Do-nothing officials

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! IT’S a good thing that the greater Los Angeles area has such a strong delegation in Washington, D.C. – otherwise actor Karl Malden might never have received that post office in Brentwood named in his honor. Yes, that is a bit of sarcasm at the expense of the congressmen and congresswomen who were elected to represent the country’s second-most-populous city and its suburbs. But they deserve this tweak because despite the economic and cultural stature of California, our representatives still evidently allow themselves to be treated like rubes when it comes to getting what their constituents need. A Daily News examination of the legislative records of the pols who represent the San Fernando Valley and adjacent areas found dismal success. Last year, only 2 percent of their total bills passed. It’s not for lack of trying: Reps. Brad Sherman, Howard Berman, Henry Waxman, Adam Schiff, Elton Gallegly and others collectively introduced a respectable amount of bills, including one to clean up perchlorate. But few find any sort of support or get hearings before the full Congress. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Berman certainly deserves credit for getting part of the 405 car-pool-lane funds last year, but that shouldn’t be the only accomplishment of note – it should be among many. California in general, and Southern California in particular, are hardly the backwaters that they might have been a century ago. Yet the power structure in Washington, D.C., doesn’t seem to have noticed it. And that’s the fault of those elected to represent the region. At the very least, California lawmakers should wield the same power as all other states. And, realistically, they should have power advantages. If Southern California’s federal lawmakers banded together and started using their weight, they could be a serious force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the same forces that have allowed state politics to become mired by special interests are at work to ensure perpetual electoral victories for the region’s particularly weak representative class – despite records that show they are mostly do-nothings.last_img read more

Genoa confirm no offers for Piatek

first_imgGenoa have confirmed they are yet to receive offers from reported Real Madrid and AC Milan target Krzysztof Piatek.The Polish striker has found the net a remarkable 19 times in 21 appearances for the Italian club this season, having joined from Cracovia Krakow last summer.The Serie A side paid only €4.5m for Piatek – who has also been linked to Barcelona – in that deal but his market value has multiplied with reports suggesting he would only be sold permanently in a move in excess of €60m.A report cited on Football Espana speaks of ‘concrete interest’ from the European giants while Atletico Madrid and AC Milan are equally monitoring the situation.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“We are waiting for offers for Piatek, there is nothing official yet,” Genoa CEO Giorgio Perinetti told RMC Sport.“Milan know that we would like to keep the player until June, but we will evaluate any proposal that may come in.“It is not our intention to sell Piatek now and we cannot wait until the last day of the market.”last_img read more

MA Players Prediction Recession Will End by June

first_imgWhen contacted by FOLIO:, Alcamo said his prediction of economic recovery has major implications for magazine publishers. Trade publishers serving sectors linked to President Obama’s stimulus package—including civil engineering, roads and bridges, home-building/ lumber, hydroelectric, electrical grid, etc.—are “likely to do well,” he said. Also, he predicts an increase in the allocation of advertising dollars by the fourth quarter. “I would see shelter books doing better, and trade publishing that focuses on retail, including giftware, gourmet food, foodservice, and city and regional publishing, which depends on major regional retail advertisers.”But isn’t it a bit risky to publicly predict the end of a recession? What if he’s way off?“We feel that it is important and valuable to maintain a sense of the cyclical nature of history,” he said. “The depth of a recession can be a result of psychology … I think there now is a natural inclination to be optimistic and confident in Washington, and this will work to our advantage.” Get your proverbial crystal ball—and your pocketbook—ready.In a press release issued today, Michael Alcamo, president of a New York City-based investment banking firm, boldly predicted that there is a “95 percent chance” the economic recession will end on or before June 1. Alcamo based the prediction on evaluations he conducted of empirical data collected by the National Bureau of Economic Research.“The NBER data show that we have had 11 recessions since World War II, and that the average post-war recession lasted 10.3 months,” Alcamo said in the release. “This recession may be different in character and causes than prior recessions, but we do not believe that this cycle will not be fundamentally atypical.”last_img read more

