• TUSD-WB: An open letter to Leila Counts

  • Hemp fields offer a late-season pollen source for stressed bees

    Read more of this story here from Latest Headlines | Science News by Susan Milius.

    Colorado’s legal fields of low-THC cannabis can attract a lot of bees.
  • Are We About to Face Our Gravest Constitutional Crisis?

    Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Chris Hedges.

    Before this lame-duck Congress adjourns in December we could face the most serious constitutional crisis in the history of the republic if Donald Trump attempts to shut down the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

    A supine and pliant Republican Party, still in control of the House and the Senate, would probably not challenge Trump. The Supreme Court, which would be the final arbiter in any legal challenge to the president, would probably not rule against him. And his cultish followers, perhaps 40 million Americans, would respond enthusiastically to his trashing of democratic institutions and incitements of violence against the press, the Democratic Party leadership, his critics and all who take to the streets in protest. The United States by Christmas, if Trump plays this card, could become a full-blown authoritarian state where the rule of law no longer exists and the president is a despot.

    Trump has flouted the Constitution since taking office. He has obstructed justice by firing the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, replacing Sessions with the Trump partisan Matthew Whitaker. The president regularly ridicules the Mueller investigation and insults its leader. In a tweet last week he called the investigation a “witch hunt,” a “total mess” and “absolutely nuts,” and he went on to assert that Mueller and his investigators were “screaming and shouting at people” to make them provide “the answers they want.” He called those involved in the probe “a disgrace to our nation.”

    He has repeatedly delivered diatribes against the press as “the enemy of the people,” belittled, mocked and insulted reporters during press conferences and defended his revoking of the White House press credentials of a CNN reporter. He and his family openly use the presidency for self-enrichment, often by steering lobbyists and foreign officials to Trump’s hotels and golf courses. He has peddled numerous conspiracy theories to discredit U.S. elections and deployed military troops along the southern border to resist an “invasion” of migrants. However, an attempt to fire Mueller and shut down the investigation would obliterate the Constitution as a functional document. There would be one last gasp of democracy by those of us who protest. It is not certain we would succeed.

    The potential crisis the nation faces is far more serious than the one that occurred when it was revealed that President Richard Nixon had funded and covered up the June 17, 1972, burglary at Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington. (Nixon’s lying about the secret bombing of Cambodia, which occurred from March 18, 1969, to May 26, 1970, and killed over half a million people, was, like all crimes of empire, never formally addressed and was not cited in the impeachment documents that were prepared.) The institutions tasked with defending democracy and the rule of law were far more robust during the Nixon constitutional crisis: There were Republicans in the Congress willing to hold the president accountable to the law; the courts were independent; the press had widespread credibility. In addition, the president met the onslaught of charges and revelations by retreating from the public. None of this is true now. Trump, with Fox News acting as a megaphone for his hate speech and conspiracy theories, has been holding Nuremberg-like rallies across the country to prepare the roughly 40 percent of the public who remain loyal to him to become shock troops. His followers are filled with hate and resentment for the elites who betrayed them. They are hungry for revenge. They do not live in a fact-based universe. And they are awash in weapons.

    “Trump knows once the Democrats control the House, they can subpoena the records of his administration,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him by phone in Connecticut. “He’s going to want to get this over with, even if it sparks a constitutional crisis, while the Republicans still control the Congress. There’s little doubt this will all come to a head before the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately for Mueller, he has not issued a subpoena to the president that would have protected him [Mueller]. If he had issued a subpoena, which he has every right to do, especially after being rebuffed in hours and hours of private negotiations for information from the president, he would be protected. Once you issue a subpoena, you have a lot of law on your side. If Trump defied a subpoena, he would get in legal hot water. But short of a subpoena, it’s just political back and forth. By not issuing a subpoena Mueller is more vulnerable to Whitaker and Trump.”

    So far, there have been no hints from the Mueller investigation’s criminal charges or the guilty pleas by Trump associates that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty on eight of the 18 counts that Mueller brought against him, but none of his crimes had anything to do with the presidential election or Russian influence. Manafort’s financial crimes included five counts of tax fraud, one of hiding foreign bank accounts and two of bank fraud. These crimes predated the Trump campaign. Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements. George Papadopoulos spent 14 days in jail for lying to the FBI. Michael Cohen, Trump’s onetime lawyer, pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions by paying hush money to the porn actress Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen, due to be sentenced Dec. 12 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on charges of tax evasion, making false statements to a bank and the two campaign contribution violations, appears to be cooperating with the investigation, like most of those who have been indicted.

    In February Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities on charges of interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections, indictments that would not, I suspect, have taken place without hard evidence, but these indictments still do not appear to link the Trump campaign directly to Russia in an act of collusion. Perhaps the expected indictments of Roger Stone, reportedly for his alleged contacts with WikiLeaks, and Jerome Corsi, who said he expects to be indicted for “giving false information to the special counsel or to one of the other grand [juries],” will connect Trump and Russia, but until now the Mueller investigation appears to be focused on financial crimes, which appear rampant within the Trump business organization and among Trump associates. It is questionable, however, whether financial crimes will be enough to justify impeachment proceedings. Trump says he has finished answering written questions submitted to him from Mueller’s team and has promised to turn them over this week.

    “Trump is in a dimension by himself,” said Nader. “He has inured the public to all kinds of scandals, bad language, accusations, admissions, harassment of women, boasting about it, lying about his business and keeping his tax returns a secret. You have to have an even higher level of damning materials in the [Mueller] report in order to breach that level of inurement that the public has become accustomed to.”

    Trump wields the power of the presidential pardon and has suggested he can use it to pardon relatives and himself. There is no legal precedent for such pardons, but the Supreme Court would probably uphold whatever novel legal interpretation the Trump White House would use. Trump might also try to divert attention away from the political meltdown by starting another war.

    “Trump may try to save himself by starting hostilities abroad,” Nader said. “He is especially inclined to do this because of his extraordinary psychological instabilities and impulsiveness. He also has a monumental ego that lets him live in a fantasy world. The signal that he is planning this kind of move, a move he would carry out if he loses all other options to stay in office and be re-elected, will be if he replaces chief of staff John Kelly with a war hawk and his secretary of defense, James Mattis, with another war hawk. He has two war hawks who would like to see this happen. One is John Bolton, his national security adviser, and the other is the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Bolton and Pompeo have similar views about using military might abroad and ignoring constitutional, statutory and treaty restraints. They would like to see Kelly and Mattis removed. Pompeo, a graduate of West Point, has ambitions to become secretary of defense. If you see Kelly and Mattis replaced with warmongers, this move might reveal his ultimate trump card. He can use a war to shut down political opposition and dissent in the name of supporting the troops.”

