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"Porn literacy" class picks up where standard sex ed leaves off
Access to porn has never been easier, but teens need help understanding how real-life relationships are different
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
CNN projects: Louisiana governor wins reelection
Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards narrowly won reelection, CNN projects, beating out Republican challenger Eddie Rispone, who was backed by President Donald Trump.
Sport
'Crown jewel' Aramco stirs loyal Saudi demand for giant IPO
From taxi drivers to clerics, Saudis clamoring to own part of state oil giant Aramco went online and to local banks on Sunday at the start of a long-delayed share sale for what could be the world's biggest initial public offering.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Trump's health 'very good' after unscheduled physical exam
The White House dismissed concerns about the exam's timing, saying he "remains healthy".
BBC News - Home
Microsoft sends a new kind of AI processor into the cloud
Innovative chip from Graphcore could push AI applications to greater heights.
Ars Technica
Eric Abidal Says Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati Engaged in Barcelona Contract Talks
Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has said both Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati are talking to the club about signing new contracts...
bleacherreport.com
Months After Massive ICE Raid, Residents Of A Mississippi Town Wait And Worry
The biggest workplace immigration raid ever in a single state occurred on Aug. 7 in Mississippi. In Morton — a town that's about 25% Latino — the effects have rippled throughout the community.
News : NPR
The Week in Business: Google Is Coming for Your Health Records
The New York Times
Bowl Predictions 2019: College Football Playoff Predictions for Top Teams
The top of the College Football Playoff rankings should not change after Week 12. LSU, Ohio State and Clemson were three of nine top-10 teams to come out victorious Saturday...
bleacherreport.com
NFL Week 11 Live Stream Guide, Game Times and TV Schedule
Another Sunday of the NFL season has arrived, and in Week 11, there are some solid matchups to enjoy. The Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans will face off in what should be a high-scoring contest between two of the top teams in the AFC...
bleacherreport.com
How to Lock Down Your Health and Fitness Data
Apps like FitBit and Apple Health collect some of the most sensitive data you have. Here's how to control what they can see, and what they can do with it.
WIRED
Why Is Google Slow-Walking Its Breakthroughs in AI?
The company’s new facial-recognition service comes with limitations to prevent abuse, which sometimes lets competitors take the lead.
WIRED
The Brand Investment in Esports Report
Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images Esports viewership is on the rise. Thanks in part to streaming services such as Twitch, the number of esports fans globally is anticipated to surge 59% over the next four to five years.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:I'm a financial adviser and there are 6 reasons I don't think $2.5 million of life insurance is too much for my familyLeaked papers on China's Muslim mass detention policies show President Xi Jinping urging the ruling party to use the 'organs of dictatorship' to round up the ethnic minorityThe US needs to copy China’s tech strategy to remain the top economy in the world
Business Insider
Orphée review – disquieting and beautifully done
Coliseum, LondonThe final instalment of English National Opera’s Orpheus series is a troubling piece of theatre that more than holds its own beside the company’s previous Philip Glass stagings‘We watch ourselves grow old in mirrors. They bring us closer to death,” Jean Cocteau wrote of his 1950 film Orphée, the screenplay for which forms the libretto for Philip Glass’s 1993 opera of the same name, now taken into English National Opera’s repertory, in a new production by Netia Jones, as the final instalment of the company’s Orpheus series.The film and opera are ambivalent parables about the metaphysical nature of creativity and artistic immortality, and in each, mirrors are doorways to a world beyond the grave that constantly impinges on the living, allowing the Princess, the emissary of death, to fall in love with Orphée and seek to claim him as her own. Both works are also, to some extent, bittersweet reflections on loss and transience. In his memoir Words Without Music, extracts from which are printed in the programme, Glass reflects on how he was drawn to the film following the death of his partner, Candy Jernigan, in 1991. Cocteau’s screenplay, meanwhile, is haunted by the memory of one of his lovers, the novelist Raymond Radiguet, who died aged only 20, and who hovers over two of the work’s principal characters: Cégeste, the tearaway writer killed too soon who later dictates Orphée’s poetry to him over the radio; and the angelic Heurtebise, the Princess’s chauffeur, who is in love with Orphée’s wife Eurydice and is selflessly guiding human destiny at every turn. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Corbyn: Labour immigration policy would allow 'lot of movement'
