Z6RTA">https://t.co/PCUK9Z6RTA</a></p> &mdash; Habert&uuml;rk TV (@HaberturkTV) <a href="https://twitter.com/HaberturkTV/status/669061103884734464">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The two pilots inside were seen <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/turkey-shoots-warplane-syria-border-151124081519290.html" target="_blank">ejecting </a>themselves from the SU-24 plane. Their whereabouts were still being officially determined. A Syrian rebel group claims to have found one of the pilots badly wounded. The group told <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/24/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey-idUSKBN0TD0IR20151124" target="_blank"><em>Reuters</em></a> the pilot was dead.</p> <p>In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-24/putin-says-turkish-stab-in-back-caused-russian-warplane-crash" target="_blank">said</a> the incident was a "stab in the back" that would render "very serious consequences" for relations between the two countries. He also <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/nov/24/russian-jet-downed-by-turkish-planes-near-syrian-border-live-updates#block-56545f05e4b00f67a4bed957" target="_blank">accused</a> Turkey of being "accomplices of terrorists."</p> <p>"Neither our pilots nor our jet threatened the territory of Turkey," Putin said before a scheduled meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan. "This is obvious. They are fighting terrorists in the northern areas around Latakia, where militants are located, mainly people who originated in Russia, and they were pursuing their direct duty, to make sure these people do not return to Russia."</p> <p>"These are people who are clearly international terrorists."</p> <p>A NATO official told <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/24/middleeast/warplane-crashes-near-syria-turkey-border/" target="_blank">CNN </a>that the group has called an emergency meeting for later today to discuss the downing of the Russian aircraft.</p></body></html> MoJo International Tue, 24 Nov 2015 13:54:09 +0000 Inae Oh 290521 at http://www.motherjones.com More Than 100,000 People Have Signed a Petition to Oust the DEA Chief http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/more-100000-people-have-signed-petition-oust-head-dea <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for the ouster of Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Roseberg after he flatly rejected the idea that smoking marijuana could have medical benefits. "What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal&mdash;because it's not," Rosenberg said during a press briefing earlier this month. "We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don't call it medicine&mdash;that is a joke."</p> <p>In response, a <a href="https://www.change.org/p/obama-fire-dea-head-for-calling-medical-marijuana-a-joke" target="_blank">Change.org petition</a> with more than 106,000 signatures is calling upon President Barack Obama to "fire Chuck Rosenberg and appoint a new DEA administrator who will respect science, medicine, patients, and voters."</p> <p>Roseberg need not look far to find reputable studies documenting the medical value of marijuana, even in its whole-plant, smoked form. As <em>Vox</em>'s German Lopez <a href="http://www.vox.com/2015/11/5/9675478/dea-medical-marijuana-joke" target="_blank">points out</a>, a comprehensive review in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association</em> found that pot can effectively treat chronic pain and muscle spasticity.</p> <p>Still, it's not <em>entirely</em> inaccurate to call medical marijuana a joke&mdash;at least in California, the state with the nation's most lax medical marijuana law. When I visited a "marijuana doctor" in San Francisco a few years ago, it took me less than 15 minutes <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/10/california-medical-marijuana-pot-card" target="_blank">to get a pot card for&mdash;wait for it&mdash;"writer's cramp."</a> Meanwhile, my wife waited for days before being denied a pot recommendation from our HMO, Kaiser Permanente, despite suffering from a flare-up of actual arthritis. While she sat at home popping Advils, I headed to the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, where my card got me into a "patient consumption area" staffed by busty women in tight-fitting nurse outfits and a dispensary worker with a nametag that read, "Dr. Herb Smoker, MD."</p> <p>But that sort of irony wasn't what Rosenberg was talking about. He seems to believe that because marijuana is popular as a recreational drug, it can't&nbsp; <em>also</em> be real medicine. Clearly, Dr. Herb Smoker isn't the only medical professional who disagrees.</p></body></html> MoJo Marijuana Tue, 24 Nov 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Josh Harkinson 290476 at http://www.motherjones.com This Judge Just Condemned Wisconsin's Abortion Law as Unconstitutional. Read the Withering Ruling. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/wisconsin-judge-just-schooled-abortion-opponents-trap-laws <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that a Wisconsin law requiring abortion providers to gain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals is unconstitutional.</p> <p>The law that was struck down is known as a TRAP law&mdash;short for "targeted regulation of abortion providers." According to the <a href="http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_TRAP.pdf" target="_blank">Guttmacher Institute</a>, Wisconsin is one of 11 states that have required similar admitting privileges. (Courts have <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/federal-court-rules-wisconsin-abortion-law-unconstitutional/2015/11/23/d1a78532-9241-11e5-befa-99ceebcbb272_story.html" target="_blank">blocked these requirements in six of those states</a>.) The law is particularly effective in conservative regions where hospitals are <a href="http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/04/05/ohio-shows-how-an-admitting-privileges-requirement-can-become-a-backdoor-abortion-ban/" target="_blank">less likely to grant those privileges to abortion providers</a>. The law's supporters say the law ensures continuity of care if complications arise from the procedure. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists <a href="http://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/News-Room/News-Releases/2013/Ob-Gyns-Denounce-Texas-Abortion-Legislation" target="_blank">notes</a> that less than one half of 1 percent of all abortions involve major complications.</p> <p>The 2-to-1 decision comes at a time when the constitutionality of TRAP laws are in question nationally. Just over a week ago, the Supreme Court <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/11/supreme-court-agrees-hear-texas-abortion-case" target="_blank">agreed to hear a challenge</a> to Texas' "HB 2," which decreased the state's number of abortion clinics from 41 to 18 by implementing a host of TRAP laws. The ruling, due next year, will be the most notable reproductive rights ruling since <em>Roe v. Wade.</em></p> <p>Judge Richard Posner, writing for the 7th Circuit majority, stated that the regulation qualifies as an "undue burden" and that the medical grounds for such a requirement is "nonexistent." Posner also had some words for abortion foes: "Opponents of abortion reveal their true objectives when they procure legislation limited to a medical procedure&mdash; abortion&mdash;that rarely produces a medical emergency."</p> <p>Posner&mdash;nominated by President Ronald Reagan&mdash;is known for his tart legal arguments, as <a href="http://http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/09/judge-says-everything-you-want-say-anti-gay-marriage-crowd-just-smarter-and-more-sass" target="_blank">we've noted previously</a>. This case is no exception:</p> <blockquote> <p>A great many Americans, including a number of judges, legislators, governors, and civil servants, are passionately opposed to abortion&mdash;as they are entitled to be. But persons who have a sophisticated understanding of the law and of the Supreme Court know that convincing the Court to overrule <em>Roe v. Wade </em>and <em>Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey</em> is a steep uphill fight, and so some of them proceed indirectly, seeking to discourage abortions by making it more difficult for women to obtain them. They may do this in the name of protecting the health of women who have abortions, yet as in this case the specific measures they support may do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion. This is true of the Texas requirement, upheld by the Fifth Circuit in the Whole Woman's case now before the Supreme Court, that abortion clinics meet the standards for ambulatory surgical centers&mdash;a requirement that if upheld will permit only 8 of Texas's abortion clinics to remain open, out of more than 40 that existed when the law was passed.