    Trump has a few weeks before the Democrats take control of the House. This may give him enough time to carry out his constitutional coup and consolidate power. Our decayed democratic institutions, including a corporate press that has rendered the working class and the poor invisible and serves as an apologist for corporate power, are detested by many Trump Republicans. Trump can rally his cultish supporters, hermetically sealed in their non-reality-based belief system, to attack and demolish the last of our democratic protections.

    “We have a tremendous dearth of readiness by major constituencies such as civic groups, the legal profession, the business community and academia to deal with someone who misuses his authority, power and resources,” Nader warned. “Nobody knows how to do it more precisely, relentlessly, strategically and tactically than the cunning Donald J. Trump.”

    Editor’s note: See an Oct. 17 column by Chris Hedges on Ralph Nader’s latest book, “How the Rats Re-Formed Congress.”

  • Michael Bloomberg to Give $1.8B to Johns Hopkins University

    Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by The Associated Press.

    BALTIMORE — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Sunday he’s donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to boost financial aid for low- and middle-income students.

    The Baltimore university said the contribution — the largest ever to any education institution in the U.S. — will allow Johns Hopkins to eliminate student loans in financial aid packages starting next fall. The university will instead offer scholarships that don’t have to be repaid.

    University President Ronald Daniels said Bloomberg’s contribution will also let the institution permanently commit to “need-blind admissions,” or the principle of admitting the highest-achieving students, regardless of their ability to pay for their education.

    “Hopkins has received a gift that is unprecedented and transformative,” he said in a statement, noting the prestigious school was founded in 1876 by a $7 million gift from Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins that was, similarly, the largest gift of its kind at the time.

    By way of comparison, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Gates Millennium Scholars program in 1999 with a $1 billion commitment over 20 years. The Chronicle of Higher Education listed it as the largest private donation to a higher-education institution in the U.S. earlier this month.

    Bloomberg said he expects the money will allow Hopkins to offer more generous scholarships and ease the debt burden for graduates.

    “America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook,” he said in a statement. “Denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity.”

    The 76-year-old founder of the global finances services and media company, Bloomberg L.P., is among the world’s richest people. He graduated from Hopkins in 1964, served as New York mayor from 2002 to 2013 and has for years weighed running for president — including in 2020.

  • Foreign Box Office Powers ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ To A $253M Global Debut

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


    Watch Video

    Taking the No. 1 spot this week is "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" — the second installment in a five-part Harry Potter spin-off series. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in an estimated $62 million in its first week out. 

    While that's an acceptable opening for most films, it does fall significantly behind the original. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" premiered with $74 million domestic dollars. Even if you include all eight Harry Potter movies, this is still the worst opening the wizarding world has had for a feature film. 

    But fear not my fellow muggles, young hot Dumbledore isn't going anywhere and neither is this franchise.

    While American moviegoers are seemingly growing tired of Hogwarts-inspired tales, the foreign box office is running to the theater in droves. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in more than $190 million over the weekend. That's actually a better overseas debut than the original. 

    And while Fantastic Beasts was a fairly expensive film to make, the production budget came to nearly $200 million, Warner Bros. has already made it's money back. The worldwide box office take after this weekend is just over a quarter-billion dollars ($253M). 

    And that amazing box office run is despite the film apparently not being all that good. 

    "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" has a series low of 40% on the tomatometer and this is the first time a film from the wizarding world has been certified rotten by the movie review aggregator.  

    Falling to No. 2 this week is "The Grinch" bringing in an estimated $38 million in its second weekend. That pushes the worldwide total past $150 million. 

    And spending its third week in the top 3 is "Bohemian Rhapsody" bringing in an estimated 15.7 million in its third weekend out. 

    Even after being in theaters for nearly a month the Freddie Mercury biopic continues to overperform overseas. "Bohemian Rhapsody" made $45.5 million at the foreign box office this weekend and has $384 million in worldwide ticket sales as of this weekend.

    As for next week, Let's get ready to rumble!

  • Foreign Box Office Powers ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ To A $253M Global Debut

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


    Watch Video

    Taking the No. 1 spot this week is "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" — the second installment in a five-part Harry Potter spin-off series. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in an estimated $62 million in its first week out. 

    While that's an acceptable opening for most films, it does fall significantly behind the original. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" premiered with $74 million domestic dollars. Even if you include all eight Harry Potter movies, this is still the worst opening the wizarding world has had for a feature film. 

    But fear not my fellow muggles, young hot Dumbledore isn't going anywhere and neither is this franchise.

    While American moviegoers are seemingly growing tired of Hogwarts-inspired tales, the foreign box office is running to the theater in droves. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in more than $190 million over the weekend. That's actually a better overseas debut than the original. 

    And while Fantastic Beasts was a fairly expensive film to make, the production budget came to nearly $200 million, Warner Bros. has already made it's money back. The worldwide box office take after this weekend is just over a quarter-billion dollars ($253M). 

    And that amazing box office run is despite the film apparently not being all that good. 

    "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" has a series low of 40% on the tomatometer and this is the first time a film from the wizarding world has been certified rotten by the movie review aggregator.  

    Falling to No. 2 this week is "The Grinch" bringing in an estimated $38 million in its second weekend. That pushes the worldwide total past $150 million. 

    And spending its third week in the top 3 is "Bohemian Rhapsody" bringing in an estimated 15.7 million in its third weekend out. 

    Even after being in theaters for nearly a month the Freddie Mercury biopic continues to overperform overseas. "Bohemian Rhapsody" made $45.5 million at the foreign box office this weekend and has $384 million in worldwide ticket sales as of this weekend.

    As for next week, Let's get ready to rumble!

  • Foreign Box Office Powers ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ To A $253M Global Debut

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


    Watch Video

    Taking the No. 1 spot this week is "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" — the second installment in a five-part Harry Potter spin-off series. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in an estimated $62 million in its first week out. 

    While that's an acceptable opening for most films, it does fall significantly behind the original. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" premiered with $74 million domestic dollars. Even if you include all eight Harry Potter movies, this is still the worst opening the wizarding world has had for a feature film. 

    But fear not my fellow muggles, young hot Dumbledore isn't going anywhere and neither is this franchise.

