Voting rights, hate crimes on Senate's 'big, bold' agenda
Democrats are vowing action on several of their top priorities in April, including strengthening hate crime laws to include Asian Americans and restoring voting rights protections to combat minority voter suppression. It would seek to restore elements of the Voting Rights Act that were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013, a decision that Democrats say left minority voters vulnerable to disenfranchisement. Democrats see it as a forceful response to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country. Republicans are strongly opposed to the voting rights bill, arguing that it would tilt elections toward Democrats and take control of elections away from the states. While strengthening background checks is broadly popular among the American public, Senate Republicans have said they oppose the two House bills.
Groups ask Biden for wider environmental review of nuke work
The work will be split between Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Watchdog groups want the Biden administration to reconsider a decision by a U.S. agency not to conduct a more extensive environmental review related to production of the plutonium cores used in the nation’s nuclear arsenal. She said the Energy Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration have a new opportunity to revisit their Trump-era refusal for a more thorough environmental review. The mission of producing the plutonium cores began at Rocky Flats in the 1950s and was eventually moved to Los Alamos in the late 1990s. Dogged by safety problems and concerns about a lack of accountability, production at Los Alamos has happened in fits and starts over the years.
Senate control hangs in balance with a few races undecided
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks with reporters during a press conference in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. “We’re waiting — whether I’m going to be the majority leader or not,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday. There already is a Jan. 5 runoff in the state's other Senate race. Securing the Senate majority will be vital for the winner of the presidency. John Hickenlooper defeated GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, and Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly beat Republican incumbent Martha McSally.
Democrats' Senate drive halted by GOP; key races undecided
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump’s campaign helped his GOP allies, but that state election officials were still counting ballots. Key Senate races in North Carolina, Alaska and Georgia remained undecided. Democrats contested seats from New England to the Deep South and the Midwest to the Mountain West, reaching deep into GOP strongholds. North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has struggled against Democrat Cal Cunningham, despite the married challenger’s sexting scandal with a public relations strategist. GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Democrat Raphael Warnock, a Black pastor at the church where the Rev.
Study: Cancer cases likely in those exposed to atomic test
The institute disclosed its conclusions in a series of scientific papers on radiation doses and cancer risks resulting from the Trinity Test, which marked a key point in the once-secret Manhattan Project. Researchers say its impossible to know with certainty if New Mexicos cancer rates changed in the first decades after the test, given the lack of comprehensive data. Government scientists never discounted the potential for fallout before moving ahead with the Trinity Test. If you listen to the stories of downwinders, its clear that the Trinity Test unleashed a lifetime of illness and suffering for many New Mexico families, Lujn said Tuesday. Dr. Steven Simon, a lead investigator with the National Cancer Institute, said during a briefing Tuesday that the research was aimed at estimating the range of possible radiation-related cancer cases in New Mexico linked to the Trinity Test.
Dark-money attack ad pastes swastikas on House candidate
Congressional candidate and former CIA operative Valerie Plame of Santa Fe, N.M., seeks support from local party delegates at the Democratic Party preprimary convention in Pojoaque, N.M., Saturday, March 7, 2020. Incendiary new political attack ads against the former CIA operative and candidate for a northern New Mexico congressional seat portray Plame as a disgraced racist millionaire and can be traced to the Alliance for Combating Extremism Fund. Plame said in a statement that the new attack ads are disgusting and have hardened her resolve for campaign finance reforms that would restrict so-called dark money political spending that cannot be traced. The group's attack ads hound Plame for allegedly being embraced by white supremacists and use an image of the candidate with swastikas imposed over her eyes. Another prominent candidate, Teresa Leger Fernandez, called the attack ads extremely offensive and sexist, and said her campaign has no connection to the group behind it.