</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo Reproductive Rights Tue, 24 Nov 2015 02:38:56 +0000 Becca Andrews 290511 at http://www.motherjones.com Planned Parenthood Launches Texas Legal Offensive to Fight Funding Cuts http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/planned-parenthood-texas-medicaid-abortion-lawsuit <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Planned Parenthood announced on Monday that it's suing Texas officials for stripping the organization of Medicaid funding, saying that the decision unfairly singles out Planned Parenthood and prevents women from accessing their chosen medical provider in violation of federal law.</p> <p>Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said the federal <a href="http://ppfa.pr-optout.com/ViewAttachment.aspx?EID=mr9WXYw4u2IxYnni1dBRVn6HWCZhnICSrkz3cb55y%2fk%3d" target="_blank">lawsuit</a> aims to protect the 13,500 women on Medicaid who go to the organization for health care services. Ten patients also joined the lawsuit, all of whom are currently covered by Medicaid and would have to go elsewhere for health care unless the lawsuit is successful.</p> <p>In October, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott <a href="https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/attorney-general-paxton-applauds-gov.-abbott-hhsc-for-ending-planned-parent" target="_blank">blocked</a> Medicaid funding for the organization, citing safety concerns brought to his attention following the release of the now-infamous (and widely discredited) videos showing some of Planned Parenthood's staff discussing fetal tissue donation. Three days later, state officials also <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/10/texas-subpoena-planned-parenthood-patient-records" target="_blank">subpoenaed</a> Planned Parenthood for the medical records of patients who donated fetal tissue in the past five years<strong>, </strong>in an attempt to find criminal activity. A Planned Parenthood representative <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/22/texas-health-officials-demand-hundreds-of-documents-from-planned-parenthood/" target="_blank">called</a> the move "unprecedented" and denied any wrongdoing on the part of the organization.</p> <p>Texas is one of a handful of states that have taken aim at Planned Parenthood over its fetal tissue donation, a practice that is legal in the United States. Arkansas, Utah, and Alabama have also tried to cut Medicaid funding to the group, despite a warning from the Obama administration that doing so could violate federal law. In October, a federal judge <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/10/planned-parenthood-abortion-louisiana-jindal-medicaid" target="_blank">blocked</a> Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in the state, saying the move would cause "irreparable harm" to the 5,200 women who depend on the organization for health care.</p> <p>Many states have also launched investigations in the organization, though <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/planned-parenthood-washington-state-investigation" target="_blank">none</a> so far have found any wrongdoing.<strong> </strong></p> <p>"Texas is a cautionary tale for the whole nation," Richards told reporters this morning. "Officials who oppose women's health may think they can bully us out of providing care for our patients, but we will not back down, and we will not shut our doors."</p></body></html> MoJo Health Care Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Top Stories Mon, 23 Nov 2015 22:27:15 +0000 Nina Liss-Schultz 290441 at http://www.motherjones.com The Pfizer-Allergan Merger Uses a Tax Trick That Lets US Companies Stash Billions Overseas http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/pfizer-allergan-merger-tax-inversion <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Earlier today, the pharmaceutical giants <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/11/23/pfizer-allergan-merger/76248478/" target="_blank">Pfizer and Allergan</a> announced a merger worth $160 billion. There's a wrinkle to this deal between the makers of Viagra and Botox: It's being facilitated by a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/foreign-overseas-tax-inversion-evasion-obama" target="_blank">controversial tax trick</a> known as an inversion, which lets American companies move their headquarters abroad, avoiding the IRS while keeping executives stateside. If it goes through, the Pfizer-Allergan agreement will be the largest tax inversion ever.</p> <p>Hillary Clinton has already <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/23/us-allergan-m-a-pfizer-clinton-idUSKBN0TC20Q20151123" target="_blank">criticized the pharma deal</a> and has called for "<span id="articleText">cracking down on inversions that erode our tax base."</span> In the past, President Barack Obama has slammed inversions as <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/25/us/obama-to-urge-end-to-loophole-letting-firms-shield-profits-abroad-.html" target="_blank">unpatriotic.</a> His administration and congressional Democrats estimate that tax inversions will result in <a href="http://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/press-release/new-crs-data-47-corporate-inversions-last-decade-2" target="_blank">nearly $20 billion</a> in lost taxes through 2024.</p> <p>Inversions have been around since the early '80s, when a tax lawyer masterminded a move known as the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/foreign-overseas-tax-inversion-evasion-obama" target="_blank">"Panama Scoot"</a>. Since then, more than 100 companies have renounced their American citizenship. Here's where they went:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Inversion_Map2.png"></div> </div> <p>And inversions are just one of many ways US companies stash earnings abroad. Between 2008 and 2013, American firms had more than $2.1 trillion in profits held overseas&mdash;that's as much as $500 billion in unpaid taxes.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Inversion_card_1-630_0.png"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Regulatory Affairs Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:55:04 +0000 Dave Gilson 290416 at http://www.motherjones.com What You Need to Know About the Ongoing Lockdown in Brussels http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/brussels-terror-lockdown-raids <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Brussels remains under lockdown for the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/22/belgium-police-arrest-six-terror-suspects-after-raids-across-country" target="_blank">third straight day</a> as authorities continue to hunt down suspects in connection with the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris. As of Monday morning, a spokesman for the chief Belgian prosecutor said 21 people have been arrested in a series of anti-terror raids since Sunday.</p> <p>But police officers are still searching for the primary target of these raids&mdash;Salah Abdeslam, the 26-year-old suspect believed to have taken part in the Paris attacks. Officials say Abdeslam's <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/23/us-france-shooting-belgium-idUSKCN0TA03H20151123#jFHcDCYgI1RDVbTV.97" target="_blank">brother</a> detonated himself in the Paris attacks.</p> <p>Amid the crackdown, officials are also <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/belgium-weighs-extending-lockdown-police-hunt-paris-attackers-054139052.html" target="_blank">warning</a> residents of a possible "serious and imminent attack" in the Belgian capital. Schools, underground public transit, and shopping centers are all closed, as Brussels remains at the highest level of terror alert.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">One Cafe and one Chocolate shop, the only places open in the iconic Hubert's arcade, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Brussels?src=hash">#Brussels</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BrusselsAlert?src=hash">#BrusselsAlert</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bq3D7Gsgic">pic.twitter.com/Bq3D7Gsgic</a></p> &mdash; Gavin Lee (@GavinLeeBBC) <a href="https://twitter.com/GavinLeeBBC/status/668747460567805953">November 23, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Over the weekend, the police requested that residents refrain from posting details of the raids on social media and potentially tipping the suspects off in the process. Twitter users followed through by flooding the platform with photos of cats in order to show a moment of levity and stamp out any possible security leaks.