    While American moviegoers are seemingly growing tired of Hogwarts-inspired tales, the foreign box office is running to the theater in droves. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in more than $190 million over the weekend. That's actually a better overseas debut than the original. 

    And while Fantastic Beasts was a fairly expensive film to make, the production budget came to nearly $200 million, Warner Bros. has already made it's money back. The worldwide box office take after this weekend is just over a quarter-billion dollars ($253M). 

    And that amazing box office run is despite the film apparently not being all that good. 

    "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" has a series low of 40% on the tomatometer and this is the first time a film from the wizarding world has been certified rotten by the movie review aggregator.  

    Falling to No. 2 this week is "The Grinch" bringing in an estimated $38 million in its second weekend. That pushes the worldwide total past $150 million. 

    And spending its third week in the top 3 is "Bohemian Rhapsody" bringing in an estimated 15.7 million in its third weekend out. 

    Even after being in theaters for nearly a month the Freddie Mercury biopic continues to overperform overseas. "Bohemian Rhapsody" made $45.5 million at the foreign box office this weekend and has $384 million in worldwide ticket sales as of this weekend.

    As for next week, Let's get ready to rumble!

  • Education notes: TUSD teacher named Arizona EL Teacher of the Year

    Read more of this story here from Google Alert - Tucson Unified by Google Alert - Tucson Unified.

    Romero, who teaches English-learning students at Carrillo K-5 Magnet School, is the first Tucson Unified School District teacher to win the honor.
  • Tijuana Protesters Chant ‘Out!’ at Migrants Camped in City

    Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by YESICA FISCH and AMY GUTHRIE / The Associated Press.

    TIJUANA, Mexico — Hundreds of Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city south of California on Sunday to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the U.S.

    Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road, and with many more months ahead of them while they seek asylum. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000.

    U.S. border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived.

    On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem and chanted “Out! Out!” in front of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the U.S. border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.” And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group.

    “We don’t want them in Tijuana,” protesters shouted.

    Juana Rodriguez, a housewife, said the government needs to conduct background checks on the migrants to make sure they don’t have criminal records.

    A woman who gave her name as Paloma lambasted the migrants, who she said came to Mexico in search of handouts. “Let their government take care of them,” she told video reporters covering the protest.

    A block away, fewer than a dozen Tijuana residents stood with signs of support for the migrants. Keila Samarron, a 38-year-old teacher, said the protesters don’t represent her way of thinking as she held a sign saying: Childhood has no borders.

    Most of the migrants who have reached Tijuana via caravan in recent days set out more than a month ago from Honduras, a country of 9 million people. Dozens of migrants in the caravan who have been interviewed by Associated Press reporters have said they left their country after death threats.

    But the journey has been hard, and many have turned around.

    Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, told the AP on Saturday that 1,800 Hondurans have returned to their country since the caravan first set out on Oct. 13, and that he hopes more will make that decision. “We want them to return to Honduras,” said Rivera.

    Honduras has a murder rate of 43 per 100,000 residents, similar to U.S. cities like New Orleans and Detroit. In addition to violence, migrants in the caravan have mentioned poor economic prospects as a motivator for their departures. Per capita income hovers around $120 a month in Honduras, where the World Bank says two out of three people live in poverty.

    The migrants’ expected long stay in Tijuana has raised concerns about the ability of the border city of more than 1.6 million people to handle the influx.

    While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ plight and trying to assist, some locals have shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at them. The cold reception contrasts sharply with the warmth that accompanied the migrants in southern Mexico, where residents of small towns greeted them with hot food, campsites and even live music.

    Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has called the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the city is ill-prepared to handle, calculating that they will be in Tijuana for at least six months as they wait to file asylum claims. Gastelum has appealed to the federal government for more assistance to cope with the influx.

    Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Saturday that the federal government was flying in food and blankets for the migrants in Tijuana.

    Tijuana officials converted a municipal gymnasium and recreational complex into a shelter to keep migrants out of public spaces. The city’s privately run shelters have a maximum capacity of 700. The municipal complex can hold up to 3,000.

    At the municipal shelter, Josue Caseres, 24, expressed dismay at the protests against the caravan. “We are fleeing violence,” said the entertainer from Santa Barbara, Honduras. “How can they think we are going to come here to be violent?”

    Some from the caravan have diverted to other border cities, such as Mexicali, a few hours to the east of Tijuana.

    U.S. President Donald Trump, who sought to make the caravan a campaign issue in the midterm elections, used Twitter on Sunday to voice support for the mayor of Tijuana and try to discourage the migrants from seeking entry to the U.S.

    Trump wrote that like Tijuana, “the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!”

    He followed that tweet by writing: “Catch and Release is an obsolete term. It is now Catch and Detain. Illegal Immigrants trying to come into the U.S.A., often proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will be detained or turned away.”

    ___

    Guthrie reported from Mexico City. Associated Press writer Julie Watson contributed to this story from Tijuana.

Are We About to Face Our Gravest Constitutional Crisis?

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Chris Hedges.

Before this lame-duck Congress adjourns in December we could face the most serious constitutional crisis in the history of the republic if Donald Trump attempts to shut down the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

A supine and pliant Republican Party, still in control of the House and the Senate, would probably not challenge Trump. The Supreme Court, which would be the final arbiter in any legal challenge to the president, would probably not rule against him. And his cultish followers, perhaps 40 million Americans, would respond enthusiastically to his trashing of democratic institutions and incitements of violence against the press, the Democratic Party leadership, his critics and all who take to the streets in protest. The United States by Christmas, if Trump plays this card, could become a full-blown authoritarian state where the rule of law no longer exists and the president is a despot.

Trump has flouted the Constitution since taking office. He has obstructed justice by firing the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, replacing Sessions with the Trump partisan Matthew Whitaker. The president regularly ridicules the Mueller investigation and insults its leader. In a tweet last week he called the investigation a “witch hunt,” a “total mess” and “absolutely nuts,” and he went on to assert that Mueller and his investigators were “screaming and shouting at people” to make them provide “the answers they want.” He called those involved in the probe “a disgrace to our nation.”

He has repeatedly delivered diatribes against the press as “the enemy of the people,” belittled, mocked and insulted reporters during press conferences and defended his revoking of the White House press credentials of a CNN reporter. He and his family openly use the presidency for self-enrichment, often by steering lobbyists and foreign officials to Trump’s hotels and golf courses. He has peddled numerous conspiracy theories to discredit U.S. elections and deployed military troops along the southern border to resist an “invasion” of migrants. However, an attempt to fire Mueller and shut down the investigation would obliterate the Constitution as a functional document. There would be one last gasp of democracy by those of us who protest. It is not certain we would succeed.