Leader suggests liberal EU deal, but stops short of saying free movement would continueLatest election coverage – liveJeremy Corbyn has said he would want his government to allow “a great deal of movement” of people, in a sign Labour would look to keep a liberal immigration regime with Europe if Brexit goes ahead.The Labour leader stopped short of saying free movement would be allowed to continue in its current form, but argued for immigration to help with shortages in the NHS and for an expansion of the rights of migrants to bring family members to the UK. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Sri Lanka strongman Rajapaksa wins presidency by big margin
Sri Lanka's former civil wartime defense chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared the winner in the presidential election on Sunday, after promising to secure the country against militant threats following Easter bombings this year.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Hong Kong campus protesters fire bows and arrows, set fires
Hong Kong protesters shot bows and arrows and hurled petrol bombs from a barricaded university campus on Sunday, as police charged and charged again, firing tear gas and blue liquid from water cannon after fiery clashes overnight.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
British government and army accused of covering up war crimes
Alleged evidence implicates UK troops in murder of children in Afghanistan and IraqThe UK government and the British army have been accused of covering up the killing of children in Afghanistan and Iraq.Leaked documents allegedly contain evidence implicating troops in killing children and the torture of civilians. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Dueling Matteos Battle for the Future of Italy
Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the popular anti-migrant leader Matteo Salvini may be out of power. But their sparring has come to dominate Italy’s political life.
NYT > Home Page
Christmas gift ideas for food lovers 2019
From stocking fillers to hampers, great Christmas presents for foodies, selected by Observer Food MonthlyHoney & Spice biscuits Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
The challengers: six candidates out to topple the big names of UK politics
Senior politicians – including Iain Duncan Smith, Sajid Javid and even Boris Johnson – could be at risk in this election. We meet the people out to unseat themChingford and Woodford Green Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
A relationship expert believes couples can be stronger after cheating, but there are 4 important steps to rebuilding trust again
Flickr/Sascha Kohlmann Cheating may feel like the ultimate end to a relationship. But according to relationship expert Jenn Mann, this may not be true. She told Insider the bond between couples can actually become stronger after infidelity. But there's a catch — they need the "four Rs of apology" to make it work — remorse, taking responsibility, recognition, and remedy. "In order for the relationship to be able to heal, the couple has to be able to process what happened, why it happened and how to avoid it in the future," Mann said. "When the cheater stays defensive or unwilling to process the hurt he or she has caused, the relationship is unlikely to achieve a positive outcome." Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. When someone cheats, the reasons are always bad. But according to a relationship expert, the act itself may sometimes lead to something good — a stronger partnership. Jenn Mann, the author of "The Relationship Fix," told Insider the main reasons people stray is a lack of connection in the relationship and sexual dissatisfaction.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Behind the scenes with Shepard Smith — the Fox News star who just announced his resignation from the networkSee Also:Being in an open relationship isn't the same as being polyamorous. A sex researcher explains the difference.A model didn't realize she was pregnant until she was giving birth, but 'cryptic pregnancies' happen more often than you might thinkPeople who think they'd be too jealous in an open relationship may have bigger problems
Business Insider
These are the 3 best photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from 2019, according to the royal family's photographer
Samir Hussein/WireImage/ Getty Images Insider asked the royal family's photographer to choose his 3 favorite photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from 2019. Samir Hussein has captured the couple's best moments all year — from their first post-birth appearance at Trooping the Colour to their royal tour with baby Archie.  The duke and duchess just announced their plan to take an extended break in the US over Christmas, so it might be a while before we see them together again. Until then, scroll through the photos below — all taken by Hussein — along with why he thinks they're the best snapshots taken of the couple this year. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. 1. This photo of Markle dancing with locals in Cape Town is an 'unusual' display of 'a royal cutting loose,' according to Hussein. Samir Hussein. The photo was taken on the first day of Harry and Markle's tour of Africa with baby Archie in September of this year.  "This is a very unusual royal photo because it shows a royal cutting loose and dancing with locals, fully enjoying the moment," Hussein told Insider. "This photo was taken on tour with Meghan and Harry in South Africa as they visited a township in Cape Town. "A group of female dancers approached Meghan and she was only too happy to join in, producing this great moment of joy and spontaneity." Harry eventually tried to join in as well, and an awkward video of the moment surfaced online shortly after. 