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/relax?src=hash">#relax</a>, Mes amis <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BrusselsLockdown?src=hash">#BrusselsLockdown</a> <a href="https://t.co/LENxVUnnv9">pic.twitter.com/LENxVUnnv9</a></p> &mdash; JaneAustenMaMaschio (@ExTimUpperClass) <a href="https://twitter.com/ExTimUpperClass/status/668547367726108673">November 22, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>On Monday, British Prime Minster David Cameron <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/david-cameron-wants-the-uk-to-start-bombing-isis-in-syria_56531961e4b0d4093a584255" target="_blank">announced</a> that he will seek parliamentary support to launch new airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. The <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/23/us-special-forces-to-arrive-in-syria-very-soon-as-assad-hails-russian-air-strikes" target="_blank"><em>Guardian </em></a>reports that US special operation forces will be deployed in Syria "very soon."</p></body></html> MoJo International Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:20:53 +0000 Inae Oh 290381 at http://www.motherjones.com The Most Fascinating Thing About Donald Trump's Racist Tweet http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/most-fascinating-thing-about-donald-trumps-racist-tweet <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Sunday afternoon, @realDonaldTrump, the official Twitter handle of the Republican presidential front-runner, manually retweeted <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/11/donald-trumps-hatemongering-moves-african-americans" target="_blank">a deeply racist and inaccurate chart purporting to show racial crime statistics in America</a>.&nbsp;As&nbsp;everyone in the world knows by now, the chart&mdash;<a href="http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/45291_We_Found_Where_Donald_Trumps_Black_Crimes_Graphic_Came_From/comments/" target="_blank">created by Nazis!</a>&mdash;is <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/11/22/trump-retweeted-a-very-wrong-set-of-numbers-on-race-and-murder/" target="_blank">bullshit</a>. Here's something that is fascinating about the whole episode: Donald Trump almost certainly did not send the tweet.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/trump-tweet.png"></p> <p>As I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/09/does-donald-trump-send-his-own-tweets" target="_blank">explained in September</a>, only a vanishingly small number of @realDonaldTrump's tweets actually come from Trump himself. He dictates many of his tweets to aides. He sends some&mdash;a very small few&mdash;himself using an iPhone. And many <a href="http://webtrends.about.com/od/Twitter-Web/fl/Manual-Retweet-Definition.htm" target="_blank">manual retweets</a>&nbsp;are sent by one of his staffers. Retweets&nbsp;presumably aren't the sort of thing he would be dictating. He's probably not&nbsp;on his phone listening to someone read his mentions and saying, "Retweet&nbsp;that one!" Sunday's tweet was sent from an Android. Trump tweets&mdash;when he rarely does&mdash;from an iPhone. It's <em>very likely</em> Trump did not send that retweet. Someone who works for him did. This isn't the fascinating thing.</p> <p>The fascinating thing is that instead of a blaming the tweet on a subordinate&mdash;something they haven't been shy about <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/trump-retweet-blunder-215072" target="_blank">doing</a> in the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/14/donald-trump-nazi-soldiers-tweet-top-republican-polls" target="_blank">past</a>&mdash;the campaign has chosen to stay silent about it.&nbsp;They have apparently made the political calculation that it would be worse for Trump to acknowledge not sending the racist tweet than to endure a few days of stories about how racist he is.&nbsp;</p> <p>It's 2015, and if you're running for the Republican nomination for president, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/11/father-coughlin-alive-and-well-todays-gop" target="_blank">saying racist things&nbsp;doesn't hurt your poll numbers</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>An email to the Trump campaign seeking clarification on the authorship of the tweet was not immediately returned.&nbsp;</em></p></body></html> MoJo Mon, 23 Nov 2015 16:17:50 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 290361 at http://www.motherjones.com Louisiana Just Voted to Give a Quarter of a Million People Health Care http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/david-vitter-louisiana-governor-john-bel-edwards <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Republican Sen. David Vitter lost his bid to be the next governor of Louisiana on Saturday, and it wasn't even close. The two-term senator lost the runoff election to Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards by double digits, setting the stage for the state to potentially become the first in the Deep South to accept a pivotal part of Obamacare.</p> <p>Vitter was dogged by a decade-old prostitution scandal, <a href="http://mojo.ly/1SN363Q" target="_blank">and a bizarre spying incident at a coffee shop</a>.&nbsp;Desperate to make up ground, he warned voters in one ad that President Barack Obama would release "thugs" from prison onto Louisiana streets. Vitter also sought to turn the tide by warning voters of a terrorist threat posed by the state's 14 Syrian refugees. He went as far as to allege (<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/david-vitter-syrian-refugees-louisiana-governor" target="_blank">falsely, it turned out</a>) that one of the refugees had gone missing. It didn't work.</p> <p>Edwards, an anti-abortion, pro-gun West Point grad, became the first Democratic candidate to win a statewide election in Louisiana since 2008, and benefited from support from Republicans who were dissatisfied with Vitter's personal troubles and disappointed by the state's financial woes under outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal. (By the time Jindal dropped out of the presidential race on Wednesday, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/bobby-jindal-louisiana-governor-religion-gop" target="_blank">the one-time rising star's</a> approval ratings had dropped to 20 percent.)</p> <p>Jindal also rejected federal funding to expand Medicaid. Edwards has <a href="http://theadvocate.com/news/13579689-123/democratic-governor-candidate-backs-expanding" target="_blank">pledged</a> to sign an executive order authorizing the expansion of the program on his first day in office. That's a really big deal. Such a move would provide coverage to about 225,000 residents in one of the poorest states in the nation.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Sun, 22 Nov 2015 03:23:24 +0000 Tim Murphy 290291 at http://www.motherjones.com Alabama May Back Off Its Policy of Treating New Moms Like Meth Cooks http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/alabama-may-be-scaling-back-law-prosecuting-pregnant-drug-users <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A subcommittee of the Alabama <a href="http://governor.alabama.gov/newsroom/2015/04/governor-bentley-unveils-alabama-health-care-improvement-task-force/" target="_blank">Governor's Health Care Improvement Task Force</a> is examining proposals that aim to reform the nation's harshest "chemical endangerment of a child" statute.&nbsp;The law states that "knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally" exposing a child to controlled substances or drug-making chemicals is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison if a child is unharmed, and 99 years if a child dies.</p> <p>The enforcement of the law, originally intended to prosecute methamphetamine users who exposed children to the drug, has been unusually broad&mdash;including, as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/09/alabama-chemical-endangerment-drug-war" target="_blank"><em>ProPublica's </em>Nina Martin previously reported in <em>Mother Jones</em></a>, the prosecution of pregnant women for exposing their fetuses to even small amounts of anti-anxiety medication. Nearly 500 women have been arrested on related charges since the law passed in 2006.</p> <p>The law has been criticized by civil rights groups and public health experts for being harmful to those who need the most help&mdash;women who are faced with poverty and addiction&mdash;and for unfairly prosecuting women who were not drug users at all, but who might have simply taken a small dose of medication that eventually appeared in the blood test of their new babies.