BNP trying to capitalise on quota reform movement Quader

first_imgObaidul Quader. File PhotoAwami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday alleged that Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is trying to cash in on the quota reform movement after failing to wage an agitation of its own, reports UNB.”Their (BNP’s) daydream of going to power by using the student community after failing to launch any movement won’t be fulfilled,” he said while talking to reporters after a meeting with the authorities concerned in Gazaria of Munshiganj to ensure smooth journey on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said the country’s people now do not trust BNP. “They’re doing a nasty politics over the jail life and sickness of Khaleda Zia which is now evident to people.”About the traffic jam, the minister said from the next year, there will be no traffic congestion on the Dhaka- Chattogram highway.last_img read more

BNP sees no alternative to immediate army deployment

first_imgBNP on Wednesday demanded immediate army deployment to prevent pre-election violence and ensure proper election atmosphere across the country, reports UNB.”Being alienated from people for their misrule, the ruling party cadres are carrying out violence all over the country in a planned way. The fascist regime has got desperate to hold a voter-less election,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Naya Paltan central office, he further said, “Awami League and the law enforcers have got desperate to keep people away from the election. There’s no alternative to immediate army deployment the way the level of violence is heightening.”Rizvi claimed that their party candidates and their supporters came under attack by Awami League men in 18 districts on Wednesday, apart from the attack on the motorcade of their party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in Thakurgaon.Besides, he alleged that the ruling party followers attacked the houses of their leaders and activists at different parts of the country. “The Awami cadres also attacked the election campaigns of our candidates at many places today (Wednesday) as well.”The BNP leader said Awami League is attacking their followers and repressing them to force BNP to quit the election race. “An appalling situation has been prevailing in the country while the opposition leaders and activists are being attacked or arrested.”He said people are witnessing a ‘bizarre’ election as ruling party leaders are carrying out electioneering with police protocol while opposition activists are being arrested even from their houses and party offices.last_img read more

UN reviews Saudi rights record amid Khashoggi crisis

first_imgDeputy director of the Project on Middle East Democracy Andrew Miller speaks during a memorial service for Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Mayflower Hotel on 2 November in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPCountries will gather at the UN in Geneva Monday to review the rights record of Saudi Arabia, as it faces a torrent of international condemnation over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.The half-day public debate before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva comes just over a month after the royal insider-turned-critic was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.Turkey’s chief prosecutor confirmed for the first time last Wednesday that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate on 2 October as part of a planned hit, and his body was then dismembered and destroyed.The murder has placed strain on Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States and other western countries and has tarnished the image of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler.Monday’s so-called Universal Periodic Review — which all 193 UN countries must undergo approximately every four years — is likely to also focus on Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen’s brutal civil war.Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in the war in 2015 to bolster Yemeni president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after the Iran-backed rebels took over the capital Sanaa.According to the World Health Organization, nearly 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and a UN panel of experts has accused both the Huthis and the Saudi-led coalition of acts that could amount to war crimes.The conflict has also created the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis and left millions of people on the brink of famine, according to the UN.Washington, which has long backed the Saudi-led coalition, called last week for an end to the coalition’s airstrikes in the country.End ‘deafening silence’The Saudi delegation in Geneva Monday will be headed by Bandar Al Aiban, who serves as the head of the country’s Human Rights Commission.The delegation will present a report over the country’s efforts to live up to its international human rights obligations, and will respond to questions and comments from countries around the world on its record.Activists are urging countries not to hold back.”UN member states must end their deafening silence on Saudi Arabia and do their duty of scrutinising the cruelty in the kingdom in order to prevent further outrageous human rights violations in the country and in Yemen,” Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of campaigns, said in a statement.”The Saudi government’s long-standing repression of critics, exemplified by the extrajudicial execution of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month, has until recently been wilfully ignored by UN member states,” she added.A number of countries have already submitted lists of detailed questions for the review, including direct questions from Britain, Austria and Switzerland on the Khashoggi case.Sweden meanwhile is planning to ask: “What measures will be taken to improve the respect for the freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?”And the United States has submitted a question on whether Riyadh plans to modify its counterterrorism law to ensure the definition of “terrorism” does “not include acts of expression, association, or peaceful assembly.”In the run-up to the UPR, the UN rights office published a report in late August listing a range of concerns over Saudi Arabia’s rights record, including laws that discriminate against women.The UN report also decries the continued use of the death penalty and growing number of executions in the country, and voices concern over a counterterrorism law that uses an “extremely broad” definition of terrorism which enables “the criminalisation of some acts of peaceful expression.”last_img read more

