• In defense of Sally Ann Gonzales for LD3, an experienced Yaqui female legislator being silenced for speaking Truth to Power

  • Complaints against harassment by the TUSD Desegregation Fisher “Plaintiff” continue

    The following open letter to TUSD was posted on this recently posted article’s comment section.

    TS and Readers: The following was sent to Board and Supt. today.

    August 6, 2018

    Dear TUSD Governing Board and Dr. Gabriel Trujillo:

    I was very glad to see what the Whistleblowers reported about Gloria Copeland in Three Sonorans. Good and brave of the Whistleblowers! In reaction to the Whistleblowers’ 72nd letter, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo is saying that Gloria Copeland, Fisher plaintiffs’ representative (or whatever her role is) has the same rights to visit schools as any other “citizen.” This immediately shows how oblivious he is about Gloria Copeland’s behavior throughout the District and his lack of power or willingness to protect TUSD employees from Gloria’s out-of-bounds behavior at the schools. Maybe he believes Gloria’s bluff that she has two or three Board members “in-pocket.” (She throws Michael Hick’s name around all of the time and suggests that she speaks to Mark Stegeman regularly and she throws in that when she spoke with Rachael Sedgewick she said this and she said that so that people will know that she is also in contact with her.) It is one of her intimidation tricks. Basically, she is constantly dropping their names. I refuse to believe that any of these three Board members condone what Gloria is doing in the schools or other TUSD offices and I challenge each board member and Dr. Trujillo to condone her conduct or to denounce it. Remaining silent actually condones Gloria’s behavior and it allows her to continue with her awful disrespectful and disruptive behavior. read more

  • Israel Protests ICC’s Decision To Ask Palestinians For Information

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    Israel is officially protesting an International Criminal Court chamber's decision to seek out information from Palestinians about alleged Israeli war crimes.

    Shortly after the 2014 war in Gaza, the ICC launched a preliminary examination into allegations of war crimes by Israel during the conflict and into the construction of settlements in the West Bank. That case hasn't gone far, though — the court hasn't yet decided if it has jurisdiction over Israel, which isn't a member, or if there is any evidence of war crimes.

    In July, pretrial chamber judges decided to create a webpage to let Palestinians submit any information they had about the alleged war crimes to the court. Israeli officials were reportedly surprised by the move and said it was evidence the court was becoming politicized against Israel.

  • Just for kicks: Arizona sneakerheads pay big bucks for elite shoes

    Read more of this story here from Cronkite News RSS Feed by Cronkite News RSS Feed.

    Nate Fain

    Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018

    Just for kicks: Arizona sneakerheads pay big bucks for elite shoes

    PHOENIX -- J Carrillo’s house is covered in sneakers. Some pairs are scattered across the floor, permissible to be kicked out of the way by his girlfriend. Others have been worn once or twice and are stored in the man cave room of the house in individual, transparent display drawers. In this special room, Carrillo, a DJ who is known under the alias “Chilly,” can open up the top of his coffee table like a treasure chest. Inside are his most prized possessions, about a dozen versions of his all-time favorite sneaker, the Air Jordan XI. Chilly is a sneakerhead, a collector, willing to spend thousands of dollars to accumulate and sell troves of the trendiest, newest and rarest athletic shoes. With an assemblage hovering around 250 pairs, he’s allotted a permanent place in his heart to what he wears on his feet. Along with the shoes, his two-story Tempe home is a shrine of sports memorabilia and “Star Wars” knickknacks. Even something he takes as seriously as sneaker collecting is done with childlike exuberance. [caption id="attachment_95592" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The coffee table in Carrillo's man cave opens up like a treasure chest. Inside are his many versions of his favorite shoes, the Air Jordan XI. (Photo by Nate Fain/Cronkite News)[/caption] “Every time a shoe drops and I’m able to get it, I feel like a kid a Disneyland,” said Chilly, who once spent $1,400 for a pair of Air Jordans 1s. “It makes my day. I love to smell the shoes and touch them and look at them.” He is part of a community, one that is growing in the Valley, and is navigating a rapidly changing marketplace and retail industry in search of the most unique and artistically inspired shoes in the world. And he is not alone in his love for sneakers. The U.S. athletic footwear industry generated $19.6 billion in sales in 2017, according to a report from global information company The NDP Group. “It’s a community, but like every community there are good and bad parts,” Chilly said. “Some people are just in it for the money. Others are in it because they genuinely love sneakers.” Over the years, Chilly has learned how to navigate the sneakerhead community, skirting the sharks and finding what he calls “bounty hunters,” who admire his kindred spirit and help him find the best pairs. One of them is Ryan Gizinski, the owner of Guest List, a sneaker and apparel store in Tempe. Gizinski started working at a Footlocker when he was 16. Not long after, he became obsessed with sneakers. Now 30, he has owned Guest List for six years. He organized the Heated Sole Summit at Arizona Mills, which took place on July 28-29. Over 150 vendors set up shop at the swap meet, buying, selling and trading coveted new releases, including the Travis Scott inspired Air Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack” and the Nike Off-White Presto. Multiple Heated Sole Summits take place each year across the Valley. While the retail marketplace is rapidly moving to online platforms, and local sneaker consignment stores like Pound For Pound are closing, sneakerheads are trying to establish sneaker culture and street wear in Phoenix. “In 2018, retail is tough, but the market in Arizona is strong,” Gizinski said. “There are five major businesses here that travel to every big sneaker event in the country.” Last year, Sneaker Con, a globe-trotting shoe show, made its first stop in Phoenix. Along with living in here Phoenix, Chilly has a condo in Los Angeles, one of America’s most fashion-forward cities and a multi-time host of Sneaker Con. He sees differences and similarities between the two places. “Naturally, Phoenix is a little bit behind, but the proximity to Los Angeles helps,” he said. “I think it’s stronger here than in like Kansas or Alabama. I know there are a lot of places in Arizona that are trying emulate Los Angeles.”

    The addiction

    But for those who have already embraced the culture, collecting sneakers can come with consequences. Some collections, like Gizinski’s, consist of more than 1,000 pairs of shoes. Even when paying the modest retail price of $120, which collectors only pay for the rarest shoes if they win online lotteries, the hobby (or habit) can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Gregory Robison has long been aware of the financial vortex that often snags sneakerheads. So when he started college at ASU, he sold his entire collection of approximately 500 shoes. Now that he’s 35, has a wife and child, and works a steady job for the City of Phoenix, he’s back in the game. “During college, I fought it off,” Robison said. "I was focused on school. I told myself, ‘Get a good job, make a lot of money and you can always go back and buy all the pairs you sold.’" [caption id="attachment_95593" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Now that he has a wife and kids, Gregory Robison doesn't collect shoes like he once did, but his closet is still filled with hundreds of pairs of sneakers. (Photo courtesy of Gregory Robison)[/caption] He made it through college, but he’s still a prisoner to the rush that comes with owning a new design that no one else has. “One thing a lot of sneakerheads in the community won’t tell you is that sneakers are a real addiction. I know for a fact: I’m addicted to sneakers,” Robison said. “It’s not just a hobby. Most sneakerheads will tell you, ‘Oh, I can stop anytime.’ We might be able to stop for a period of time, but we can’t fight it, and it’ll come right back.” Some collectors covet the status and attention they receive for owning something rare much more than innovative designs or splashy colors. “People might not admit this, but sneakerheads want the shoes that no one else has. It makes them feel a certain way,” Robison said.