</p> <p>At the task force meeting on Wednesday, Dr. Darlene Traffanstedt, who heads the subcommittee, announced that three proposals were under consideration. One would require prosecutors to offer drug treatment to pregnant women instead of prosecuting them, while another would protect women using drugs that have been legally prescribed to them (which <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/09/alabama-chemical-endangerment-drug-war" target="_blank">has not been the case</a> since 2006). The third option would hold the law to its "original intent"&nbsp; by preventing its use against women who are using pregnancy-related medication.</p> <p>The subcommittee's next meeting is in December, and a draft bill is expected by the beginning of February's legislative session. Read more about the law and its consequences <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/09/alabama-chemical-endangerment-drug-war" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Reproductive Rights Top Stories Fri, 20 Nov 2015 23:10:53 +0000 Becca Andrews 290286 at http://www.motherjones.com Gunmen Take 170 Hostages Inside Mali Hotel http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/mali-hostage-hotel-gunmen <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Update, 11:13 a.m. EST: </strong>Multiple reports say the hostage situation is <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34879955" target="_blank">over.</a> At least 27 people are reported <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/20/us-mali-attacks-idUSKCN0T90SK20151120?utm_source=twitter" target="_blank">dead. </a></p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BREAKING?src=hash">#BREAKING</a>: Mali hotel gunmen 'holding no more hostages': security minister</p> &mdash; Agence France-Presse (@AFP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AFP/status/667727956635201537">November 20, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p><strong>Previously:</strong></p> <p>At least three people are dead after gunmen&mdash;reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great"&mdash;seized control on Friday of a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/20/gunmen-take-hostages-radisson-hotel-mali-bamako" target="_blank">Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali</a>, where 170 people were taken hostage.</p> <p>Security forces launched a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/20/africa/mali-shooting/index.html" target="_blank">counterassault</a> mission, reportedly freeing 80 out of the initial 170 hostages as of this time.</p> <p>The <em>Times</em> reports that the gunmen are also <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/world/africa/mali-hotel-attack-radisson.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=first-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">releasing</a> Muslims but continuing to hold <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/world/africa/mali-hotel-attack-radisson.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=first-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">non-Muslims</a> inside.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">This is the moment <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Mali?src=hash">#Mali</a> special forces stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital Bamako <a href="https://t.co/28gcbodMnc">https://t.co/28gcbodMnc</a> <a href="https://t.co/30IqjiS9lm">https://t.co/30IqjiS9lm</a></p> &mdash; ITV News (@itvnews) <a href="https://twitter.com/itvnews/status/667680455643140096">November 20, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The hostage situation in Mali comes just one week after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris. On Friday, French President <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/ongoing-shooter-operation-reported-at-radisson-blu-hotel-in-mali-1448011876" target="_blank">Francois Hollande</a> showed his solidarity with the Malian people.</p> <p>"With the means we have in the area, we will do what is possible to obtain the freedom of the hostage," Hollande said. "Once again, terrorists want to mark with their barbaric presence all places where they can kill or massacre."</p></body></html> MoJo International Fri, 20 Nov 2015 13:30:32 +0000 Inae Oh 290216 at http://www.motherjones.com More Transgender People Have Been Killed in 2015 Than Any Other Year on Record http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/more-transgender-people-have-been-murdered-2015-any-other-year-record <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>At vigils across the country today, people are honoring the victims of fatal anti-transgender violence as part of an annual <a href="http://www.glaad.org/tdor" target="_blank">Transgender Day of Remembrance</a>. At least 21 transgender people have been killed in the United States already this year, which is more homicides than any other year on record, according to a recent <a href="http://hrc-assets.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com//files/assets/resources/HRC-AntiTransgenderViolence-0519.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> by Human Rights Campaign. During the first six months of the year alone, more transgender people were killed than in all of 2014. Most of the victims were transgender women of color. So far, none of the attacks have been deemed hate crimes.</p> <p>On Tuesday, a <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/18/456495475/congress-lgbt-caucus-launches-task-force-on-transgender-equality" target="_blank">congressional task force</a> launched in response to the "epidemic of violence against the transgender community." The Transgender Equality Task Force, chaired by Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), who has a transgender granddaughter, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/13/transgender-homicide-victims-us-has-hit-historic-high" target="_blank">aims</a> to understand the causes of anti-transgender violence and identify what the federal government can do to improve the situation.</p> <p><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/police-need-work-their-approach-homicides-transgender-people" target="_blank">Activists say</a> it's hard to know exactly how many transgender people are killed every year. One problem, they say, is that police officers often refer to transgender homicide victims with names and pronouns reflecting their gender of birth, rather than their gender identity. (For example, transgender women are often described by police officers as men.) And while the FBI last year began publishing statistics on hate crimes against gender-nonconforming people, the bureau's figures only reflect cases reported to authorities. Some crime-reporting programs at the state level have also opted, for budgetary reasons, not to collect data on hate crimes against transgender people, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/police-need-work-their-approach-homicides-transgender-people" target="_blank">according to an FBI spokesman</a>. Lauren Smith, a press contact for Honda, the chair of the congressional task force, said the issue of data collection has come up in discussions among task force members, but that the group won't be meeting until shortly after Thanksgiving to hammer out specific agenda items they hope to address.</p> <p>Read more of <em>MoJo</em>'s coverage on anti-transgender violence <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/transgender-women-disproportionately-targeted-violent-hate-crimes" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Gay Rights Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:00:10 +0000 Samantha Michaels 290146 at http://www.motherjones.com Kansas Asks Its Entire Supreme Court to Step Aside in Key Case http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/kansas-asks-entire-supreme-court-step-aside-key-case <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Kansas Republicans believe they have created a law that their own high court cannot review.</p> <p>In the latest twist of the topsy-turvy constitutional showdown between the GOP-controlled state legislature and the state Supreme Court, the Kansas attorney general has asked the entire Kansas Supreme Court to recuse itself from hearing a key case.