2. This moment between Markle and Prince Harry in Morocco 'showed the solidarity' between them. Samir Hussein. "Harry and Meghan often seem a lot more relaxed when on tour, enjoying the local hospitality," Hussein said. "This was very true in Morocco at the beginning of the year. "Here I captured them in the Atlas mountains watching local school children take part in a game of football. "Instinctively Meghan, pregnant at the time, leaned into Harry and put her head on his shoulder as he looked at her and gave a big smile. This was just a few months before Archie was born and showed the solidarity between the two of them." 3. They waved to the cameras at Trooping the Colour for their first joint appearance after the birth of baby Archie. Samir Hussein. "I photographed Meghan and Harry at Trooping the Colour, not long after the birth of baby Archie," said Hussein.  "The public were out in force, excited to see the couple as they travelled by carriage down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace. They both looked very proud, Harry in uniform and Meghan looking striking. "What made the photo was both of them turning in my direction and Meghan giving a wave." Read more: Meghan Markle was filmed dancing with Cape Town locals, and Prince Harry awkwardly tried to join in 19 adorable photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from their royal tour of Morocco Kate Middleton gave a subtle nod to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with her Trooping the Colour outfit See Also:Hillary Clinton reportedly paid a secret visit to Meghan Markle at Frogmore Cottage, and she even got to cuddle with baby ArchieThe 26 most iconic royal fashion moments from the past decade10 times royals broke their own protocol in 2019
Business Insider
Saudi Arabia puts $1.7 trillion price tag on its oil monopoly
Saudi Arabia believes its giant state oil monopoly is worth as much as $1.7 trillion.
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CNN.com - RSS Channel
Impeachment, Santa Clarita, Leonids: Your Weekend Briefing
Here’s what you need to know about the week’s top stories.
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NYT > Home Page
Iran petrol price hike: Supreme Leader condemns 'hooligan' protesters
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed "hooligans" and counter-revolutionaries for days of violent protests.
1 h
BBC News - Home
There Will Be No Victory in Dishonor
None of the services seems happy with President Trump’s decision to pardon two service members accused of war crimes, and reverse the demotion of a third. The Navy's reply, however, sets some kind of record of disdain. The Twitter account of the U.S. Navy's Chief of Information Office wrote on November 15: As the Commander in Chief, the President has the authority to restore Special Warfare Operator First Class Gallagher to the pay grade of E-7. We acknowledge his order and are implementing it. Those icy words breathe the mood of the admonition from Band of Brothers: “We salute the rank, not the man.”To understand why the Navy—and the other services, too—reacted so negatively to the pardons, here's a story I heard on a visit to Germany a couple of months ago. I had the chance to talk to a senior U.S. officer in that country.The officer had been posted all over the world over his long and distinguished career, but his very first overseas assignment took him to Stuttgart in 1983. The move into the apartment left behind a mess in the street: packing tape, that kind of thing. He knew how conscientious the Germans are about litter. But he had little children then, he was exhausted after the move, so he fell asleep intending to wake up early the next day to finish the job.He did rise early, only to find that somebody had done the job for him. He interpreted this as passive-aggressive criticism by a neighbor, so he knocked on the next door to apologize. The door was answered by an older man who spoke clear, although strongly accented, English. Yes, the neighbor had cleaned up the mess. No, no apology was necessary. He had noticed that the officer had a young family, and he understand how difficult it was to move with children. The neighbor had wanted to extend a welcome, for he was a great admirer of the U.S. military.“Where did you learn such good English?” asked the officer of his new friend."In Louisiana.”“Do you have family there? A job?”“No, I was a prisoner of war. I was captured in Tunisia in 1943.”“I’m sorry you met America that way.”“Don’t be. I ate better in America than I ever ate in the Afrika Korps. And I’m alive, which I would not be if I had not been captured. So when I see American soldiers, I always try to say, ‘Thank you.’"The American officer who told me the story would later lead part of the clean-up effort at Abu Ghraib, after the exposure of maltreatment of prisoners there. He told his troops in Iraq: The way the U.S. Army had treated German POWs in 1943 paid security dividends for 40 years afterward. The way the Army treats its prisoners today will matter just as much 40 years from now.The armed forces of the United States do their outmost to fight lawfully and humanely not only because it is the right thing to do. They do their utmost because it is also the smart thing to do. Every war ends. The memories from that war persist for decades.War is horrible enough when fought honorably. To join dishonor to horror is no victory for any American cause.