The potential crisis the nation faces is far more serious than the one that occurred when it was revealed that President Richard Nixon had funded and covered up the June 17, 1972, burglary at Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington. (Nixon’s lying about the secret bombing of Cambodia, which occurred from March 18, 1969, to May 26, 1970, and killed over half a million people, was, like all crimes of empire, never formally addressed and was not cited in the impeachment documents that were prepared.) The institutions tasked with defending democracy and the rule of law were far more robust during the Nixon constitutional crisis: There were Republicans in the Congress willing to hold the president accountable to the law; the courts were independent; the press had widespread credibility. In addition, the president met the onslaught of charges and revelations by retreating from the public. None of this is true now. Trump, with Fox News acting as a megaphone for his hate speech and conspiracy theories, has been holding Nuremberg-like rallies across the country to prepare the roughly 40 percent of the public who remain loyal to him to become shock troops. His followers are filled with hate and resentment for the elites who betrayed them. They are hungry for revenge. They do not live in a fact-based universe. And they are awash in weapons.

“Trump knows once the Democrats control the House, they can subpoena the records of his administration,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him by phone in Connecticut. “He’s going to want to get this over with, even if it sparks a constitutional crisis, while the Republicans still control the Congress. There’s little doubt this will all come to a head before the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately for Mueller, he has not issued a subpoena to the president that would have protected him [Mueller]. If he had issued a subpoena, which he has every right to do, especially after being rebuffed in hours and hours of private negotiations for information from the president, he would be protected. Once you issue a subpoena, you have a lot of law on your side. If Trump defied a subpoena, he would get in legal hot water. But short of a subpoena, it’s just political back and forth. By not issuing a subpoena Mueller is more vulnerable to Whitaker and Trump.”

So far, there have been no hints from the Mueller investigation’s criminal charges or the guilty pleas by Trump associates that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty on eight of the 18 counts that Mueller brought against him, but none of his crimes had anything to do with the presidential election or Russian influence. Manafort’s financial crimes included five counts of tax fraud, one of hiding foreign bank accounts and two of bank fraud. These crimes predated the Trump campaign. Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements. George Papadopoulos spent 14 days in jail for lying to the FBI. Michael Cohen, Trump’s onetime lawyer, pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions by paying hush money to the porn actress Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen, due to be sentenced Dec. 12 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on charges of tax evasion, making false statements to a bank and the two campaign contribution violations, appears to be cooperating with the investigation, like most of those who have been indicted.

In February Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities on charges of interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections, indictments that would not, I suspect, have taken place without hard evidence, but these indictments still do not appear to link the Trump campaign directly to Russia in an act of collusion. Perhaps the expected indictments of Roger Stone, reportedly for his alleged contacts with WikiLeaks, and Jerome Corsi, who said he expects to be indicted for “giving false information to the special counsel or to one of the other grand [juries],” will connect Trump and Russia, but until now the Mueller investigation appears to be focused on financial crimes, which appear rampant within the Trump business organization and among Trump associates. It is questionable, however, whether financial crimes will be enough to justify impeachment proceedings. Trump says he has finished answering written questions submitted to him from Mueller’s team and has promised to turn them over this week.

“Trump is in a dimension by himself,” said Nader. “He has inured the public to all kinds of scandals, bad language, accusations, admissions, harassment of women, boasting about it, lying about his business and keeping his tax returns a secret. You have to have an even higher level of damning materials in the [Mueller] report in order to breach that level of inurement that the public has become accustomed to.”

Trump wields the power of the presidential pardon and has suggested he can use it to pardon relatives and himself. There is no legal precedent for such pardons, but the Supreme Court would probably uphold whatever novel legal interpretation the Trump White House would use. Trump might also try to divert attention away from the political meltdown by starting another war.

“Trump may try to save himself by starting hostilities abroad,” Nader said. “He is especially inclined to do this because of his extraordinary psychological instabilities and impulsiveness. He also has a monumental ego that lets him live in a fantasy world. The signal that he is planning this kind of move, a move he would carry out if he loses all other options to stay in office and be re-elected, will be if he replaces chief of staff John Kelly with a war hawk and his secretary of defense, James Mattis, with another war hawk. He has two war hawks who would like to see this happen. One is John Bolton, his national security adviser, and the other is the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Bolton and Pompeo have similar views about using military might abroad and ignoring constitutional, statutory and treaty restraints. They would like to see Kelly and Mattis removed. Pompeo, a graduate of West Point, has ambitions to become secretary of defense. If you see Kelly and Mattis replaced with warmongers, this move might reveal his ultimate trump card. He can use a war to shut down political opposition and dissent in the name of supporting the troops.”

Trump has a few weeks before the Democrats take control of the House. This may give him enough time to carry out his constitutional coup and consolidate power. Our decayed democratic institutions, including a corporate press that has rendered the working class and the poor invisible and serves as an apologist for corporate power, are detested by many Trump Republicans. Trump can rally his cultish supporters, hermetically sealed in their non-reality-based belief system, to attack and demolish the last of our democratic protections.

“We have a tremendous dearth of readiness by major constituencies such as civic groups, the legal profession, the business community and academia to deal with someone who misuses his authority, power and resources,” Nader warned. “Nobody knows how to do it more precisely, relentlessly, strategically and tactically than the cunning Donald J. Trump.”

Editor’s note: See an Oct. 17 column by Chris Hedges on Ralph Nader’s latest book, “How the Rats Re-Formed Congress.”

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AIM-WEST Annual SF West Coast Conference Summit November 17-18, 2018

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

Saturday, today, at AIM West Photo by Tony Gonzalez By Tony Gonzalez AIM West Censored NewsLocation 2969 Mission Street San Francisco.Welcome all my American Indian Movement-West (AIM-WEST), an inter-tribal non-profit human rights organization based in San Francisco is pleased to welcome everyone to its annual AIM-West Coast Conference/Summit in San Francisco beginning Read more

Bustos busting up local talk radio after purchase of KVOI, but is it being designed to fail?

Tucson talk radio may never be the same again.

The future of conservative talk radio is holding on by a thread in Tucson, Arizona. Right-wing hosts Jon Justice and JT Harris have already gotten the boot from the local radio airwaves on The Truth – 104.1, a misnomer if there ever was one for a station, showing that 4-hour blocks of morning right-wing rambling is not an economically feasible model.