</p> <p>The power struggle between Kansas Republicans and the state's highest court goes back to a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/final-front-sam-brownbacks-battle-control-kansas" target="_blank">years-long battle over education funding</a>. The state Supreme Court has repeatedly ordered the legislature to spend more money on public education, a request that conflicts with Republicans' desire to cut taxes. In 2014, the legislature passed a bill stripping the Supreme Court of the administrative authority to appoint chief judges in Kansas' 31 judicial districts, a move Democrats saw as a power play by the legislature to intimidate the top court during the ongoing fight over school spending. Chief District Court Judge Larry Solomon challenged the constitutionality of the judicial administration law, arguing that it violates the state's separation of powers.</p> <p>But the legislature doubled down. Earlier this year, it passed a judicial budget that would cut off funding for the entire Kansas court system if the courts struck down the judicial administration bill&mdash;a situation that would seize critical state functions such as criminal prosecutions, civil disputes, real estate sales, and adoptions. That led to the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/09/why-entire-kansas-court-system-could-shut-down" target="_blank">bizarre moment</a> in September when a district court ruled the administrative bill unconstitutional, putting all the funding for the state courts in sudden jeopardy. The situation threatened to devolve into a judicial catch-22, in which no court could rule on the legality of the laws because those laws had defunded them. To avoid that situation, the judge <a href="http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/Judge-puts-stay-on-decision-that-could-cost-KS-courts-all-their-funding-324224361.html" target="_blank">put a hold on his ruling</a> invalidating the law until the state Supreme Court could hear the case&mdash;except that the state of Kansas is now arguing that the Supreme Court shouldn't have its say.</p> <p>Rather than let the case proceed to the Supreme Court, Attorney General Derek Schmidt <a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legal-work/Solomon%20v%20%20State%20Motion%20for%20Recusal%20-%20FINAL%20with%20exhibits.pdf" target="_blank">argued in a brief</a> last week that the justices should not hear the case because the law involves the court's authority. Schmidt's brief also notes that the chief justice of the Supreme Court criticized the law when it passed, betraying his bias against the law.</p> <p>Under Kansas law, Supreme Court justices can appoint district court judges to sit in their place when they recuse themselves. But Schmidt argues that a district court judge shouldn't be involved either because the law involves appointing chief judges at the district court level. Instead, Schmidt proposes that judges on the Kansas Court of Appeals&mdash;just below the level of the Supreme Court and above the district courts<strong>&mdash;</strong>review the case. (Perhaps not coincidentally, in 2013, the Republican-controlled legislature <a href="http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article1122268.html" target="_blank">changed the selection process for appeals court judges</a>. Before then, a commission nominated potential judges for the governor to choose from; now the judges are appointed directly by the governor, currently Republican Sam Brownback. The judges most sympathetic to the Republican legislature may be those at the appeals court level.)</p> <p>Lawyers fighting the judicial administration bill believe the recusal request is frivolous. As they wrote in <a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legal-work/Opposition%20to%20State%27s%20MTN%20for%20Recusal%2011-17-15.pdf" target="_blank">a brief</a> this week, "centuries of precedent make clear that it is the province and duty of this Court to decide cases that involve the scope of the Court&rsquo;s authority, jurisdiction, and duties vis-&agrave;-vis the other branches of government." In a response filed Thursday, the state held firm that the highest court should not hear the case.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Pema Levy 290086 at http://www.motherjones.com Bernie Sanders Says Qatar Should Spend Its Money Fighting ISIS, Not Hosting the World Cup http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/bernie-sanders-isis-qatar-world-cup-soccer <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Not only did Bernie Sanders defend democratic socialism in a Georgetown University speech Thursday, but he also took the opportunity to throw around some shade.</p> <p>First, the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/bernie-sanders-slams-donald-trump-opening-door-racism" target="_blank">went off script</a> to call out Donald Trump and other Republican candidates for "using the political process to inject racism into the debate." Then, Sanders <a href="https://berniesanders.com/democratic-socialism-in-the-united-states/" target="_blank">took a shot</a> in his prepared remarks at Qatar's plans to invest upwards of $220 billion to host a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/sep/25/2022-world-cup-qatar-fifa-dates-21-november-final-18-december" target="_blank">four-week, sure-to-be-hot-as-hell</a> World Cup in 2022, instead of spending that money on fighting ISIS:</p> <blockquote> <p>It has been reported that Qatar will spend $200 billion on the 2022 World Cup, including the construction of an enormous number of facilities to host that event&mdash;$200 billion on hosting a soccer event, yet very little to fight against ISIS. Worse still, it has been widely reported that the government has not been vigilant in stemming the flow of terrorist financing, and that Qatari individuals and organizations funnel money to some of the most extreme terrorist groups, including al Nusra and ISIS.</p> <p>All of this has got to change. Wealthy and powerful Muslim nations in the region can no longer sit on the sidelines and expect the United States to do their work for them. As we develop a strongly coordinated effort, we need a commitment from these countries that the fight against ISIS takes precedence over the religious and ideological differences that hamper the kind of cooperation that we desperately need.</p> </blockquote> <p>Reminder: Letting Qatar host the World Cup has always been a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/chart-fifa-deaths-qatar-move-it-to-the-united-states" target="_blank">terrible idea</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections International Sports Thu, 19 Nov 2015 22:07:35 +0000 Edwin Rios 290151 at http://www.motherjones.com Bernie Sanders Just Basically Called Out Donald Trump for Being a Racist http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/bernie-sanders-slams-donald-trump-opening-door-racism <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In a fiery speech at Georgetown University outlining and defending democratic socialism on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, went off script from his <a href="https://berniesanders.com/democratic-socialism-in-the-united-states/" target="_blank">prepared remarks</a> to condemn Donald Trump and other presidential candidates for their continued use of racist tactics to shape the immigration debate.</p> <p>"Let me just say a few words from what I've heard from several Republican candidates for president over recent months because people can have honest disagreements about immigration, but people should not be using the political process to inject racism into the debate," Sanders said. He then slammed Trump:</p> <blockquote> <p>People should not be using the political process to inject racism into the debate. Donald Trump and others who refer to Latinos as peoples from Mexico as criminals and rapists, if they want to open that door, our job is to shut that door. This country has gone too far. Too many people have suffered and too many people have died for us to continue to hear racist words coming from major political leaders.</p> </blockquote> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">If Trump, other GOP candidates want to open the door of racism, nativism, "our job is to shut that door." -Sanders <a href="https://t.co/YHWAQi8Emq">pic.twitter.com/YHWAQi8Emq</a></p> &mdash; ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) <a href="https://twitter.com/ABCPolitics/status/667432271608197120">November 19, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The much-anticipated speech concluded with Sanders receiving a rousing, standing ovation from students in attendance.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Immigration Thu, 19 Nov 2015 20:47:07 +0000 Inae Oh 290141 at http://www.motherjones.com Read Elizabeth Warren's Heartfelt Email in Support of Syrian Refugees http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/elizabeth-warren-syrian-refugees-email <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As more Republicans&nbsp;declare their opposition to the resettlement of&nbsp;Syrian refugees in the United States, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday sent out an email&nbsp;to her supporters, passionately&nbsp;urging them to stand with her in pushing back against calls for rejecting those fleeing violence in Syria and the Middle East.