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World Edition - The Atlantic
Oculus and Unity offer new intermediate-level guide to making VR games
Facebook’s Oculus and Unity Technologies are offering a 20-hour intermediate guide to building a virtual reality game.
1 h
VentureBeat | Tech News That Matters
Just how much is getting through to voters? Very little
History teaches us that less is more when it comes to making campaign pledgesThis election comes at a time when there is much to fix. BritainThinks’ Mood of the Nation study, reported here in the summer, laid bare the deep pessimism felt by many, especially the young. Asked to describe Britain at the start of the campaign, the words chosen in focus groups were “divided”, “confused”, “angry” and “broken”.The electorate is weary. Faith in politics and politicians – never high – is now at an all-time low. Just 6% say that politicians understand “people like me”, Boris Johnson has poorer ratings as PM than any of his recent predecessors at a similar stage in their premiership, and Jeremy Corbyn has the worst opposition leader ratings since polling began. Nearly three-quarters (74%) now believe that our politics is “no longer fit for purpose”. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Why is UK unemployment still low? We are working longer hours
Pay hasn’t recovered from the 2008 crisis so staff work longer to fill the gap, boosting labour supply and limiting wage risesTurn the clock back a decade. The economy is just about to emerge from its worst recession in living memory. Since the start of 2008, output has contracted sharply quarter after quarter. The banks have been saved but the official unemployment rate has hit 8%, a 12-year high.Now imagine that you had a crystal ball which could foresee what would happen over the next 10 years. Hard though it is to believe, your crystal ball tells you that there will be no real recovery from the slump. Productivity growth – which had been averaging 2% a year up until 2008 – will collapse. The economy in 2019 will be at least 15% smaller than it would otherwise have been had the financial crisis never happened. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Sri Lanka finance minister quits after ruling party candidate defeated in presidential poll
Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera resigned from his post on Sunday saying he had lost the mandate after voters rejected the ruling party's candidate in a presidential election.
1 h
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Democratic presidential candidates court labor support in Nevada
Retired letter carrier Leslie Maxwell Burton has a message for Democratic presidential contenders campaigning in the early voting state of Nevada this weekend: She won't vote for anyone who tries to take away her hard-won union health plan.