    The hustle

    Anyone suffering from this sneaker addiction Robison alludes to would have found their strength tested at Heated Sole. During the event, the large, usually vacant space in the mall, filled with vibrant colorways and retro athletic apparel, looks like a candy store. However, the treats there cost more than a couple of quarters -- try anywhere from $150-$1,500. There was money to be spent, but also money to be made. And anyone there -- even non-vendors -- could sling some sneakers for cash. Young entrepreneurs have figured out a pretty simple system. Buy a limited-release pair at retail value, and sell it for five or six times the price. Kyle Warner is one of those savvy salesmen. Only a teenager -- unlike the Generation Xers who were introduced to sneakers by Michael Jordan in the 1980s and dominate the community -- he set up a line of about six pairs of sneakers on the floor at the summit. He loves sneakers, and has pumped a lot of money into his “high-end” collection. But he said he’s made a lot of that money back. [caption id="attachment_95594" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Kyle Warner (left) and his friends set up their own station of shoes that they were trying to sell. It wasn't the biggest display at the Heated Sole Summit, but Warner estimated that he had more than $2,000 worth of shoes for sale. (Photo by Nate Fain/Cronkite News)[/caption] “I make so much money on shoes,” Warner said. “The most I’ve ever made (on one pair) is $1,100 above retail.” Warner pointed with his foot to a pair of blue and white shoes that he had set up to sell. “Got these Off-White Jordans for $190. I’m looking for $700-800,” He said. Reselling shoes has made the hobby more sustainable and affordable for some sneakerheads, but older members of the community worry that resellers aren’t in the game because they love basketball shoes, but because they want to turn a profit. “It might seem like the community is growing, but I don’t think a lot of people like sneakers,” Chilly said. “I think a lot of people like money, and some people have found out how to flip shoes for a profit. … I don’t have a problem with resellers. I do have a problem with price gougers.” But as retailers struggle across the country, and with fewer consignment stores to mitigate fair pricing, the marketplace has shifted to websites like Facebook, Ebay and StockX, where bidding wars are encouraged. “The majority of people I sell to don’t live in Arizona,” Warner said.

    The art

    The marketplace has changed, but so has the market. Sneakerheads still seek the status that comes with having a unique collection. But now the athletic practicality of a shoe matters much less than it used to, and the artistic value of a shoe is of higher priority. “The sneakers used to be associated with the athletes. You wanted to be like Mike or play like Kobe. Now, it’s all about the fashion,” Robison said. “They wear the shoes, but they don’t watch football or basketball. In the ‘80s and ‘90s that would be blasphemy.” Like the Air Jordan zealots before him, Warner does love basketball. He’s a diehard Portland Trail Blazers fan and owns at least one version of all four signature shoe releases of his favorite player (Damian Lillard). He even wants to open his own sneaker shop in Portland, which he considers a better city -- with close proximity to Nike headquarters -- for business than Phoenix. But as he pointed to a pair of Black Mambas that he was trying to get rid of, he said current players’ shoes don’t drive the market. “Kobes, LeBrons, that stuff is all downhill,” Warner said. Many of the major athletic apparel brands, such as Nike and Under Armour, have seen a dip in basketball shoe sales and have focused more energy on running and casual footwear. Several product advisory boards see this as the new normal. Street brands, like Supreme and Off-White, have gained popularity and have even started collaborating with the larger athletic apparel companies. Kanye West, Travis Scott and Pharrell Williams have also recently inspired shoe designs for Adidas and Nike, cementing a place in the sneaker business for the entertainment industry. As consumers crave more flamboyant and creative designs, artists are taking the classics and giving the one-of-a-kind customization. [caption id="attachment_95595" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Jon Trevor remembers falling in love with sneakers as a kid the first time he saw the Air Jordan 3. Now Trevor channels that love into inspiration for his custom designs. (Photo courtesy of Jon Trevor)[/caption] Even the NFL -- known for its strict on-the-field dress code -- started the “My Cleats, My Cause” initiative, which allows players to wear cleats with custom artwork to promote a charity of their choosing. Jon Trevor hopes that someday he’ll be able to put his work on display in an NFL game. The head of human relations for a startup company, Trevor, in his spare time, has combined a lifelong love of sneakers with artistic gifts. He does commission-based shoe customizations for everything from football cleats and golf shoes to Air Jordans. Trevor’s art is more of a stress reliever than a side hustle. His business model is not complex. He doesn’t have a website, only an instagram page with photos of his work. Interested buyers approach him with an idea, and if he likes the idea, he’ll come up with a design and make the shoes a reality. The work itself is a little more complicated, and the end product doesn’t come cheap. Trevor, 37, uses a variety of paints and styling utensils. It can take several hours of intense work to complete a pair. Trevor loves shoes, especially basketball shoes, but over the years, he’s weary of the sneakerhead community, which he believes has become “soulless,” and its too consumed status. “We’ve made shoes more important than they really should be, but they’re really just a piece of rubber and cloth,” Trevor said “There was an allure to shoes, now no one really cares about that. They just want to show off for their friends and Instagram.” But even he has found life-long friends in the sneaker community, ones who share his appreciation for custom shoes. “Some of my closest friends in that group, I’ve never even met in person,” Trevor said. “One guy, I’ve been talking to him for five years, he’s from New Zealand. We might meet up later this year. The custom shoe community is really tight-knit.” Frustrations haven’t deterred Robison either. He and some friends started the “Sneak Diss Podcast,” which has 1,200 subscribers. “We’ve come to learn on our podcast lately that the times have changed,” he said. “There are more sneakerheads now than ever before. That’s because of the celebrity aspect of it. There are more people on television and the internet than ever before who love sneakers.” The community has changed a lot since Robison got his first pair of Air Jordans, in 1991, but it’s one he just can’t leave no matter how hard he tries. Follow us on Twitter.
  • Paris Hopes These Open-Air Urinals Can Curb Public Urination

    Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


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    No, it’s not a trash can, and it’s not a planter either. These red-topped boxes peppering the streets of Paris are open-air urinals.

    They’re called uritrottoirs and city officials installed them to combat the city's public urination problem.

    It’s an issue Paris has struggled with in the past, going so far as to create an "incivility brigade" in 2016 which handed down fines for littering or relieving yourself in public.

    Not everyone is happy about this solution. Locals have complained the urinals are an eyesore, especially around famous attractions like the Notre Dame cathedral. 

    The manufacturers of the open-air urinals say the boxes are environmentally-friendly -- they’re filled with compostable hay. And they’re supposedly odorless. 

    Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

  • Grand Jury Report Accuses More Than 300 Catholic Priests of Abuse

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    A grand jury report says over 300 priests belonging to Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania have been credibly accused of abusing more than 1,000 children. 

    The report released Tuesday, says six dioceses in the state had priests responsible for abuse dating back to 1947. The jurors wrote, "There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale."

    A statement early this month by the state attorney general Josh Shapiro said, "The true test of the Diocese’s commitment to victims of abuse and reforms within the Church will be their actions following the release of the report."

    But many instances of the "abuse are to old to be prosecuted" according to jurors. Shapiro's office says he's called to end limitations statutes. 

     

    The Catholic Church has dealt with multiple sexual abuse scandals recently. In May, the highest-ranking Catholic official ever to be charged with concealing abuse was found guilty in Australia.

    And in July, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals. McCarrick faced multiple accusations of molestation and sexual misconduct. 

    Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN. 

  • After 11 years, legal, bureaucratic battles over Rosemont Mine continue

    Read more of this story here from Cronkite News RSS Feed by Cronkite News RSS Feed.