The recent purchase of KVOI 1030-AM has led the new owner, Bustos Media, to switch to a new all-local talk format a week ago on November 1st. One of the first things KVOI did was to start off its day of 13 hours of local talk (6am – 7pm) with a new 4-hour show hosted by a conservative who looks forward to bringing down local governments, craving the collapse of the county and without any critique, promoting fringe politicians who proclaim that they are “White and PROUD” in response to a killing at a white supremacy rally in Charleston. read more

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TUSD-WB: An open letter to Leila Counts

Three Sonorans is not a member of the TUSD Whistleblowers and has zero input on the content of this letter and all their letters.

78th Open Letter to Leila Counts

From: TUSD Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, Former Students/Class of 2018, Retired Administrators, Parents, & Grandparents

Subject: Please, Please Make Us Wrong and Fly Far Away from the Flock of Mean Girls

Dear Leila Counts:

When you swear/affirm to the following oath in January 2019, a new day will begin for you and 47,255 TUSD students and their parents. read more

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Are We About to Face Our Gravest Constitutional Crisis?

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Chris Hedges.

Before this lame-duck Congress adjourns in December we could face the most serious constitutional crisis in the history of the republic if Donald Trump attempts to shut down the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

A supine and pliant Republican Party, still in control of the House and the Senate, would probably not challenge Trump. The Supreme Court, which would be the final arbiter in any legal challenge to the president, would probably not rule against him. And his cultish followers, perhaps 40 million Americans, would respond enthusiastically to his trashing of democratic institutions and incitements of violence against the press, the Democratic Party leadership, his critics and all who take to the streets in protest. The United States by Christmas, if Trump plays this card, could become a full-blown authoritarian state where the rule of law no longer exists and the president is a despot.

Trump has flouted the Constitution since taking office. He has obstructed justice by firing the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, replacing Sessions with the Trump partisan Matthew Whitaker. The president regularly ridicules the Mueller investigation and insults its leader. In a tweet last week he called the investigation a “witch hunt,” a “total mess” and “absolutely nuts,” and he went on to assert that Mueller and his investigators were “screaming and shouting at people” to make them provide “the answers they want.” He called those involved in the probe “a disgrace to our nation.”

He has repeatedly delivered diatribes against the press as “the enemy of the people,” belittled, mocked and insulted reporters during press conferences and defended his revoking of the White House press credentials of a CNN reporter. He and his family openly use the presidency for self-enrichment, often by steering lobbyists and foreign officials to Trump’s hotels and golf courses. He has peddled numerous conspiracy theories to discredit U.S. elections and deployed military troops along the southern border to resist an “invasion” of migrants. However, an attempt to fire Mueller and shut down the investigation would obliterate the Constitution as a functional document. There would be one last gasp of democracy by those of us who protest. It is not certain we would succeed.

The potential crisis the nation faces is far more serious than the one that occurred when it was revealed that President Richard Nixon had funded and covered up the June 17, 1972, burglary at Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington. (Nixon’s lying about the secret bombing of Cambodia, which occurred from March 18, 1969, to May 26, 1970, and killed over half a million people, was, like all crimes of empire, never formally addressed and was not cited in the impeachment documents that were prepared.) The institutions tasked with defending democracy and the rule of law were far more robust during the Nixon constitutional crisis: There were Republicans in the Congress willing to hold the president accountable to the law; the courts were independent; the press had widespread credibility. In addition, the president met the onslaught of charges and revelations by retreating from the public. None of this is true now. Trump, with Fox News acting as a megaphone for his hate speech and conspiracy theories, has been holding Nuremberg-like rallies across the country to prepare the roughly 40 percent of the public who remain loyal to him to become shock troops. His followers are filled with hate and resentment for the elites who betrayed them. They are hungry for revenge. They do not live in a fact-based universe. And they are awash in weapons.

“Trump knows once the Democrats control the House, they can subpoena the records of his administration,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him by phone in Connecticut. “He’s going to want to get this over with, even if it sparks a constitutional crisis, while the Republicans still control the Congress. There’s little doubt this will all come to a head before the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately for Mueller, he has not issued a subpoena to the president that would have protected him [Mueller]. If he had issued a subpoena, which he has every right to do, especially after being rebuffed in hours and hours of private negotiations for information from the president, he would be protected. Once you issue a subpoena, you have a lot of law on your side. If Trump defied a subpoena, he would get in legal hot water. But short of a subpoena, it’s just political back and forth. By not issuing a subpoena Mueller is more vulnerable to Whitaker and Trump.”

So far, there have been no hints from the Mueller investigation’s criminal charges or the guilty pleas by Trump associates that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty on eight of the 18 counts that Mueller brought against him, but none of his crimes had anything to do with the presidential election or Russian influence. Manafort’s financial crimes included five counts of tax fraud, one of hiding foreign bank accounts and two of bank fraud. These crimes predated the Trump campaign. Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements. George Papadopoulos spent 14 days in jail for lying to the FBI. Michael Cohen, Trump’s onetime lawyer, pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions by paying hush money to the porn actress Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen, due to be sentenced Dec. 12 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on charges of tax evasion, making false statements to a bank and the two campaign contribution violations, appears to be cooperating with the investigation, like most of those who have been indicted.

In February Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities on charges of interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections, indictments that would not, I suspect, have taken place without hard evidence, but these indictments still do not appear to link the Trump campaign directly to Russia in an act of collusion. Perhaps the expected indictments of Roger Stone, reportedly for his alleged contacts with WikiLeaks, and Jerome Corsi, who said he expects to be indicted for “giving false information to the special counsel or to one of the other grand [juries],” will connect Trump and Russia, but until now the Mueller investigation appears to be focused on financial crimes, which appear rampant within the Trump business organization and among Trump associates. It is questionable, however, whether financial crimes will be enough to justify impeachment proceedings. Trump says he has finished answering written questions submitted to him from Mueller’s team and has promised to turn them over this week.

“Trump is in a dimension by himself,” said Nader. “He has inured the public to all kinds of scandals, bad language, accusations, admissions, harassment of women, boasting about it, lying about his business and keeping his tax returns a secret. You have to have an even higher level of damning materials in the [Mueller] report in order to breach that level of inurement that the public has become accustomed to.”