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's an excerpt:</p> <blockquote> <p>In the wake of the murders in Paris and Beirut last week, people in America, in Europe, and throughout the world, are fearful. Millions of Syrians are fearful as well&mdash;terrified by the reality of their daily lives, terrified that their last avenue of escape from the horrors of ISIS will be closed, terrified that the world will turn its back on them and on their children.</p> <p>Some politicians have already moved in that direction, proposing to close our country to people fleeing the massacre in Syria. That is not who we are. We are a country of immigrants and refugees, a country made strong by our diversity, a country founded by those crossing the sea fleeing religious persecution and seeking religious freedom.</p> <p>We are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of ISIS murderers because some politician dislikes their religion. And we are not a nation that backs down out of fear.</p> </blockquote> <p>Warren's letter was sent out by her Senate campaign, but it made no request for donations (which is rare when a politician zaps out an email to her list of supporters). The note&nbsp;follows a similar plea she made to her fellow lawmakers in the Senate on Tuesday. Warren is among only a<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/11/what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-us-America" target="_blank"> handful </a>of politicians who&nbsp;publicly support accepting a limited number of&nbsp;refugees in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday.</p> <p>"It is easy to proclaim that we are tough and brave and good-hearted when threats feel far away," Warren said in that&nbsp;speech. "But when those threats loom large and close by, our actions will strip away our tough talk and reveal who we really are. We face a choice, a choice either to lead the world by example, or to turn our backs to the threats and suffering around us."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-6EOLirAQgg" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Here's the full email:</p> <blockquote> <p>Over the past four years, millions of people have fled their homes in Syria, running for their lives. In recent months, the steady stream of refugees has been a flood that has swept across Europe.</p> <p>Every day, refugees set out on a journey hundreds of miles, from Syria to the Turkish coast. When they arrive, human smugglers charge them $1000 a head for a place on a shoddy, overloaded, plastic raft that is given a big push and floated out to sea, hopefully toward one of the Greek islands.</p> <p>Last month, I visited the Greek island of Lesvos to see the Syrian refugee crisis up close. Lesvos is only a few miles away from the Turkish coast, but the risks of crossing are immense. This is a really rocky, complicated shoreline &ndash; in and out, in and out. The overcrowded, paper-thin smuggler rafts are tremendously unsafe, especially in choppy waters or when a storm picks up.</p> <p>Parents try their hardest to protect their children. They really do. Little ones are outfitted with blow up pool floaties as a substitute for life jackets, in the hope that if the rafts go down, a $1.99 pool toy will be enough to save the life of a small child. &nbsp;</p> <p>And the rafts do go down. According to some estimates, more than 500 people have died crossing the sea from Turkey to Greece so far this year. But despite the clear risks, thousands make the trip every day.</p> <p>I met with the mayor of Lesvos, who described how his tiny island of 80,000 people has struggled to cope with those refugees who wash ashore &ndash; more than 100,000 people in October alone. Refugees pile into the reception centers, overflowing the facilities, sleeping in parks, or at the side of the road. Recently, the mayor told a local radio program that the island had run out of room to bury the dead.</p> <p>On my visit, I met a young girl &ndash; younger than my own granddaughters &ndash; sent out on this perilous journey alone. I asked her how old she was, and she shyly held up seven fingers.</p> <p>I wondered what could possibly possess parents to hand a seven-year-old girl and a wad of cash to human smugglers. What could possibly possess them to send a beloved child across the treacherous seas with nothing more than a pool floatie. What could make them send a child knowing that crime rings of sex slavery and organ harvesting prey on these children.</p> <p>Send a little girl out alone. With only the wildest, vaguest, most wishful hope that she might make it through alive and find something &ndash; anything &ndash; better for her on the other side.</p> <p>This week, we all know why parents would send a child on that journey. Last week&rsquo;s massacres in Paris and Beirut made it clear. The terrorists of ISIS &ndash; enemies of Islam and of all modern civilization, butchers who rape, torture and execute women and children, who blow themselves up in a lunatic effort to kill as many people as possible &ndash; these terrorists have spent years torturing the people of Syria. Day after day, month after month, year after year, mothers, fathers, children and grandparents are slaughtered.</p> <p>In the wake of the murders in Paris and Beirut last week, people in America, in Europe, and throughout the world, are fearful. Millions of Syrians are fearful as well &ndash; terrified by the reality of their daily lives, terrified that their last avenue of escape from the horrors of ISIS will be closed, terrified that the world will turn its back on them and on their children.</p> <p>Some politicians have already moved in that direction, proposing to close our country to people fleeing the massacre in Syria. That is not who we are. We are a country of immigrants and refugees, a country made strong by our diversity, a country founded by those crossing the sea fleeing religious persecution and seeking religious freedom.</p> <p>We are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of ISIS murderers because some politician dislikes their religion. And we are not a nation that backs down out of fear.</p> <p>Our first responsibility is to protect this country. We must embrace that fundamental obligation. But we do not make ourselves safer by ignoring our common humanity and turning away from our moral obligation. &nbsp;</p> <p>ISIS has shown itself to the world. We cannot &ndash; and we will not &ndash; abandon the people of France to this butchery. We cannot &ndash; and we will not &ndash; abandon the people of Lebanon to this butchery. And we cannot &ndash; and we must not &ndash; abandon the people of Syria to this butchery.</p> <p>Thank you for being a part of this,</p> <p>Elizabeth</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo Congress International Thu, 19 Nov 2015 16:54:09 +0000 Inae Oh 290046 at http://www.motherjones.com Louisiana Republican Stokes Fears of Syrian Refugees to Boost Struggling Campaign for Governor http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/david-vitter-syrian-refugees-louisiana-governor <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the days since terror attacks roiled Paris, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who&nbsp;<a href="http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/13998992-123/john-bel-edwards-david-vitter" target="_blank">has been trailing</a> in the race for governor against his Democratic rival John Bel Edwards, has settled on a new strategy for winning over voters: warning them about&nbsp;Syrian refugees entering the state.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">After Edwards released an <a href="http://thehayride.com/2015/11/if-the-syrian-migrant-issue-matters-to-louisiana-voters-john-bel-edwards-has-some-problems/" target="_blank">apparently altered</a> statement on Facebook in the attacks' aftermath noting he would help "to assist the people coming here and fleeing from religious persecution,"&nbsp;</span>Vitter's<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;campaign pounced. In a robocall over the weekend, Vitter&nbsp;<a href="http://bobmannblog.com/2015/11/16/vitter-doesnt-want-syrian-refugees-in-louisiana-he-should-talk-to-his-wife/">warned</a> that President Barack Obama's "reckless policies" for allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country would turn Louisiana into a "dangerous refugee zone." (The State Department <a href="http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/11/post_599.html">confirmed to the<em> Times-Picayune</em></a> that only 14 Syrian immigrants had settled in Louisiana since January 1.)