    Sarabeth Henne

    Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018

    After 11 years, legal, bureaucratic battles over Rosemont Mine continue

    WASHINGTON - A proposal for a massive open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains will be back in court this month as opponents challenge permits for the project, the latest twist in an 11-year battle over the Rosemont Mine. The fight pits supporters - who say the mine has been studied to death and will bring much-needed jobs to Pima County - against opponents, who see a flawed review process on a mine in "the absolute worst place" for environmental and public health threats. It comes as Hudbay Minerals awaits approval of what could be the final step in getting approval for the mine, the Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of a Section 404 permit. That permit is named for a section of the Clean Water Act regulating the discharge of fill material into waterways. "The regulatory process that we have is, from the outside, very time-consuming," said Mike Petersen, public affairs officer for the Los Angeles office of the Corps, but it's necessary to make a decision that balances "reasonable development of commerce" with water quality. "There's a lot of information and a lot of considerations we have to take into account," Petersen said. "We want to make the most informed decision that we can stand behind." But while that decision is pending, at least three lawsuits are proceeding that attack earlier environmental permits issued for the mine. Those suits - one by the Center for Biological Diversity, one by a group called Save the Scenic Santa Ritas and one by the Pascua Yaqui, the Tohono O'odham and the Hopi tribes - are expected to be in court this fall. They charge that earlier reviews by the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service did not adequately consider the mine's likely impact on environmental and cultural resources. Stu Gillespie, a staff attorney with Earthjustice, which is representing the tribes in their suit against the Forest Service, said the service's recommendation did not go far enough. "One of our main arguments is that final environmental impact statement and the record of decision by the forest supervisor is that he failed to adequately analyze alternatives," Gillespie said. In an emailed statement, Hudbay said the "project has been going through a thorough evaluation" and that the Forest Service set "specific mitigation and monitoring requirements" to ensure the impacts of the mine are measured. "Any questions asked about the Final EIS impact analysis are a moot point at this time as they have been managed and responded to by the agencies responsible," said a Hudbay spokeswoman. "The Rosemont Project has gone through this review under the ... highest level of review required by the federal government." The Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining, Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service would not comment on the status of the mine. Tribal officials also did not respond to requests for comment. [caption id="attachment_77938" align="alignleft" width="350"] Opponents of the Rosemont copper mine, which would be situated here in the Santa Rita Mountans, said studies on the mine have overlooked its environmental impacts. (Photo by Rob Scott/Cronkite News)[/caption] The proposed open-pit copper mine would be about 6,500 by 6,000 feet - more than a mile wide in each direction - with a final depth up to 2,900 feet, according to the Forest Service's final environmental impact statement on the Rosemont project. Of the 1.96 billion tons that would be excavated from the site, about 700 million tons would be ore and the remaining 1.2 billion tons would be waste rock. The mine would be in operation from 24 to 30 years, generating an estimated $136.7 million in state and local taxes while creating a projected 434 direct jobs and 1,260 indirect jobs per year in Pima County alone, the Forest Service report said. "It would just be a shame if projects as consequential as this were to take on some sort of partisan coloring," said Garrick Taylor, the senior vice president for government and communications at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. He noted that 17 government agencies have a hand in approval of the permit. "We believe it's still a worthwhile project and will do tremendous good for the region and the state," Taylor said. "Copper mining is incredibly important to the legacy of the state." But critics say no amount of economic benefit can outweigh the potential environmental damage of the mine. "It is the absolute worst place you could pick to put an open-pit copper mine in terms of all the impacts to endangered species, threats to Tucson's water supply and all these other issues," said Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, said that while Hudbay talks about the economic benefits of the mine, "it ignores its negative environmental impacts that will cause irreparable damage to wildlife habitats, water quality, and land." "The health, well-being, and cultural needs of Southern Arizona's residents should always come before the profits of a mining company," Grijalva said in an emailed statement. Fred Palmer, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, said he believes that the pros of the mine outweigh its cons on this site, which is federal land sitting on a "terrific" copper deposit. "It's inherently within the public interest that this deposit be developed, notwithstanding the protestations from the tribes, who I deeply respect and the environmental community," he said. But Gayle Hartmann, president of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, said the value of the Coronado National Forest, where the mine would be located, is too great to risk. "This is a beautiful place that has natural attributes ... including streams, wildlife, beautiful oak trees, places to camp, a scenic route along the eastern side of the Santa Rita Mountains that people in southern Arizona have enjoyed for centuries," Hartmann said. "That value is much, much greater than anything that could come from an open-pit mine," she said.
  • Poll: Democrats Favor Socialism Over Capitalism

    Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Ilana Novick.

    Democrats in 2018 feel more positive toward socialism than capitalism, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

    Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated they had a positive view of socialism, a percentage that has not changed drastically since 2010. “The major change,” Gallup reports, “has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year—lower than in any of the three previous measures.”

    The survey is the fourth time Gallup has measured views of socialism among Democrats in this poll. It specifies that the question’s “wording does not define ‘socialism’ or ‘capitalism’ but simply asks respondents whether their opinion of each is positive or negative.”

    The sharpest contrasts in views of socialism, the survey revealed, were between older and younger Americans, on both sides of the aisle:

    <blockquote>Americans aged 18 to 29 are as positive about socialism (51%) as they are about capitalism (45%). This represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68% viewed it positively. Meanwhile, young people’s views of socialism have fluctuated somewhat from year to year, but the 51% with a positive view today is the same as in 2010.</blockquote>

    These poll results have building slowly since the 2016 election, Gallup infers, starting with Bernie Sanders’ competitive challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

    The month after Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump, membership in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) surged; six times as many people joined in November 2016 as in the previous month.

    In November 2017, DSA-backed candidates won 15 races on election night, in states from Virginia to Montana, as reported by Slate. Most were local wins, except for that of Lee Carter, a 30-year-old Marine veteran who beat his Republican opponent for a Virginia House of Delegates seat by nine points. In Pennsylvania in May, four DSA-backed candidates won their primaries.

    Then, on June 26, first-time, DSA-backed candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley in a New York primary race, and the DSA surpassed 40,000 members. A day after Ocasio-Cortez’s win, 1,152 people joined, 35 times the normal number for one day, as The Hill reported in July.

    Gallup points out that these results may not translate to winning more national elections: “Several candidates with socialist leanings lost their primary bids in Aug. 7 voting, raising doubts about the depth of Democrats’ embrace of socialism.”

  • ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Delivers Laughs, Romance and Diversity

    Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Jordan Riefe.

    So much of Hollywood’s meager push for diversity has resulted in people of color making bad movies to match those made by white men for decades. The reason is it’s hard to make good movies, no matter your color. It’s a numbers game. Make enough movies and some are bound to be good. The problem is only white men have been given the chance to make enough movies for that ratio to tilt in their favor.

    Fortunately, Jon Chu, director of tent-pole movies like “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and a pair of Justin Bieber documentaries, was given the chance to adapt “Crazy Rich Asians.” Even more fortunate was casting the effervescent Constance Wu as his lead. Wu plays Rachel Chu, an NYU economics professor who travels with her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his hometown of Singapore for his best friend’s wedding.

    The action begins when Young and Chu are photographed by a Malaysian influencer and, in a sprightly montage, the moment goes viral on social media, causing every nubile in the South Pacific to ask, “Who is Rachel Chu?” For the audience, the more pressing question would be: Who is Nick Young? He’s heir to a global hotel empire, that’s who, making him the region’s most eligible bachelor.

    Nick had until then kept his secret from Rachel because he wanted her to like him for who he was and not for his money. The other key detail from his background that he’s been shielding her from is his mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), who oversees the family business and wants her number-one son to return to Singapore and marry a proper Chinese woman, not one raised in the U.S.