Federal Judge Blocks Trumps Ban On Transgender Service Members

first_img Share Updated at 2:30 p.m. ETPresident Trump’s would-be ban on transgender service members in the military has been blocked from going into effect for the foreseeable future.A U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C., decided on Monday that trans members of the military have a strong case that the president’s ban would violate their Fifth Amendment rights. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted a preliminary injunction to keep the policy from going into effect while the court case moves forward.As a result of her injunction, the military policy on transgender service members will “revert to the status quo,” Kollar-Kotelly writes — that is, the policy that was in place before Trump’s announcement. That policy allowed trans members currently in the military to serve openly, and for openly trans people to be admitted to serve in the future.Kollar-Kotelly did not block the portion of the presidential memorandum that blocked military resources from being used to fund “sex reassignment surgical procedures,” saying her court does not have jurisdiction over that policy. Before 2016, service members who came out as trans were “caught in limbo,” as NPR has previously reported. They weren’t eligible for promotion, and were treated according to their gender assigned at birth. Troops who came out as trans could be discharged purely on the basis of their gender identity. Aspiring soldiers who were openly trans were considered unfit for duty.In June 2016, after lengthy deliberation, the Pentagon announced a policy change. “Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly,” then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said. And within a year, he said, the military would no longer turn away recruits on the basis of trans identity. (The deadline was later extended by six months.)Then, this July, Trump tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” an announcement that caught many people (including leaders at the Defense Department) by surprise.The tweet was followed by an official presidential memo in August. The memo called for trans members of the military to, once again, be eligible for discharge based on their gender identity, and for would-be service members who are openly trans to be prohibited from joining the military, effective on Jan. 1, 2018.The memo did not go as far as Trump’s tweets. For instance, whether or not individuals currently serving would be discharged, among other elements of implementing the ban, would be up to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, according to the memo. Any steps taken should be “appropriate and consistent with military effectiveness and lethality, budgetary constraints and applicable law,” the instructions stated.Under the new preliminary injunction, this portion of the memo is unenforceable and the Pentagon policy is once again in effect. That means, unless the policy changes again, openly trans people could begin joining the military on Jan. 1.The lawsuit against the Trump administration was initially filed by five anonymous service members, “Jane Doe” 1-5, from different branches, with decades of collective service and multiple overseas deployments between them. The “Jane Doe” plaintiffs were later joined by a “John Doe.”Two named plaintiffs, one at the Naval Academy and another in the Army ROTC, also joined the lawsuit as aspiring service members who, as openly transgender individuals, would be blocked from their career path by the president’s memorandum.The judge ruled that the plaintiffs have persuasive claims that their Fifth Amendment rights are being violated, and have a good chance of succeeding in their court case. She noted, among other things, that the president’s policy was announced with little apparent deliberation, “disfavors a class of historically persecuted and politically powerless individuals” and contradicts the conclusions of military leaders.She also wrote “the reasons given for [the directives] do not appear to be supported by any facts” — for instance, there is “practically no explanation at all” about how trans service members would harm “unit cohesion,” she wrote.The memo released by the president also prohibits the military from spending any resources on surgeries related to a service member’s gender transition. Covering transition-related health needs was one of the policy changes the Pentagon announced in 2016.Kollar-Kotelly said she could not issue a preliminary injunction on that element of the memo, because none of the plaintiffs in this case had proven that they would personally be harmed by that clause.The Human Rights Campaign called the injunction “an important step in the ongoing efforts to protect transgender service members.”This case is not the only challenge to Trump’s trans service member ban. The ACLU has a separate challenge pending in Maryland, on behalf of several named active service members.“As all of these cases move forward, we will continue to work to ensure that transgender service members are treated with the equal treatment they deserve,”ACLU senior staff attorney Joshua Block said in a statement.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. read more