Trump wields the power of the presidential pardon and has suggested he can use it to pardon relatives and himself. There is no legal precedent for such pardons, but the Supreme Court would probably uphold whatever novel legal interpretation the Trump White House would use. Trump might also try to divert attention away from the political meltdown by starting another war.

“Trump may try to save himself by starting hostilities abroad,” Nader said. “He is especially inclined to do this because of his extraordinary psychological instabilities and impulsiveness. He also has a monumental ego that lets him live in a fantasy world. The signal that he is planning this kind of move, a move he would carry out if he loses all other options to stay in office and be re-elected, will be if he replaces chief of staff John Kelly with a war hawk and his secretary of defense, James Mattis, with another war hawk. He has two war hawks who would like to see this happen. One is John Bolton, his national security adviser, and the other is the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Bolton and Pompeo have similar views about using military might abroad and ignoring constitutional, statutory and treaty restraints. They would like to see Kelly and Mattis removed. Pompeo, a graduate of West Point, has ambitions to become secretary of defense. If you see Kelly and Mattis replaced with warmongers, this move might reveal his ultimate trump card. He can use a war to shut down political opposition and dissent in the name of supporting the troops.”

Trump has a few weeks before the Democrats take control of the House. This may give him enough time to carry out his constitutional coup and consolidate power. Our decayed democratic institutions, including a corporate press that has rendered the working class and the poor invisible and serves as an apologist for corporate power, are detested by many Trump Republicans. Trump can rally his cultish supporters, hermetically sealed in their non-reality-based belief system, to attack and demolish the last of our democratic protections.

“We have a tremendous dearth of readiness by major constituencies such as civic groups, the legal profession, the business community and academia to deal with someone who misuses his authority, power and resources,” Nader warned. “Nobody knows how to do it more precisely, relentlessly, strategically and tactically than the cunning Donald J. Trump.”

Editor’s note: See an Oct. 17 column by Chris Hedges on Ralph Nader’s latest book, “How the Rats Re-Formed Congress.”

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Michael Bloomberg to Give $1.8B to Johns Hopkins University

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by The Associated Press.

BALTIMORE — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Sunday he’s donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to boost financial aid for low- and middle-income students.

The Baltimore university said the contribution — the largest ever to any education institution in the U.S. — will allow Johns Hopkins to eliminate student loans in financial aid packages starting next fall. The university will instead offer scholarships that don’t have to be repaid.

University President Ronald Daniels said Bloomberg’s contribution will also let the institution permanently commit to “need-blind admissions,” or the principle of admitting the highest-achieving students, regardless of their ability to pay for their education.

“Hopkins has received a gift that is unprecedented and transformative,” he said in a statement, noting the prestigious school was founded in 1876 by a $7 million gift from Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins that was, similarly, the largest gift of its kind at the time.

By way of comparison, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Gates Millennium Scholars program in 1999 with a $1 billion commitment over 20 years. The Chronicle of Higher Education listed it as the largest private donation to a higher-education institution in the U.S. earlier this month.

Bloomberg said he expects the money will allow Hopkins to offer more generous scholarships and ease the debt burden for graduates.

“America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook,” he said in a statement. “Denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity.”

The 76-year-old founder of the global finances services and media company, Bloomberg L.P., is among the world’s richest people. He graduated from Hopkins in 1964, served as New York mayor from 2002 to 2013 and has for years weighed running for president — including in 2020.

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Foreign Box Office Powers ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ To A $253M Global Debut

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


Watch Video

Taking the No. 1 spot this week is "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" — the second installment in a five-part Harry Potter spin-off series. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in an estimated $62 million in its first week out. 

While that's an acceptable opening for most films, it does fall significantly behind the original. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" premiered with $74 million domestic dollars. Even if you include all eight Harry Potter movies, this is still the worst opening the wizarding world has had for a feature film. 

But fear not my fellow muggles, young hot Dumbledore isn't going anywhere and neither is this franchise.

While American moviegoers are seemingly growing tired of Hogwarts-inspired tales, the foreign box office is running to the theater in droves. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in more than $190 million over the weekend. That's actually a better overseas debut than the original. 

And while Fantastic Beasts was a fairly expensive film to make, the production budget came to nearly $200 million, Warner Bros. has already made it's money back. The worldwide box office take after this weekend is just over a quarter-billion dollars ($253M). 

And that amazing box office run is despite the film apparently not being all that good. 

"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" has a series low of 40% on the tomatometer and this is the first time a film from the wizarding world has been certified rotten by the movie review aggregator.  

Falling to No. 2 this week is "The Grinch" bringing in an estimated $38 million in its second weekend. That pushes the worldwide total past $150 million. 

And spending its third week in the top 3 is "Bohemian Rhapsody" bringing in an estimated 15.7 million in its third weekend out. 

Even after being in theaters for nearly a month the Freddie Mercury biopic continues to overperform overseas. "Bohemian Rhapsody" made $45.5 million at the foreign box office this weekend and has $384 million in worldwide ticket sales as of this weekend.

As for next week, Let's get ready to rumble!

Read more

Foreign Box Office Powers ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ To A $253M Global Debut

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


Watch Video

Taking the No. 1 spot this week is "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" — the second installment in a five-part Harry Potter spin-off series. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in an estimated $62 million in its first week out. 

While that's an acceptable opening for most films, it does fall significantly behind the original. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" premiered with $74 million domestic dollars. Even if you include all eight Harry Potter movies, this is still the worst opening the wizarding world has had for a feature film. 

But fear not my fellow muggles, young hot Dumbledore isn't going anywhere and neither is this franchise.

While American moviegoers are seemingly growing tired of Hogwarts-inspired tales, the foreign box office is running to the theater in droves. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in more than $190 million over the weekend. That's actually a better overseas debut than the original. 

And while Fantastic Beasts was a fairly expensive film to make, the production budget came to nearly $200 million, Warner Bros. has already made it's money back. The worldwide box office take after this weekend is just over a quarter-billion dollars ($253M). 

And that amazing box office run is despite the film apparently not being all that good. 

"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" has a series low of 40% on the tomatometer and this is the first time a film from the wizarding world has been certified rotten by the movie review aggregator.  

Falling to No. 2 this week is "The Grinch" bringing in an estimated $38 million in its second weekend. That pushes the worldwide total past $150 million. 

And spending its third week in the top 3 is "Bohemian Rhapsody" bringing in an estimated 15.7 million in its third weekend out. 

Even after being in theaters for nearly a month the Freddie Mercury biopic continues to overperform overseas. "Bohemian Rhapsody" made $45.5 million at the foreign box office this weekend and has $384 million in worldwide ticket sales as of this weekend.