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Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Prince Andrew's press advisor reportedly quit 2 weeks before his BBC interview after urging him not to do it
AP/Sang Tan Prince Andrew's press advisor reportedly quit two weeks before his sit-down interview with the BBC. He urged the Duke of York to not do the interview with BBC Newsnight, which was aired on Saturday, over fears that it could backfire. In the interview, BBC presenter Emily Maitlis grilled the Prince on his links to disgraced financier, Jeffrey Epstein, and the allegation that he had sex with a 17-year-old in 2001. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Prince Andrew's chief spin doctor reportedly quit his role just two weeks before the Duke of York's sit-down interview with the BBC, after strongly advising him against doing the interview. Jason Stein left by mutual consent just four weeks into his role as the Prince's press advisor, The Times newspaper reports.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Here's how to escape a flooding vehicleSee Also:Prince Andrew says the picture of him with his hand around Virginia Roberts' waist might not be realPrince Andrew says he has 'no recollection' of meeting an alleged Epstein abuse victimPrince Andrew says he couldn't have had sex with a 17-year-old because he was at a Pizza Express on the day in question
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Business Insider
Jets vs. Redskins: Preview, predictions, what to watch for
Costello’s Call The Jets are a bad team. The Redskins are worse. The offense puts together a good performance and the defense forces two Dwayne Haskins interceptions. Jets 24, Redskins 10 Marquee matchup Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins vs. Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams The Jets face a rookie quarterback for the second straight week. Giants...
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New York Post
Simon Hopkinson’s Christmas lunch recipes
Roast goose stuffed with mashed potato, onions a la monegasque and marsala custards – the year’s biggest meal sorted“Nothing like a nice festive sherry to fortify the taste buds,” says Auntie Jean, while quietly drinking a pre-prandial Christmas amontillado. This 11-year old, meanwhile, is helping to trim the sprouts by the sink with Dad, who mutters aside that he’ll soon be pouring himself a gin and French once the bread sauce is put to simmer. I always thought that Dad’s drink was absolute filth: half a tumbler of gin, with the remaining volume topped up with Noilly Prat. No ice. No lemon. And then he will probably sneak in a quick top-up while Mum, my brother, Auntie Jean and I are in the sitting room watching the Queen. All that having been said, our Christmas Day feast was always, but always, quite brilliant. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Micheal Ward: ‘Everywhere I go it’s good vibes’
In just a year, Micheal Ward has risen from online model to leading man in the crime drama Blue Story. He still can’t believe it – nor can his mumA few hours before I’m due to meet Micheal Ward, I get a text from his publicist. The photoshoot for this interview has finished more than an hour early – could I come a bit sooner? I race to a café in Blackheath, plush south London. When I arrive, Ward has already finished lunch. These shoots normally overrun, I say. How come this one was over so quickly? “I tried to warn them I was a model,” he smirks. “I know what I’m doing.”He certainly seems to. A year ago, Ward was entirely unknown as an actor. He was working for the e-commerce sites of brands like JD Sports, modelling athleisure. (Apparently there’s still a picture of him somewhere, deep in the bowels of the JD sports website.) Now 21, he’s bagged leading roles in two of the most high-profile portrayals of British gang life in years. In the first, Netflix’s revival of Top Boy, he plays Jamie, an east London boy climbing the rungs of a Hackney drug-dealing gang while simultaneously looking after his two young brothers. And there’s the upcoming feature film Blue Story, based on the spoken word performer Rapman’s wildly popular YouTube series about south London gang violence, in which Ward plays the brother of a gang member who gets dragged into a postcode war. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Endland by Tim Etchells review – once upon a time on England’s sink estates
Funny and fantastical, this collection of urban fables turns a broken mirror on broken BritainIn the 1990s, Tim Etchells – an experimental theatre-maker with the Sheffield-based Forced Entertainment – wrote a series of scabrous short stories, published as Endland: Or Bad Lives. Since then, he has intermittently written further tales from the same universe: Endland is a distorted version of England, where social divisions and geopolitical chaos are taken to absurd extremes.All 39 stories are brought together here, with an introduction by Jarvis Cocker. Almost all depict the lives of a deprived underclass. Endland is a place of grotty estates, exploitative jobs and crap pubs. But these urban fables are a world away from dour realism: dragons and ogres feature alongside alcoholics and sex workers. Etchells makes sparks fly by allowing the mythic to rub against grubby everyday existence: there are disruptions to the space-time continuum in Doncaster; Greek gods with names such as Herpes, Apollo 12 and Stormzy drink too much and get caught up in the migrant crisis. This is scorching, bitter satire of how society is continually screwed by inequality. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Britain’s top 10 coastal retreats
These winter winners offer great stays for an off-season break – of windswept walks or just being cosy – and feature lighthouses, inns, forts and crofters’ cottagesIn good weather, you can see 20 miles in either direction: to the left, the white stone of Portland; to the right, Golden Cap and the distant slopes of Devon. Running between them is Chesil Beach, the setting made famous by Ian McEwan’s novel-turned film. The National Trust has restored this peaceful stone cottage overlooking the sea. There’s a spacious master bedroom on the first floor and another double in the attic. The sitting room has a charming inglenook fireplace. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
A Young Immigrant Has Mental Illness, And That's Raising His Risk of Being Deported
Behavioral problems, criminal arrests and limited access to health care leave a father worried that his 21-year-old son will be deported to Mexico.