    Americans are given to pursuing their passions instead of putting family first, Eleanor admonishes her Nick when it becomes clear he plans to marry Rachel. It’s a familiar conflict in movies with ethnic characters, but director Chu and his writing team of Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim imbue it with an emotional veracity that elevates it from hackneyed to heartfelt.

    A rowdy bachelor party for the boys, and a corresponding soirée for the girls, are shown in scenes that seem de rigueur in a rom-com. But the tonally miscued bloody revenge attack on Rachel that follows isn’t. It’s a turning point that starts her thinking maybe her million-dollar bachelor isn’t worth all the trouble.

    The good news is her old New York girlfriend, Goh Peik Lin, (Awkwafina), has her back. The Queens-born rapper made her mark earlier this year in “Ocean’s 8,” but here she comes close to stealing every scene she’s in, if not for the even zanier antics of Ken Jeong, who plays her father.

    Ronny Chieng, one of the most talented correspondents from “The Daily Show,” is wasted here as obnoxious cousin Edison Cheng. And British actress Gemma Chan (Mia on AMC’s “Humans”), as cousin Astrid, has a striking screen presence but limited emotional range as the betrayed wife in a subplot that drags.

    As shrewd as she is gracious, Michelle Yeoh’s Eleanor Young is used to ordering the world around her, especially when it comes to her family. And she will relinquish nothing to a girl whom she perceives as a flighty gold digger from Manhattan. A formidable action star from the golden age of Hong Kong cinema, Yeoh is known to most western audiences from the Oscar-winning kung fu classic, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Needless to say, she conveys the gravity and dignity of her deep filmography with incidental ease.

    After a strenuous search, Henry Golding was cast as Nick Young based on a Malaysian travel show he hosted. He now has two more movies, “A Simple Favor,” with Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, and “Monsoon,” coming out later this year. His character here is mainly a cipher, a depository for the dreams of lovelorn women. Given so little to do, it’s difficult to gauge his acting range, but suffice to say he’s an attractive guy with an easygoing warmth that complements Wu’s conflicted Rachel.

    More than anyone, Constance Wu occupies the center of “Crazy Rich Asians.” There, amid a flurry of beauties in designer dresses, fit and handsome men, outlandish excess all around her, she holds the film together. Best known for the ABC sitcom, “Fresh Off the Boat,” on which she plays tiger mom Jessica, a broader comedic version of Eleanor Young, in this film, Wu effortlessly seems to drive the story despite the fact that she’s mostly a passive protagonist, struggling with her inability to do right in anyone’s eyes. Paramount is Wu’s ability to convey the everywoman quality of classic screwball heroines while easily switching to bombshell mode, as she does in a baby-blue dress during the climactic sequence.

    With a history of directing dance movies including “Step Up 2: The Streets” and its sequel, as well as his work with Justin Bieber, director Chu has developed a keen understanding of rhythm. He uses that sensibility in “Crazy Rich Asians,” maintaining tight comedic timing and a zippy pace, assisted by an ear-catching score that mixes classic jazz tunes sung in Mandarin with composer Brian Tyler’s more pedestrian strains.

    Chu and his writers find a delicate cultural balance that makes his characters universally familiar without forsaking Asian aspects of the story. What they give us is a cast of characters, sober, nutty, crass, classy, discreet and ostentatious, a panoply of Asian types rarely expressed on film—so rare that it’s been 25 years since the last all-Asian cast directed by a Chinese-American came to theaters in 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club.” That film, budgeted at $11 million, earned $33 million at the domestic box office for Disney’s Hollywood Pictures. Box-office tracking has “Crazy Rich Asians” likely enjoying the strongest opening for a romantic comedy this year, disproving, yet again, conventional Hollywood thinking.

Israel Protests ICC’s Decision To Ask Palestinians For Information

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Israel is officially protesting an International Criminal Court chamber's decision to seek out information from Palestinians about alleged Israeli war crimes.

Shortly after the 2014 war in Gaza, the ICC launched a preliminary examination into allegations of war crimes by Israel during the conflict and into the construction of settlements in the West Bank. That case hasn't gone far, though — the court hasn't yet decided if it has jurisdiction over Israel, which isn't a member, or if there is any evidence of war crimes.

In July, pretrial chamber judges decided to create a webpage to let Palestinians submit any information they had about the alleged war crimes to the court. Israeli officials were reportedly surprised by the move and said it was evidence the court was becoming politicized against Israel.

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In defense of Sally Ann Gonzales for LD3, an experienced Yaqui female legislator being silenced for speaking Truth to Power

Friends,

Its election time again. I am sick and tired of irresponsible, corrupt politicians and I am doing something about it! The following message took a lot of thinking and soul searching for me, but there comes a time when we need to stand up and tell it like it is no matter who it is! If you agree, vote for my choice if you don’t, we all have choices. If you like, please share.

State Representative Sally Ann Gonzales is running for the vacant State Senate seat in Legislative District 3. Sally Ann has a proud history of standing up for women’s rights and the disadvantaged. An independent thinker, Sally Ann has stood up to the establishment. read more

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Native Liberation Conference Albuquerque, Sun. Aug. 12, 2018

Read more of this story here from CENSORED NEWS by Brenda Norrell.

LIVE: Liberation Conference Albuquerque, Sun. Aug. 12, 2018 Native Liberation Conference AgendaAugust 11-12, 2018Health Leadership High School 1900 Randolph Rd SE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 Download the full Native Liberation Conference Agenda here. We live in difficult times. The US settler government has committed atrocities against poor and colonized people across the world. But Read more

In defense of Sally Ann Gonzales for LD3, an experienced Yaqui female legislator being silenced for speaking Truth to Power

Friends,

Its election time again. I am sick and tired of irresponsible, corrupt politicians and I am doing something about it! The following message took a lot of thinking and soul searching for me, but there comes a time when we need to stand up and tell it like it is no matter who it is! If you agree, vote for my choice if you don’t, we all have choices. If you like, please share.

State Representative Sally Ann Gonzales is running for the vacant State Senate seat in Legislative District 3. Sally Ann has a proud history of standing up for women’s rights and the disadvantaged. An independent thinker, Sally Ann has stood up to the establishment. read more

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Complaints against harassment by the TUSD Desegregation Fisher “Plaintiff” continue

The following open letter to TUSD was posted on this recently posted article’s comment section.

TS and Readers: The following was sent to Board and Supt. today.

August 6, 2018

Dear TUSD Governing Board and Dr. Gabriel Trujillo:

I was very glad to see what the Whistleblowers reported about Gloria Copeland in Three Sonorans. Good and brave of the Whistleblowers! In reaction to the Whistleblowers’ 72nd letter, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo is saying that Gloria Copeland, Fisher plaintiffs’ representative (or whatever her role is) has the same rights to visit schools as any other “citizen.” This immediately shows how oblivious he is about Gloria Copeland’s behavior throughout the District and his lack of power or willingness to protect TUSD employees from Gloria’s out-of-bounds behavior at the schools. Maybe he believes Gloria’s bluff that she has two or three Board members “in-pocket.” (She throws Michael Hick’s name around all of the time and suggests that she speaks to Mark Stegeman regularly and she throws in that when she spoke with Rachael Sedgewick she said this and she said that so that people will know that she is also in contact with her.) It is one of her intimidation tricks. Basically, she is constantly dropping their names. I refuse to believe that any of these three Board members condone what Gloria is doing in the schools or other TUSD offices and I challenge each board member and Dr. Trujillo to condone her conduct or to denounce it. Remaining silent actually condones Gloria’s behavior and it allows her to continue with her awful disrespectful and disruptive behavior. read more

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Israel Protests ICC’s Decision To Ask Palestinians For Information

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Israel is officially protesting an International Criminal Court chamber's decision to seek out information from Palestinians about alleged Israeli war crimes.