As for next week, Let's get ready to rumble!

Read more

Foreign Box Office Powers ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ To A $253M Global Debut

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


Watch Video

Taking the No. 1 spot this week is "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" — the second installment in a five-part Harry Potter spin-off series. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in an estimated $62 million in its first week out. 

While that's an acceptable opening for most films, it does fall significantly behind the original. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" premiered with $74 million domestic dollars. Even if you include all eight Harry Potter movies, this is still the worst opening the wizarding world has had for a feature film. 

But fear not my fellow muggles, young hot Dumbledore isn't going anywhere and neither is this franchise.

While American moviegoers are seemingly growing tired of Hogwarts-inspired tales, the foreign box office is running to the theater in droves. "Fantastic Beasts 2" brought in more than $190 million over the weekend. That's actually a better overseas debut than the original. 

And while Fantastic Beasts was a fairly expensive film to make, the production budget came to nearly $200 million, Warner Bros. has already made it's money back. The worldwide box office take after this weekend is just over a quarter-billion dollars ($253M). 

And that amazing box office run is despite the film apparently not being all that good. 

"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" has a series low of 40% on the tomatometer and this is the first time a film from the wizarding world has been certified rotten by the movie review aggregator.  

Falling to No. 2 this week is "The Grinch" bringing in an estimated $38 million in its second weekend. That pushes the worldwide total past $150 million. 

And spending its third week in the top 3 is "Bohemian Rhapsody" bringing in an estimated 15.7 million in its third weekend out. 

Even after being in theaters for nearly a month the Freddie Mercury biopic continues to overperform overseas. "Bohemian Rhapsody" made $45.5 million at the foreign box office this weekend and has $384 million in worldwide ticket sales as of this weekend.

As for next week, Let's get ready to rumble!

Read more

Tijuana Protesters Chant ‘Out!’ at Migrants Camped in City

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by YESICA FISCH and AMY GUTHRIE / The Associated Press.

TIJUANA, Mexico — Hundreds of Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city south of California on Sunday to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the U.S.

Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road, and with many more months ahead of them while they seek asylum. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000.

U.S. border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived.

On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem and chanted “Out! Out!” in front of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the U.S. border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.” And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group.

“We don’t want them in Tijuana,” protesters shouted.

Juana Rodriguez, a housewife, said the government needs to conduct background checks on the migrants to make sure they don’t have criminal records.

A woman who gave her name as Paloma lambasted the migrants, who she said came to Mexico in search of handouts. “Let their government take care of them,” she told video reporters covering the protest.

A block away, fewer than a dozen Tijuana residents stood with signs of support for the migrants. Keila Samarron, a 38-year-old teacher, said the protesters don’t represent her way of thinking as she held a sign saying: Childhood has no borders.

Most of the migrants who have reached Tijuana via caravan in recent days set out more than a month ago from Honduras, a country of 9 million people. Dozens of migrants in the caravan who have been interviewed by Associated Press reporters have said they left their country after death threats.

But the journey has been hard, and many have turned around.

Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, told the AP on Saturday that 1,800 Hondurans have returned to their country since the caravan first set out on Oct. 13, and that he hopes more will make that decision. “We want them to return to Honduras,” said Rivera.

Honduras has a murder rate of 43 per 100,000 residents, similar to U.S. cities like New Orleans and Detroit. In addition to violence, migrants in the caravan have mentioned poor economic prospects as a motivator for their departures. Per capita income hovers around $120 a month in Honduras, where the World Bank says two out of three people live in poverty.

The migrants’ expected long stay in Tijuana has raised concerns about the ability of the border city of more than 1.6 million people to handle the influx.

While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ plight and trying to assist, some locals have shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at them. The cold reception contrasts sharply with the warmth that accompanied the migrants in southern Mexico, where residents of small towns greeted them with hot food, campsites and even live music.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has called the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the city is ill-prepared to handle, calculating that they will be in Tijuana for at least six months as they wait to file asylum claims. Gastelum has appealed to the federal government for more assistance to cope with the influx.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Saturday that the federal government was flying in food and blankets for the migrants in Tijuana.

Tijuana officials converted a municipal gymnasium and recreational complex into a shelter to keep migrants out of public spaces. The city’s privately run shelters have a maximum capacity of 700. The municipal complex can hold up to 3,000.

At the municipal shelter, Josue Caseres, 24, expressed dismay at the protests against the caravan. “We are fleeing violence,” said the entertainer from Santa Barbara, Honduras. “How can they think we are going to come here to be violent?”

Some from the caravan have diverted to other border cities, such as Mexicali, a few hours to the east of Tijuana.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who sought to make the caravan a campaign issue in the midterm elections, used Twitter on Sunday to voice support for the mayor of Tijuana and try to discourage the migrants from seeking entry to the U.S.

Trump wrote that like Tijuana, “the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!”

He followed that tweet by writing: “Catch and Release is an obsolete term. It is now Catch and Detain. Illegal Immigrants trying to come into the U.S.A., often proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will be detained or turned away.”

___

Guthrie reported from Mexico City. Associated Press writer Julie Watson contributed to this story from Tijuana.

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Tijuana Protesters Chant ‘Out!’ at Migrants Camped in City

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by YESICA FISCH and AMY GUTHRIE / The Associated Press.

TIJUANA, Mexico — Hundreds of Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city south of California on Sunday to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the U.S.

Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road, and with many more months ahead of them while they seek asylum. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000.

U.S. border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived.

On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem and chanted “Out! Out!” in front of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the U.S. border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.” And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group.

“We don’t want them in Tijuana,” protesters shouted.

Juana Rodriguez, a housewife, said the government needs to conduct background checks on the migrants to make sure they don’t have criminal records.

A woman who gave her name as Paloma lambasted the migrants, who she said came to Mexico in search of handouts. “Let their government take care of them,” she told video reporters covering the protest.

A block away, fewer than a dozen Tijuana residents stood with signs of support for the migrants. Keila Samarron, a 38-year-old teacher, said the protesters don’t represent her way of thinking as she held a sign saying: Childhood has no borders.

Most of the migrants who have reached Tijuana via caravan in recent days set out more than a month ago from Honduras, a country of 9 million people. Dozens of migrants in the caravan who have been interviewed by Associated Press reporters have said they left their country after death threats.

But the journey has been hard, and many have turned around.

Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, told the AP on Saturday that 1,800 Hondurans have returned to their country since the caravan first set out on Oct. 13, and that he hopes more will make that decision. “We want them to return to Honduras,” said Rivera.

Honduras has a murder rate of 43 per 100,000 residents, similar to U.S. cities like New Orleans and Detroit. In addition to violence, migrants in the caravan have mentioned poor economic prospects as a motivator for their departures. Per capita income hovers around $120 a month in Honduras, where the World Bank says two out of three people live in poverty.

The migrants’ expected long stay in Tijuana has raised concerns about the ability of the border city of more than 1.6 million people to handle the influx.

While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ plight and trying to assist, some locals have shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at them. The cold reception contrasts sharply with the warmth that accompanied the migrants in southern Mexico, where residents of small towns greeted them with hot food, campsites and even live music.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has called the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the city is ill-prepared to handle, calculating that they will be in Tijuana for at least six months as they wait to file asylum claims. Gastelum has appealed to the federal government for more assistance to cope with the influx.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Saturday that the federal government was flying in food and blankets for the migrants in Tijuana.

Tijuana officials converted a municipal gymnasium and recreational complex into a shelter to keep migrants out of public spaces. The city’s privately run shelters have a maximum capacity of 700. The municipal complex can hold up to 3,000.

At the municipal shelter, Josue Caseres, 24, expressed dismay at the protests against the caravan. “We are fleeing violence,” said the entertainer from Santa Barbara, Honduras. “How can they think we are going to come here to be violent?”

Some from the caravan have diverted to other border cities, such as Mexicali, a few hours to the east of Tijuana.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who sought to make the caravan a campaign issue in the midterm elections, used Twitter on Sunday to voice support for the mayor of Tijuana and try to discourage the migrants from seeking entry to the U.S.

Trump wrote that like Tijuana, “the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!”

He followed that tweet by writing: “Catch and Release is an obsolete term. It is now Catch and Detain. Illegal Immigrants trying to come into the U.S.A., often proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will be detained or turned away.”

___

Guthrie reported from Mexico City. Associated Press writer Julie Watson contributed to this story from Tijuana.

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Bill Nelson Concedes to Rick Scott as Florida Senate Recount Ends

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by GARY FINEOUT / The Associated Press.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida political icon who first arrived on Capitol Hill in the decades when Democrats dominated this presidential battleground state, conceded his bitterly close re-election bid to Republican Rick Scott on Sunday, ceding a razor-thin race to the outgoing governor after a bruising recount.

Nelson gave up his quest after days of acrimony and tense recounting leading to a midday Sunday deadline for Florida’s counties to turn in their official results. Florida will not officially certify the final totals until Tuesday, but the totals showed Nelson trailing Scott by slightly more than 10,000 votes.

“It has been a rewarding journey as well as a very humbling experience,” Nelson said in a videotaped statement. “I was not victorious in this race but I still wish to strongly re-affirm the cause for which we fought: A public office is a public trust.”

The close of nearly two weeks of high political drama in the presidential swing state likely spelled the end of the political career of the 76-year-old Nelson. First elected to Congress 40 years ago, Nelson had been a Democratic survivor in an era when Republicans swept to power in Florida in the ’90s. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000 and was making his fourth attempt at re-election.

Nelson, a Florida native with a distinct twang, was defeated by Scott, a multimillionaire businessman and relative newcomer to the state who had been urged to run by President Donald Trump. A Scott victory will help Republicans boost their majority in the U.S. Senate.

This marked the third time Scott, who did not jump into politics until eight years ago, has barely edged a Democratic opponent.

Scott ran a harsh campaign against Nelson, calling him ineffective and out-of-touch. Amid the recount, Scott suggested that some county election officials were allowing fraud to occur.

“Now the campaign truly is behind us, and that’s where we need to leave it,” Scott said in a statement soon after official results were posted. “We must do what Americans have always done: come together for the good of our state and our country. My focus will not be on looking backward, but on doing exactly what I ran on: making Washington work.”

Trump congratulated Scott on Twitter: “From day one Rick Scott never wavered. He was a great Governor and will be even a greater Senator in representing the People of Florida. Congratulations to Rick on having waged such a courageous and successful campaign!”

Nelson was seen as a moderate who rarely made waves or earned much national exposure as he focused on Florida-specific issues. One of his more notable moments came when he flew on Space Shuttle Columbia while serving in Congress.

His only other election loss was in 1990 when he lost a Democratic primary for governor to eventual winner Lawton Chiles.

Mac Stipanovich, a Republican strategist who once called Nelson an “empty suit,” said he wasn’t sure if Nelson would have a legacy like other well-known Florida Democrats such as Chiles and former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. He called Nelson “something of a cipher” and said it was “remarkable how little space he occupies after such a long period of public service.”

But Stipanovich also said Nelson doesn’t fit in today’s highly polarized political environment.

“I believe Bill Nelson is a first rate human being and is a moderate in an age where there is no moderation,” said Stipanovich. “There’s much to regret about people like him leaving the public arena. We’re not better for all of this anger and polarization and Nelson is the antithesis of it.”

After it became clear the Senate race would head to a legally required recount, Nelson and Democrats filed several lawsuits that challenged everything from Scott’s authority over the state’s election division to deadlines for mail-in ballots.

The Nelson campaign managed to secure only one win in court. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker gave voters until 5 p.m. on Saturday to fix their ballots if they haven’t been counted because of mismatched signatures. Nearly 5,700 ballots were rejected because signatures on ballot envelopes did not match signatures on file with election officials.

The tense and bumpy recount followed an equally negative campaign. While the two candidates disagreed on key issues, they focused primarily on character and competence. Scott repeatedly bashed Nelson through TV ads paid for by more than $60 million of his own money, while Nelson branded Scott as a Trump follower who had used the governor’s office to pad his wealth.

It was seen as one of the marquee races of the midterm elections. But it was soon overshadowed by the governor’s race: a vitriolic competition between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum that became a proxy battle between Trump and his Democratic opponents.

Scott and Nelson disagreed on issues ranging from gun control to environmental policy to health care. Nelson was a strong supporter of the federal health care overhaul pushed into law by President Barack Obama, while Scott had called for the law’s repeal and replacement.

Nelson and his allies ran ads that questioned Scott’s ethics, pointing to his ouster as chief executive of health care giant Columbia/HCA amid a federal fraud investigation. Although Scott was never charged with any wrongdoing, the health care conglomerate paid a then-record $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud.

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