&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">On Monday, as&nbsp;Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order seeking to block refugees from entering the state,&nbsp;</span>Vitter&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;"><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/11/17/david-vitter-trailing-in-gubernatorial-race-wants-to-make-it-about-syrian-refugees/">released an ad</a> claiming that Obama had been "sending refugees to Louisiana" and that Edwards had vowed to work with the president to welcome them. A day later, Vitter <a href="http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/14012174-123/david-vitter-files-syrian-refugee">introduced federal legislation</a> that would halt incoming refugee admissions for at least 300 days while a review of the screening process takes place.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>An <a href="http://www.lagop.com/blog/2015/11/18/missing-unmonitored-syrian-refugee-last-seen-in-baton-rouge" target="_blank">email sent</a> from the Louisiana Republican Party on Tuesday warned supporters about the possibility of "missing" refugees in the state. &nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p>Just yesterday, David Vitter had to notify the Obama Administration that a Syrian refugee who had been living in Baton Rouge has gone missing. What kind of accountability is that? There is an unmonitored Syrian refugee who is walking around freely, and no one knows where he is.</p> </blockquote> <p>It turns out that the "missing" refugee in Baton Rouge&nbsp;hadn't disappeared at all. A day before the email went out, the <em>New Orleans Advocate</em> <a href="http://theadvocate.com/sports/lsu/14012129-64/catholic-charities-one-syrian-immigrant" target="_blank">reported</a>&nbsp;that Catholic Charities, the organization that aids in refugee resettlement, had helped the Syrian man for a few days before he left the state to meet with family&nbsp;in Washington, DC. Before he left, the man filed relocation paperwork to the federal government.</p> <p>Vitter's wife, Wendy Vitter, reportedly <a href="http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2015/11/18/vitter-gop-resort-to-hysterical-lies-about-syrian-refugees-in-louisiana" target="_blank">works as a lawyer</a> for the Archdiocese&nbsp;of New Orleans, which is affiliated with Catholic Charities. The organization received a flood of phone calls about the supposedly "missing" refugee, <a href="http://theadvocate.com/sports/lsu/14012129-64/catholic-charities-one-syrian-immigrant" target="_blank">according to the <em>Advocate</em></a>, and a Jefferson Parish Sheriff warned that <a href="http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2015/11/18/vitter-gop-resort-to-hysterical-lies-about-syrian-refugees-in-louisiana" target="_blank">"somebody's going to get killed"</a>&nbsp;as a result of the misinformation, according to the New Orleans alt-weekly <em>The Gambit.</em></p> <p>Vitter, whose campaign&nbsp;has also been mired in reports that he may have <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/david-vitter-louisiana-governors-race-lovechild-allegation" target="_blank">had a love child with a prostitute</a>, will find if his last-ditch effort to lure Louisiana voters is successful when the election takes place on Saturday.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Immigration Thu, 19 Nov 2015 15:31:40 +0000 Edwin Rios 290021 at http://www.motherjones.com Alleged Planner of Paris Attacks Killed in Saint-Denis Raid http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/abdelhamid-abaaoud-mastermind-paris-attacks-dead <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Paris' chief prosecutor announced on Thursday that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected architect of the deadly terrorist attacks that killed 129 people, was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/paris-attack-mastermind-killed_564dc2bfe4b08c74b73465f1?h65pzaor" target="_blank">killed</a> during Wednesday's seven-hour-long standoff in Saint-Denis, during which some 5,000 rounds of ammunition were exchanged between the police and militants.</p> <p>The Associated Press reported that the Belgian-born terrorist was identified by fingerprint samples.</p> <p>Early on Wednesday, heavily armed authorities descended on the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/st-denis-raid-paris-attacks-terrorism" target="_blank">Paris suburb of Saint-Denis </a>to raid an apartment believed to be hiding a terrorist cell.</p> <p>The police say they were able to locate the apartment after recovering a cellphone used by one of the terrorists near the Bataclan concert hall where the attackers killed 89 people.</p> <p>Two people, including Abaaoud, were killed in the raid. Eight others were arrested. On Thursday, officials confirmed that the woman who detonated herself using an explosive vest was Abaaoud's <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/nov/19/paris-attacks-police-investigate-isis-mastermind-dead-st-denis-raid-live#block-564dc7dee4b03a791b2a7c09" target="_blank">cousin. </a></p></body></html> MoJo International Thu, 19 Nov 2015 13:41:18 +0000 Inae Oh 290031 at http://www.motherjones.com The Latest Issue of ISIS's Magazine Is As Terrible As You'd Think http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/isis-magazine-dabiq-paris-beirut-russia <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Since the end of October, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the murders of almost 400 people in strikes against France, Russia, and Lebanon. As officials continue to investigate how these attacks were carried out, the so-called Islamic State released its own version Wednesday morning&mdash;in the latest issue of its <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/isis-propaganda-magazine-rape-slavery-murder-allah-dabiq" target="_blank">digital magazine</a>, <em>Dabiq</em>.</p> <p>As <em>Mother Jones</em> has <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/isis-propaganda-magazine-rape-slavery-murder-allah-dabiq" target="_blank">reported before</a>, <em>Dabiq </em>is a recruitment tool for ISIS, which uses the publication to deliver "informative" updates from its territory and articulate lengthy religious arguments that the group says justify its brutal tactics. ISIS's propaganda arm, which began publishing <em>Dabiq</em> after the group's declaration last summer that it had established a caliphate, uploads the magazine online as an English-language PDF and distributes it on <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/isis-social-media-state-department" target="_blank">social media</a>. (<em>Dabiq</em> takes its name from a farming town in northern Syria, where, according to Islamic prophecy, the caliphate will defeat the forces of "Rome," ushering in a series of events that will lead to the apocalypse&mdash;a story that is crucial to ISIS's recruiting tactics.)</p> <p>Here's what the terrorist group had to say about recent attacks:</p> <p><strong>Paris</strong><br><em>Dabiq</em> doesn't add much to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/11/multiple-shooting-attacks-and-bombings-reported-paris" target="_blank">what we already know</a> about the simultaneous attacks that killed 129 people Friday at the Bataclan Theatre, Stade de France, and other locations around the Boulevard Voltaire in Paris. As European authorities mount <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/st-denis-raid-paris-attacks-terrorism" target="_blank">raids</a> looking for anyone who might have been involved in the plot, the magazine states that a total of eight people were involved in carrying out the attacks.</p> <p>Here's how <em>Dabiq</em> justifies last week's events in Paris:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p>A year earlier, on "19 September 2014," France haughtily began executing airstrikes against the Khil&Auml;&#129;fah [Caliphate]. Like Russia, it was blinded by hubris, thinking that its geographical distance from the lands of the Khil&Auml;&#129;fah would protect it from the justice of the muj&Auml;&#129;hid&Auml;&laquo;n. It also did not grasp that its mockery of the Messenger would not be left unavenged. Thus, the Islamic State dispatched its brave knights to wage war in the homelands of the wicked crusaders, leaving Paris and its residents "shocked and awed." The eight knights brought Paris down on its knees, after years of French conceit in the face of Islam.