Feds taking first steps toward revising race, ethnic terms
The federal government is taking preliminary steps toward revising racial and ethnic classifications that haven't been changed in a quarter century following calls for better categories for how people identify themselves in federal data gathering.
Congressional leaders urge FCC to perform equity audit
Congressional leaders and a media advocacy organization are urging the Federal Communications Commission to investigate how policy decisions have disparately harmed Black Americans and other communities of color, according to a letter sent Tuesday to the acting FCC chair.
Ocasio-Cortez leads lawmakers recalling Capitol siege
FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., questions Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service on Capitol Hill, in Washington. On Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, a teary-eyed Ocasio-Cortez recounted hiding in her office bathroom as a man repeatedly yelled Where is she?" during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and also revealed a sexual assault in her past as she talked about trauma. Phillips said that, as he heard the screams, he realized a pencil was about all he had for defense. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., said that, as representatives in Congress, the attack against the Capitol was an attack on their constituents.
A glance at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's incendiary words
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., goes back to her office after speaking on the floor of the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Afterward, Greene suggested that the shooting might have been staged. Connecting a series of scattershot points, Greene suggested a bank controlled by the Rothschild family, who are Jewish, a utility company responsible for the fire and then-Gov. Greene “liked” the comment and replied, “Most people honestly don’t know so much. 9/11 ATTACKSIn November 2018, Greene shot a video in which she talked about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, referring to a “so-called” plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
Biden, Democrats hit gas on push for $15 minimum wage
“With the economic divide, I mean, I want to see a $15 minimum wage. Leading the charge is Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who unveiled $15 wage legislation this week with the backing of 37 Senate Democrats. The latest sign that a $15 minimum wage is popular with voters came in November, when more than 60% of voters in conservative-leaning Florida approved an amendment to the state’s Constitution that will raise the minimum wage there from $8.56 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026. “The real way to appreciate this work is to raise the minimum wage to $15,” she said. Currently, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
US charities raise millions in wake of Beirut port blast
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)DEARBORN, Mich. – When Manal Saab heard that a massive explosion had struck Beirut, she grabbed her phone, frantically trying to reach loved ones there. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t have survived it,” said Saab, an American citizen who lives in Fenton, Michigan, near Flint, but was born in Lebanon. Knowing that her family and friends were safe, a feeling of relief washed over Saab. More than half of that amount was delivered via a FedEx-donated airlift that also included relief supplies from the American Task Force on Lebanon and the Lebanon Relief Project. They just wanted something to immediately give to, they wanted all that pain to basically get out and give something positive,” Saab said.
Sports venues across country in play on Election Day
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said "I'm grateful for our sports partners in Detroit," Benson said Tuesday night at the home of the Detroit Lions. "They really led the way for sports teams across the country to play a critical role in providing the resources we needed to run the election successfully this year. “I'm grateful for our sports partners in Detroit," Benson said Tuesday night at the home of the Lions. “They really led the way for sports teams across the country to play a critical role in providing the resources we needed to run the election successfully this year. Meanwhile, many Major League Baseball and NHL teams also put their stadiums and arenas in play on Election Day.
Arenas, stadiums find new life as safer options for voting
Jen Cox poses for a photo on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, after voting early at State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta. “This was an amazing, fantastic experience,” Jen Cox said after voting at State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks were the first NBA team to commit their arena for early voting. There are 30 early voting locations scattered around Fulton County, which stretches 70 miles (112 kilometers) north to south. Florida has early voting at venues used by the NBA’s Orlando Magic, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Black voters in Detroit key for Biden, but are they engaged?
Black voters across Michigan will be pivotal in deciding who will win the battleground state in November. Biden visited Detroit earlier this month, and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, was spending time in Flint and Detroit on Tuesday. In an interview this month with longtime Detroit radio host Mildred Gaddis, Biden noted that Michigan, and its Black voters in Detroit, are “critically important." Democratic state leaders said they learned hard lessons and that the party has worked to connect with Black voters. But challenges remain in connecting with apathetic voters and with younger Black voters who might have more progressive leanings — key demographics that Branden Snyder, the executive director of Detroit Action, said his organization is trying to reach.
Georgia candidate's post removed for inciting violence
ATLANTA – Facebook removed a photo illustration showing a Republican congressional candidate in Georgia posing with a rifle next to three Democratic House members, saying Friday that it violated the social media platform's policy against inciting violence. Greene's post featured four separate photos that had been combined to show her posing with a rifle next to Democratic U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Omar said the post was generating death threats. After her Aug. 11 runoff victory, she inveighed against “spineless Republicans" and promised to kick Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of Congress. But she denied in a statement Friday that she was trying to incite violence.
Progressive challengers' year: 3 wins and some close calls
But some challengers lost, and their overall wins were a modest number compared with the 535 House and Senate members. Kessler wasn't impressed with the three progressive challengers who defeated Democratic incumbents, either. Other high-profile progressive hopefuls lost Senate Democratic primaries in Colorado, Maine and Texas, and House contests in states including Georgia, New York and Ohio. Jamaal Bowman, a Black educator raised by a single mom, defeated House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel of the Bronx and Westchester, New York. They're an effective and well-funded operation now," said Sean McElwee, who does polling and research for progressive Democrats.
Minnesota’s Omar holds off well-funded primary challenger
Omar, seeking her second term in November, easily defeated Antone Melton-Meaux, an attorney and mediator who raised millions in anti-Omar money. Omar rejected Melton-Meaux’s attacks, saying they were funded by interests who wanted to get her out of Congress because she’s effective. Melton-Meaux didn't support that but did support shifting some funding away from police to more social service-oriented programs. Both touched on the issue in personal ways, with Omar saying she wanted her son to grow up safely. I have some reservations.”John Hildebrand, a 47-year-old teacher in Minneapolis who voted for Omar, said her national profile is an advantage.
Movement for Black Lives seeks sweeping legislative changes
FILE - In this May 31, 2020, file photo, demonstrators kneel in a moment of silence outside the Long Beach Police Department in Long Beach during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Proposed federal legislation that would radically transform the nation's criminal justice system through such changes as eliminating agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration and the use of federal surveillance technology is set to be unveiled Tuesday, July 7, by the Movement for Black Lives. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)
Palestinians face mounting barriers to peaceful protest
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops routinely detain Palestinians who organize or take part in protests. Critics say such measures leave the Palestinians with no choice but to accept permanent military rule or resort to violence. More than 50 years after occupying the West Bank, Israel is still systematically denying Palestinians civil rights, including the right to gather, Human Rights Watch said in a report released last month. One candidate for such a title might be Abu Rahma, who for several years organized weekly protests outside his West Bank village of Bilin against Israel's controversial separation barrier. As a Palestinian, he is governed by Israeli military law, while the Jewish settlers in Hebron enjoy full rights as Israeli citizens.
Trump blasts 4 congresswomen; crowd roars, 'Send her back!'
Omar came under the harshest criticism as Trump played to voters' grievances, drawing a chant from the crowd of "Send her back! Trump has accused them of "spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician." As for Ocasio-Cortez, Trump fumbled over her name and declared, "I don't have time to go with three different names." As for Omar, Trump unfurled a whole list of complaints, including a false accusation that she voiced pride in al-Qaida. If they don't want to love our country, if they don't want to fight for our country, they can," Trump said.