Shortly after the 2014 war in Gaza, the ICC launched a preliminary examination into allegations of war crimes by Israel during the conflict and into the construction of settlements in the West Bank. That case hasn't gone far, though — the court hasn't yet decided if it has jurisdiction over Israel, which isn't a member, or if there is any evidence of war crimes.

In July, pretrial chamber judges decided to create a webpage to let Palestinians submit any information they had about the alleged war crimes to the court. Israeli officials were reportedly surprised by the move and said it was evidence the court was becoming politicized against Israel.

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Just for kicks: Arizona sneakerheads pay big bucks for elite shoes

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Nate Fain

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018

Just for kicks: Arizona sneakerheads pay big bucks for elite shoes

PHOENIX -- J Carrillo’s house is covered in sneakers. Some pairs are scattered across the floor, permissible to be kicked out of the way by his girlfriend. Others have been worn once or twice and are stored in the man cave room of the house in individual, transparent display drawers. In this special room, Carrillo, a DJ who is known under the alias “Chilly,” can open up the top of his coffee table like a treasure chest. Inside are his most prized possessions, about a dozen versions of his all-time favorite sneaker, the Air Jordan XI. Chilly is a sneakerhead, a collector, willing to spend thousands of dollars to accumulate and sell troves of the trendiest, newest and rarest athletic shoes. With an assemblage hovering around 250 pairs, he’s allotted a permanent place in his heart to what he wears on his feet. Along with the shoes, his two-story Tempe home is a shrine of sports memorabilia and “Star Wars” knickknacks. Even something he takes as seriously as sneaker collecting is done with childlike exuberance. [caption id="attachment_95592" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The coffee table in Carrillo's man cave opens up like a treasure chest. Inside are his many versions of his favorite shoes, the Air Jordan XI. (Photo by Nate Fain/Cronkite News)[/caption] “Every time a shoe drops and I’m able to get it, I feel like a kid a Disneyland,” said Chilly, who once spent $1,400 for a pair of Air Jordans 1s. “It makes my day. I love to smell the shoes and touch them and look at them.” He is part of a community, one that is growing in the Valley, and is navigating a rapidly changing marketplace and retail industry in search of the most unique and artistically inspired shoes in the world. And he is not alone in his love for sneakers. The U.S. athletic footwear industry generated $19.6 billion in sales in 2017, according to a report from global information company The NDP Group. “It’s a community, but like every community there are good and bad parts,” Chilly said. “Some people are just in it for the money. Others are in it because they genuinely love sneakers.” Over the years, Chilly has learned how to navigate the sneakerhead community, skirting the sharks and finding what he calls “bounty hunters,” who admire his kindred spirit and help him find the best pairs. One of them is Ryan Gizinski, the owner of Guest List, a sneaker and apparel store in Tempe. Gizinski started working at a Footlocker when he was 16. Not long after, he became obsessed with sneakers. Now 30, he has owned Guest List for six years. He organized the Heated Sole Summit at Arizona Mills, which took place on July 28-29. Over 150 vendors set up shop at the swap meet, buying, selling and trading coveted new releases, including the Travis Scott inspired Air Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack” and the Nike Off-White Presto. Multiple Heated Sole Summits take place each year across the Valley. While the retail marketplace is rapidly moving to online platforms, and local sneaker consignment stores like Pound For Pound are closing, sneakerheads are trying to establish sneaker culture and street wear in Phoenix. “In 2018, retail is tough, but the market in Arizona is strong,” Gizinski said. “There are five major businesses here that travel to every big sneaker event in the country.” Last year, Sneaker Con, a globe-trotting shoe show, made its first stop in Phoenix. Along with living in here Phoenix, Chilly has a condo in Los Angeles, one of America’s most fashion-forward cities and a multi-time host of Sneaker Con. He sees differences and similarities between the two places. “Naturally, Phoenix is a little bit behind, but the proximity to Los Angeles helps,” he said. “I think it’s stronger here than in like Kansas or Alabama. I know there are a lot of places in Arizona that are trying emulate Los Angeles.”

The addiction

But for those who have already embraced the culture, collecting sneakers can come with consequences. Some collections, like Gizinski’s, consist of more than 1,000 pairs of shoes. Even when paying the modest retail price of $120, which collectors only pay for the rarest shoes if they win online lotteries, the hobby (or habit) can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Gregory Robison has long been aware of the financial vortex that often snags sneakerheads. So when he started college at ASU, he sold his entire collection of approximately 500 shoes. Now that he’s 35, has a wife and child, and works a steady job for the City of Phoenix, he’s back in the game. “During college, I fought it off,” Robison said. "I was focused on school. I told myself, ‘Get a good job, make a lot of money and you can always go back and buy all the pairs you sold.’" [caption id="attachment_95593" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Now that he has a wife and kids, Gregory Robison doesn't collect shoes like he once did, but his closet is still filled with hundreds of pairs of sneakers. (Photo courtesy of Gregory Robison)[/caption] He made it through college, but he’s still a prisoner to the rush that comes with owning a new design that no one else has. “One thing a lot of sneakerheads in the community won’t tell you is that sneakers are a real addiction. I know for a fact: I’m addicted to sneakers,” Robison said. “It’s not just a hobby. Most sneakerheads will tell you, ‘Oh, I can stop anytime.’ We might be able to stop for a period of time, but we can’t fight it, and it’ll come right back.” Some collectors covet the status and attention they receive for owning something rare much more than innovative designs or splashy colors. “People might not admit this, but sneakerheads want the shoes that no one else has. It makes them feel a certain way,” Robison said.

The hustle

Anyone suffering from this sneaker addiction Robison alludes to would have found their strength tested at Heated Sole. During the event, the large, usually vacant space in the mall, filled with vibrant colorways and retro athletic apparel, looks like a candy store. However, the treats there cost more than a couple of quarters -- try anywhere from $150-$1,500. There was money to be spent, but also money to be made. And anyone there -- even non-vendors -- could sling some sneakers for cash. Young entrepreneurs have figured out a pretty simple system. Buy a limited-release pair at retail value, and sell it for five or six times the price. Kyle Warner is one of those savvy salesmen. Only a teenager -- unlike the Generation Xers who were introduced to sneakers by Michael Jordan in the 1980s and dominate the community -- he set up a line of about six pairs of sneakers on the floor at the summit. He loves sneakers, and has pumped a lot of money into his “high-end” collection. But he said he’s made a lot of that money back. [caption id="attachment_95594" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Kyle Warner (left) and his friends set up their own station of shoes that they were trying to sell. It wasn't the biggest display at the Heated Sole Summit, but Warner estimated that he had more than $2,000 worth of shoes for sale. (Photo by Nate Fain/Cronkite News)[/caption] “I make so much money on shoes,” Warner said. “The most I’ve ever made (on one pair) is $1,100 above retail.” Warner pointed with his foot to a pair of blue and white shoes that he had set up to sell. “Got these Off-White Jordans for $190. I’m looking for $700-800,” He said. Reselling shoes has made the hobby more sustainable and affordable for some sneakerheads, but older members of the community worry that resellers aren’t in the game because they love basketball shoes, but because they want to turn a profit. “It might seem like the community is growing, but I don’t think a lot of people like sneakers,” Chilly said. “I think a lot of people like money, and some people have found out how to flip shoes for a profit. … I don’t have a problem with resellers. I do have a problem with price gougers.” But as retailers struggle across the country, and with fewer consignment stores to mitigate fair pricing, the marketplace has shifted to websites like Facebook, Ebay and StockX, where bidding wars are encouraged. “The majority of people I sell to don’t live in Arizona,” Warner said.