</p> </blockquote> <p>The alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks, 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud, gave an <a href="http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/paris-attacks-extracts-islamic-state-dabiq-interview-abdelhamid-abaaoud-alleged-mastermind-1528982" target="_blank">interview</a> to <em>Dabiq </em>earlier this year. In it, Abaaoud brags about being pursued by Western intelligence agencies and describes traveling between Syria and Belgium, where he claimed he was leading a terror cell that was broken up by Belgian officials.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Metrojet Flight 9268 crash</strong><br> In a foreword to the issue, <em>Dabiq</em>'s unnamed creators published an image of the bomb they say was used to bring down Metrojet Flight 9268, the Russian airliner that crashed on October 31 over Sinai, Egypt, killing all 224 passengers. The photograph shows a can of Shwepps Gold, alongside what appears to be a switch and detonator for the device.</p> <p><em>New York Times </em>reporter C.J. Chivers weighed in on the bomb on Twitter:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Again, if image is not <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Daesh?src=hash">#Daesh</a> bullshit, elex cap looks real, &amp; possible manual safe/arming switch. Not a hard build. <a href="https://t.co/z8q4jNZYzO">pic.twitter.com/z8q4jNZYzO</a></p> &mdash; C.J. Chivers (@cjchivers) <a href="https://twitter.com/cjchivers/status/667054408501501956">November 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>According to <em>Dabiq</em>, ISIS originally planned to attack an airplane belonging to the US-led coalition against ISIS, but switched its target to a Russian flight. An Egyptian branch of ISIS has previously claimed responsibility for the attack.</p> <p>Neither the photograph nor any of the group's claims about the attacks have been verified. Alexander V. Bortnikov, the head of the Russian Federal Security Service, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/18/world/europe/russia-plane-crash-bomb.html?_r=0" target="_blank">said Monday</a> that Russian investigators had determined that the plane was brought down in an act of terrorism, using an "improvised explosive device" that contained up to one kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of TNT.</p> <p><em>Dabiq</em> explains how the attack on Metrojet Flight 9268 came about:</p> <blockquote> <p>On "30 September 2015"&hellip;Russia decided to participate directly with its own air force in the war. It was a rash decision of arrogance from Russia, as if it held that its wars against the Muslims of al-Qawq&Auml;&#129;z were not enough offence. And so after having discovered a way to compromise the security at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and resolving to bring down a plane belonging to a nation in the American-led Western coalition against the Islamic State, the target was changed to a Russian plane. A bomb was smuggled onto the airplane, leading to the deaths of 219 Russians and 5 other crusaders only a month after Russia&rsquo;s thoughtless decision&hellip;This was to show the Russians and whoever allies with them that they will have no safety in the lands and airspace of the Muslims, that their daily killing of dozens in Sh&Auml;&#129;m through their airstrikes will only bring them calamities, and that just as they kill, they will be killed, by Allah&rsquo;s permission.</p> </blockquote> <p><br><strong>Beirut, Lebanon</strong><br><em>Dabiq </em>also includes the November 12 suicide bombings in Beirut among a larger list of its recent "military operations":</p> <blockquote> <p>The soldiers of the Khil&Auml;&#129;fah in Lebanon parked a motorbike rigged with explosives on al-Husayniyyah Street in the region of Burj al-Bar&Auml;&#129;jinah located in the southern suburb of Beirut, a Hizbul-L&Auml;&#129;t stronghold, and detonated it on a gathering of R&Auml;&#129;fid&Auml;&laquo; mushrik&Auml;&laquo;n. When the murtadd&Auml;&laquo;n subsequently gathered at the site of explosion, one of the soldiers of the Khil&Auml;&#129;fah detonated his explosive belt in their midst. The operation succeeded in killing more than 40 R&Auml;&#129;fidah and wounding over 200 more, and sent a clear message to the R&Auml;&#129;fid&Auml;&laquo; allies of Bashar in Lebanon that they are well within the vengeful reach of the Islamic State.</p> </blockquote> <p>According to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/12/middleeast/beirut-explosions/" target="_blank">CNN</a>, Lebanese investigators apprehended a would-be suicide bomber who survived the attacks, and who claimed to have traveled to Beirut from Syria as part of an ISIS cell.</p></body></html> MoJo International Military ISIS Thu, 19 Nov 2015 00:20:56 +0000 Madison Pauly 289891 at http://www.motherjones.com Roanoke Mayor Makes the Most Appalling Argument Yet for Rejecting Syrian Refugees http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/roanoke-mayor-syrian-refugees-internment <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here is Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, Virginia&mdash;a <a href="http://www.roanoke.com/news/columns_and_blogs/blogs/blue_ridge_caucus/bowers-backs-clinton-campaign/article_15a6b106-6ca7-11e5-b909-a761c62e2478.html" target="_blank">member</a> of Hillary Clinton's Virginia Leadership Council&mdash;making perhaps the worst argument we've seen yet for rejecting Syrian refugees:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/564cb436dbbed.preview.jpg"></div> <p>A take so bad that it prompted this member of Congress to weigh in:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Can&rsquo;t believe this needs clarifying, but the internment of Japanese-Americans (including my parents) was not a model policy.</p> &mdash; Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) <a href="https://twitter.com/RepMarkTakano/status/667097811004039169">November 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>Update:</strong> Bowers is <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/roanoke-mayor-off-clinton-virginia-leadership-council#.ygE2D5b16" target="_blank">off the Clinton team</a> as of Wednesday afternoon.</p></body></html> MoJo Foreign Policy Immigration The Right Wed, 18 Nov 2015 22:35:26 +0000 Tim Murphy 289986 at http://www.motherjones.com The One Country You'd Expect to Reject Syrian Refugees Wants to Take 30,000 of Them Instead http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/11/one-country-youd-expect-reject-syrian-refugees-wants-take-30000 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A growing number of politicians in the United States have used last Friday's terrorist attacks in France to argue for tighter restrictions, if not an outright halt, on accepting Syrian refugees. But in France itself, the government is keeping its doors open.</p> <p>French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday at a meeting of French mayors that France <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/International/french-president-francois-hollande-welcomes-refugees-paris-attack/story?id=35274658" target="_blank">will accept 30,000 refugees</a> over the next two years, calling it his country's "humanitarian duty." The announcement <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/International/french-president-francois-hollande-welcomes-refugees-paris-attack/story?id=35274658" target="_blank">earned a standing ovation</a> from the mayors, according to the <em>Washington Post</em>.</p> <p>France had already committed to take in just over 24,000 refugees under the terms of <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/proposal-implementation-package/docs/proposal_for_council_decision_establishing_provisional_measures_in_the_area_of_international_protection_for_it_gr_and_hu_-_annexe_en.pdf" target="_blank">a mandatory EU quota plan</a> that was adopted in September. Extending that commitment to 30,000 is one of the few positive signs for the EU's efforts, largely led by Germany, to spread refugees more equitably across the continent. The plan was opposed by Eastern European and Balkan countries through which large numbers of refugees have crossed in recent months, and <a href="https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/opposition-hardening-to-eu-refugee-quota-plan-1.2433515" target="_blank">opposition has increased</a> following the Paris attacks. The government of Hungary announced on Wednesday that it will sue the EU to overturn the quota plan. "Most of Europe's population doesn&rsquo;t agree with the quota. Its social legitimacy is lacking," said Laszlo Trocsanyi, the Hungarian justice minister.</p></body></html> MoJo International Paris terrorism Wed, 18 Nov 2015 18:45:18 +0000 Max J. Rosenthal 289876 at http://www.motherjones.com