The art

The marketplace has changed, but so has the market. Sneakerheads still seek the status that comes with having a unique collection. But now the athletic practicality of a shoe matters much less than it used to, and the artistic value of a shoe is of higher priority. “The sneakers used to be associated with the athletes. You wanted to be like Mike or play like Kobe. Now, it’s all about the fashion,” Robison said. “They wear the shoes, but they don’t watch football or basketball. In the ‘80s and ‘90s that would be blasphemy.” Like the Air Jordan zealots before him, Warner does love basketball. He’s a diehard Portland Trail Blazers fan and owns at least one version of all four signature shoe releases of his favorite player (Damian Lillard). He even wants to open his own sneaker shop in Portland, which he considers a better city -- with close proximity to Nike headquarters -- for business than Phoenix. But as he pointed to a pair of Black Mambas that he was trying to get rid of, he said current players’ shoes don’t drive the market. “Kobes, LeBrons, that stuff is all downhill,” Warner said. Many of the major athletic apparel brands, such as Nike and Under Armour, have seen a dip in basketball shoe sales and have focused more energy on running and casual footwear. Several product advisory boards see this as the new normal. Street brands, like Supreme and Off-White, have gained popularity and have even started collaborating with the larger athletic apparel companies. Kanye West, Travis Scott and Pharrell Williams have also recently inspired shoe designs for Adidas and Nike, cementing a place in the sneaker business for the entertainment industry. As consumers crave more flamboyant and creative designs, artists are taking the classics and giving the one-of-a-kind customization. [caption id="attachment_95595" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Jon Trevor remembers falling in love with sneakers as a kid the first time he saw the Air Jordan 3. Now Trevor channels that love into inspiration for his custom designs. (Photo courtesy of Jon Trevor)[/caption] Even the NFL -- known for its strict on-the-field dress code -- started the “My Cleats, My Cause” initiative, which allows players to wear cleats with custom artwork to promote a charity of their choosing. Jon Trevor hopes that someday he’ll be able to put his work on display in an NFL game. The head of human relations for a startup company, Trevor, in his spare time, has combined a lifelong love of sneakers with artistic gifts. He does commission-based shoe customizations for everything from football cleats and golf shoes to Air Jordans. Trevor’s art is more of a stress reliever than a side hustle. His business model is not complex. He doesn’t have a website, only an instagram page with photos of his work. Interested buyers approach him with an idea, and if he likes the idea, he’ll come up with a design and make the shoes a reality. The work itself is a little more complicated, and the end product doesn’t come cheap. Trevor, 37, uses a variety of paints and styling utensils. It can take several hours of intense work to complete a pair. Trevor loves shoes, especially basketball shoes, but over the years, he’s weary of the sneakerhead community, which he believes has become “soulless,” and its too consumed status. “We’ve made shoes more important than they really should be, but they’re really just a piece of rubber and cloth,” Trevor said “There was an allure to shoes, now no one really cares about that. They just want to show off for their friends and Instagram.” But even he has found life-long friends in the sneaker community, ones who share his appreciation for custom shoes. “Some of my closest friends in that group, I’ve never even met in person,” Trevor said. “One guy, I’ve been talking to him for five years, he’s from New Zealand. We might meet up later this year. The custom shoe community is really tight-knit.” Frustrations haven’t deterred Robison either. He and some friends started the “Sneak Diss Podcast,” which has 1,200 subscribers. “We’ve come to learn on our podcast lately that the times have changed,” he said. “There are more sneakerheads now than ever before. That’s because of the celebrity aspect of it. There are more people on television and the internet than ever before who love sneakers.” The community has changed a lot since Robison got his first pair of Air Jordans, in 1991, but it’s one he just can’t leave no matter how hard he tries. Follow us on Twitter. Read more

Paris Hopes These Open-Air Urinals Can Curb Public Urination

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No, it’s not a trash can, and it’s not a planter either. These red-topped boxes peppering the streets of Paris are open-air urinals.

They’re called uritrottoirs and city officials installed them to combat the city's public urination problem.

It’s an issue Paris has struggled with in the past, going so far as to create an "incivility brigade" in 2016 which handed down fines for littering or relieving yourself in public.

Not everyone is happy about this solution. Locals have complained the urinals are an eyesore, especially around famous attractions like the Notre Dame cathedral. 

The manufacturers of the open-air urinals say the boxes are environmentally-friendly -- they’re filled with compostable hay. And they’re supposedly odorless. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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Grand Jury Report Accuses More Than 300 Catholic Priests of Abuse

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A grand jury report says over 300 priests belonging to Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania have been credibly accused of abusing more than 1,000 children. 

The report released Tuesday, says six dioceses in the state had priests responsible for abuse dating back to 1947. The jurors wrote, "There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale."

A statement early this month by the state attorney general Josh Shapiro said, "The true test of the Diocese’s commitment to victims of abuse and reforms within the Church will be their actions following the release of the report."

But many instances of the "abuse are to old to be prosecuted" according to jurors. Shapiro's office says he's called to end limitations statutes. 

 

The Catholic Church has dealt with multiple sexual abuse scandals recently. In May, the highest-ranking Catholic official ever to be charged with concealing abuse was found guilty in Australia.

And in July, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals. McCarrick faced multiple accusations of molestation and sexual misconduct. 

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN. 

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After 11 years, legal, bureaucratic battles over Rosemont Mine continue

Read more of this story here from Cronkite News RSS Feed by Cronkite News RSS Feed.

Sarabeth Henne

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018

After 11 years, legal, bureaucratic battles over Rosemont Mine continue

WASHINGTON - A proposal for a massive open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains will be back in court this month as opponents challenge permits for the project, the latest twist in an 11-year battle over the Rosemont Mine. The fight pits supporters - who say the mine has been studied to death and will bring much-needed jobs to Pima County - against opponents, who see a flawed review process on a mine in "the absolute worst place" for environmental and public health threats. It comes as Hudbay Minerals awaits approval of what could be the final step in getting approval for the mine, the Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of a Section 404 permit. That permit is named for a section of the Clean Water Act regulating the discharge of fill material into waterways. "The regulatory process that we have is, from the outside, very time-consuming," said Mike Petersen, public affairs officer for the Los Angeles office of the Corps, but it's necessary to make a decision that balances "reasonable development of commerce" with water quality. "There's a lot of information and a lot of considerations we have to take into account," Petersen said. "We want to make the most informed decision that we can stand behind." But while that decision is pending, at least three lawsuits are proceeding that attack earlier environmental permits issued for the mine. Those suits - one by the Center for Biological Diversity, one by a group called Save the Scenic Santa Ritas and one by the Pascua Yaqui, the Tohono O'odham and the Hopi tribes - are expected to be in court this fall. They charge that earlier reviews by the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service did not adequately consider the mine's likely impact on environmental and cultural resources. Stu Gillespie, a staff attorney with Earthjustice, which is representing the tribes in their suit against the Forest Service, said the service's recommendation did not go far enough. "One of our main arguments is that final environmental impact statement and the record of decision by the forest supervisor is that he failed to adequately analyze alternatives," Gillespie said. In an emailed statement, Hudbay said the "project has been going through a thorough evaluation" and that the Forest Service set "specific mitigation and monitoring requirements" to ensure the impacts of the mine are measured. "Any questions asked about the Final EIS impact analysis are a moot point at this time as they have been managed and responded to by the agencies responsible," said a Hudbay spokeswoman. "The Rosemont Project has gone through this review under the ... highest level of review required by the federal government." The Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining, Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service would not comment on the status of the mine. Tribal officials also did not respond to requests for comment. [caption id="attachment_77938" align="alignleft" width="350"] Opponents of the Rosemont copper mine, which would be situated here in the Santa Rita Mountans, said studies on the mine have overlooked its environmental impacts. (Photo by Rob Scott/Cronkite News)[/caption] The proposed open-pit copper mine would be about 6,500 by 6,000 feet - more than a mile wide in each direction - with a final depth up to 2,900 feet, according to the Forest Service's final environmental impact statement on the Rosemont project. Of the 1.96 billion tons that would be excavated from the site, about 700 million tons would be ore and the remaining 1.2 billion tons would be waste rock. The mine would be in operation from 24 to 30 years, generating an estimated $136.7 million in state and local taxes while creating a projected 434 direct jobs and 1,260 indirect jobs per year in Pima County alone, the Forest Service report said. "It would just be a shame if projects as consequential as this were to take on some sort of partisan coloring," said Garrick Taylor, the senior vice president for government and communications at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. He noted that 17 government agencies have a hand in approval of the permit. "We believe it's still a worthwhile project and will do tremendous good for the region and the state," Taylor said. "Copper mining is incredibly important to the legacy of the state." But critics say no amount of economic benefit can outweigh the potential environmental damage of the mine. "It is the absolute worst place you could pick to put an open-pit copper mine in terms of all the impacts to endangered species, threats to Tucson's water supply and all these other issues," said Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, said that while Hudbay talks about the economic benefits of the mine, "it ignores its negative environmental impacts that will cause irreparable damage to wildlife habitats, water quality, and land." "The health, well-being, and cultural needs of Southern Arizona's residents should always come before the profits of a mining company," Grijalva said in an emailed statement. Fred Palmer, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, said he believes that the pros of the mine outweigh its cons on this site, which is federal land sitting on a "terrific" copper deposit. "It's inherently within the public interest that this deposit be developed, notwithstanding the protestations from the tribes, who I deeply respect and the environmental community," he said. But Gayle Hartmann, president of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, said the value of the Coronado National Forest, where the mine would be located, is too great to risk. "This is a beautiful place that has natural attributes ... including streams, wildlife, beautiful oak trees, places to camp, a scenic route along the eastern side of the Santa Rita Mountains that people in southern Arizona have enjoyed for centuries," Hartmann said. "That value is much, much greater than anything that could come from an open-pit mine," she said. Read more

Poll: Democrats Favor Socialism Over Capitalism

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Ilana Novick.

Democrats in 2018 feel more positive toward socialism than capitalism, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated they had a positive view of socialism, a percentage that has not changed drastically since 2010. “The major change,” Gallup reports, “has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year—lower than in any of the three previous measures.”

The survey is the fourth time Gallup has measured views of socialism among Democrats in this poll. It specifies that the question’s “wording does not define ‘socialism’ or ‘capitalism’ but simply asks respondents whether their opinion of each is positive or negative.”

The sharpest contrasts in views of socialism, the survey revealed, were between older and younger Americans, on both sides of the aisle:

<blockquote>Americans aged 18 to 29 are as positive about socialism (51%) as they are about capitalism (45%). This represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68% viewed it positively. Meanwhile, young people’s views of socialism have fluctuated somewhat from year to year, but the 51% with a positive view today is the same as in 2010.</blockquote>

These poll results have building slowly since the 2016 election, Gallup infers, starting with Bernie Sanders’ competitive challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

The month after Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump, membership in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) surged; six times as many people joined in November 2016 as in the previous month.

In November 2017, DSA-backed candidates won 15 races on election night, in states from Virginia to Montana, as reported by Slate. Most were local wins, except for that of Lee Carter, a 30-year-old Marine veteran who beat his Republican opponent for a Virginia House of Delegates seat by nine points. In Pennsylvania in May, four DSA-backed candidates won their primaries.

Then, on June 26, first-time, DSA-backed candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley in a New York primary race, and the DSA surpassed 40,000 members. A day after Ocasio-Cortez’s win, 1,152 people joined, 35 times the normal number for one day, as The Hill reported in July.

Gallup points out that these results may not translate to winning more national elections: “Several candidates with socialist leanings lost their primary bids in Aug. 7 voting, raising doubts about the depth of Democrats’ embrace of socialism.”

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Delivers Laughs, Romance and Diversity

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Jordan Riefe.

So much of Hollywood’s meager push for diversity has resulted in people of color making bad movies to match those made by white men for decades. The reason is it’s hard to make good movies, no matter your color. It’s a numbers game. Make enough movies and some are bound to be good. The problem is only white men have been given the chance to make enough movies for that ratio to tilt in their favor.

Fortunately, Jon Chu, director of tent-pole movies like “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and a pair of Justin Bieber documentaries, was given the chance to adapt “Crazy Rich Asians.” Even more fortunate was casting the effervescent Constance Wu as his lead. Wu plays Rachel Chu, an NYU economics professor who travels with her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his hometown of Singapore for his best friend’s wedding.

The action begins when Young and Chu are photographed by a Malaysian influencer and, in a sprightly montage, the moment goes viral on social media, causing every nubile in the South Pacific to ask, “Who is Rachel Chu?” For the audience, the more pressing question would be: Who is Nick Young? He’s heir to a global hotel empire, that’s who, making him the region’s most eligible bachelor.

Nick had until then kept his secret from Rachel because he wanted her to like him for who he was and not for his money. The other key detail from his background that he’s been shielding her from is his mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), who oversees the family business and wants her number-one son to return to Singapore and marry a proper Chinese woman, not one raised in the U.S.

Americans are given to pursuing their passions instead of putting family first, Eleanor admonishes her Nick when it becomes clear he plans to marry Rachel. It’s a familiar conflict in movies with ethnic characters, but director Chu and his writing team of Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim imbue it with an emotional veracity that elevates it from hackneyed to heartfelt.

A rowdy bachelor party for the boys, and a corresponding soirée for the girls, are shown in scenes that seem de rigueur in a rom-com. But the tonally miscued bloody revenge attack on Rachel that follows isn’t. It’s a turning point that starts her thinking maybe her million-dollar bachelor isn’t worth all the trouble.

The good news is her old New York girlfriend, Goh Peik Lin, (Awkwafina), has her back. The Queens-born rapper made her mark earlier this year in “Ocean’s 8,” but here she comes close to stealing every scene she’s in, if not for the even zanier antics of Ken Jeong, who plays her father.

Ronny Chieng, one of the most talented correspondents from “The Daily Show,” is wasted here as obnoxious cousin Edison Cheng. And British actress Gemma Chan (Mia on AMC’s “Humans”), as cousin Astrid, has a striking screen presence but limited emotional range as the betrayed wife in a subplot that drags.

As shrewd as she is gracious, Michelle Yeoh’s Eleanor Young is used to ordering the world around her, especially when it comes to her family. And she will relinquish nothing to a girl whom she perceives as a flighty gold digger from Manhattan. A formidable action star from the golden age of Hong Kong cinema, Yeoh is known to most western audiences from the Oscar-winning kung fu classic, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Needless to say, she conveys the gravity and dignity of her deep filmography with incidental ease.

After a strenuous search, Henry Golding was cast as Nick Young based on a Malaysian travel show he hosted. He now has two more movies, “A Simple Favor,” with Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, and “Monsoon,” coming out later this year. His character here is mainly a cipher, a depository for the dreams of lovelorn women. Given so little to do, it’s difficult to gauge his acting range, but suffice to say he’s an attractive guy with an easygoing warmth that complements Wu’s conflicted Rachel.

More than anyone, Constance Wu occupies the center of “Crazy Rich Asians.” There, amid a flurry of beauties in designer dresses, fit and handsome men, outlandish excess all around her, she holds the film together. Best known for the ABC sitcom, “Fresh Off the Boat,” on which she plays tiger mom Jessica, a broader comedic version of Eleanor Young, in this film, Wu effortlessly seems to drive the story despite the fact that she’s mostly a passive protagonist, struggling with her inability to do right in anyone’s eyes. Paramount is Wu’s ability to convey the everywoman quality of classic screwball heroines while easily switching to bombshell mode, as she does in a baby-blue dress during the climactic sequence.

With a history of directing dance movies including “Step Up 2: The Streets” and its sequel, as well as his work with Justin Bieber, director Chu has developed a keen understanding of rhythm. He uses that sensibility in “Crazy Rich Asians,” maintaining tight comedic timing and a zippy pace, assisted by an ear-catching score that mixes classic jazz tunes sung in Mandarin with composer Brian Tyler’s more pedestrian strains.

Chu and his writers find a delicate cultural balance that makes his characters universally familiar without forsaking Asian aspects of the story. What they give us is a cast of characters, sober, nutty, crass, classy, discreet and ostentatious, a panoply of Asian types rarely expressed on film—so rare that it’s been 25 years since the last all-Asian cast directed by a Chinese-American came to theaters in 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club.” That film, budgeted at $11 million, earned $33 million at the domestic box office for Disney’s Hollywood Pictures. Box-office tracking has “Crazy Rich Asians” likely enjoying the strongest opening for a romantic comedy this year, disproving, yet again, conventional Hollywood thinking.

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Pennsylvania Priests Molested More Than 1,000 Kids Since 1950s, Grand Jury Finds

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by MARK SCOLFORO and MARC LEVY / The Associated Press.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children — and possibly many more — since the 1950s, and senior church officials, including a man who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., systematically covered up the abuse, according to a grand jury report released Tuesday.

The “real number” of abused children might be in the thousands since some secret church records were lost, and victims were afraid to come forward, the grand jury said.

“Church officials routinely and purposefully described the abuse as horseplay and wrestling and inappropriate conduct. It was none of those things. It was child sexual abuse, including rape,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference in Harrisburg.

The report put the number of abusive clergy at more than 300. In nearly all of the cases, the statute of limitations has run out, meaning that criminal charges cannot be filed. Many of the priests are dead or retired, while others have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave.

“We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished and uncompensated,” the grand jury said.

Authorities evaluated each suspect and were able to charge just two, including a priest who has since pleaded guilty. Shapiro said the investigation is ongoing.

The grand jury accused Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who leads the Washington archdiocese, of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop. Wuerl, who led the Pittsburgh diocese from 1988 to 2006, disputed the allegations.

“While I understand this report may be critical of some of my actions, I believe the report confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse,” he said in a statement. “I sincerely hope that a just assessment of my actions, past and present, and my continuing commitment to the protection of children will dispel any notions otherwise made by this report.”

The grand jury scrutinized abuse allegations in dioceses that minister to more than half the state’s 3.2 million Catholics. Its report echoed the findings of many earlier church investigations around the country in its description of widespread sexual abuse by clergy and church officials’ concealment of it.

Most of the victims were boys, but girls were abused, too, the report said.

The abuse ranged from groping and masturbation to anal, oral and vaginal rape. One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him. A 9-year-old boy was forced to perform oral sex and then had his mouth washed out with holy water. Another boy was made to pose naked as if being crucified and then was photographed by a group of priests who Shapiro said produced and shared child pornography on church grounds.

The grand jury concluded that a succession of Catholic bishops and other diocesan leaders tried to shield the church from bad publicity and financial liability. They failed to report accused clergy to police and sent abusive priests to so-called “treatment facilities,” which “laundered” the priests and “permitted hundreds of known offenders to return to ministry,” the report said.

The cover-up extended beyond church grounds. The grand jury said it found cases in which police or prosecutors learned of clergy sex abuse allegations but did not investigate out of deference to church officials.

The grand jury’s report comes at a time of renewed scrutiny and fresh scandal at the highest levels of the U.S. Catholic Church. Pope Francis stripped 88-year-old Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of his title and ordered him to a lifetime of prayer and penance amid allegations that McCarrick had for years sexually abused boys and had sexual misconduct with adult seminarians.

Wuerl has come under harsh criticism over his response to the McCarrick scandal, with some commentators questioning his claims of surprise and ignorance over allegations that McCarrick molested and harassed young seminarians.

Wuerl replaced McCarrick as Washington’s archbishop after McCarrick retired in 2006.

The Pennsylvania grand jury, convened by the state attorney general’s office in 2016, heard from dozens of witnesses and reviewed more than a half-million pages of internal documents from the Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton dioceses.

The Pittsburgh diocese said a few priests are still in ministry because the diocese determined allegations against them were unsubstantiated.

Tim Lennon, the president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, urged Pennsylvania lawmakers to lift civil and criminal statutes of limitations for child sex crimes, and to provide victims who no longer meet the age requirements in state law with a new window to file civil lawsuits.

Some current and former clergy named in the report went to court to prevent its release, arguing it violated their constitutional rights. The state Supreme Court said the public had a right to see it, but ruled the names of priests and others who objected to the findings would be blacked out pending a September hearing on their claims.

Twenty of the grand jurors said Tuesday they objected to “any attempts to censor, alter, redact or amend” the report.

Several dioceses decided to strip the accused of their anonymity and released the names of clergy members who were accused of sexual misconduct.

___

Associated Press writers Nicole Winfield in Vatican City, Claudia Lauer and Michael Rubinkam in Pennsylvania and David Porter in New Jersey contributed to this report.

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Dispatches From Gaza: A Wave of Sadness

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Sandy Tolan.

<i>Editor’s note: This excerpt is one of a series by the author—to read more of this story, click on the link following the passages posted below. View a full assortment of Tolan’s dispatches here.</i>

The indelible images of suffering and stories of loss are everywhere in #Gaza. The family of 19 in three small rooms whose only drinking water comes from plastic jugs filled at the mosque. The woman who lost 38 members of her family during Israeli strikes in 2014. The man who lived with 49 others in a relative’s house after his neighborhood of Shujaiya was flattened. But there is something else that abides in the day-to-day life in Gaza that for me resonates just as deeply: a kind of stubborn resilience in the face of catastrophe.

The other night I was walking along a spit of sand and rock that forms part of the Gaza harbor with Raed, my colleague and translator. The place was rippling with everyday life: fishermen pulling up their nets, laughing and giving each other grief; kids posing for selfies; families gathered under beach umbrellas at small plastic tables, sharing a modest picnic.

A young couple with their three kids invited us to join them. The children nibbled from bags of chips, eyeing me shyly. Rana Dilly poured mango soda into small plastic cups while her husband, Ahmad, pushed an unopened package of chocolate wafers toward me. I politely declined, which of course was a mistake. He laughed and pushed the package closer, telling me, “You are with Palestinians!” In other words, your resistance to our hospitality is futile!

Ahmad told me that despite the hardships and frequent dangers, he tries to come to this little finger of land nearly every day, just to clear his head and have some kind of normal feeling. He brings the family once or twice a week. “I want to share life,” he told me. “To share some things with my family and my kids. To show them something is possible.”

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