1 h
News : NPR
Flashback: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Commonly regarded as one of the rare sequels that surpasses the original.
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Slate Articles
Trump’s Emerging Military Doctrine
Two men accused of war crimes received presidential pardons yesterday, and a third had his demotion reversed. Donald Trump has earned jeers from predictable quarters: men and women in uniform who see these pardons as cheapening their oaths and dishonoring their service; fans of human rights and justice for victims; and, of course, people who simply dislike the president and consider his decisions defective by default.Trump’s loudest defender is a Fox News correspondent, Pete Hegseth, who lobbied for these interventions and received advance word of them from Trump himself. Hegseth, a decorated veteran, argued that these men were betrayed by elements of the Department of Defense who hobble our “warfighters” with burdensome legal obligations. “If they make one tiny mistake,” Hegseth said on the air, “then a lawyer in the Pentagon is going to Monday-morning quarterback them.” The recipients of these pardons are “military heroes, accused or convicted of war crimes,” he claimed, correcting himself seconds later. “So-called war crimes.”The backtracking wasn’t necessary: The actions these men were accused of most definitely qualify as war crimes. Killing three guys on a motorcycle when they are far away and carrying nothing more deadly than a cucumber—that’s a war crime. Killing old men and little girls with a sniper rifle is a war crime. Killing a prisoner with a hunting knife is a war crime. Waiting for an unarmed man to walk past you, then shooting him, is a war crime. Many of these actions, in addition to being unambiguous war crimes, just sound murderous and wicked on their face, which is probably why Hegseth almost never mentions them. He never goes into detail about the Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was acquitted of murder but convicted of posing with the corpse of an Islamic State fighter. His demotion, since reversed, was his only real punishment—but his fellow warfighters found his ways so sickening that they reported him to their commanders and conferred about how to manage the apparent psychopath in their midst. “The president believes it should be commanders on the ground making these decisions,” Hegseth said. “And ultimately the benefit of the doubt should go to the guys pulling the trigger, especially when [critics] view these killings as politically incorrect.”[Read: War-crime pardons dishonor fallen heroes]Hegseth is right that lawyers hover in the background of many combat decisions. Before bombs are dropped, lawyers confirm that the target is legal. But these crimes do not involve close calls, legally. The decision to blow a hole the size of an apple into the torso of an unarmed teenage girl does not require legal evaluation so much as psychiatric evaluation. Mathew L. Golsteyn, the Army major who admitted to ambushing and shooting an Afghan, claimed the man was a Taliban bomb-maker. Golsteyn need not have worried about legalistic Monday-morning quarterbacking; during his concealment, he could have texted a lawyer about the situation, and quickly received the advice that he was midway through an act known as premeditated murder.Trump’s military doctrine has been difficult to discern, but it is sharpening into focus. Strategically, he favors isolationism in the mode of Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard. When forced to deploy, he prefers weak enemies like the Islamic State, and for long-term deployments, he prefers to commit to worthless, uncontested objectives, like the meager and wrecked oil fields of Syria. He favors extremely lax rules of engagement. Even repeated, planned acts contrary to the letter and spirit of military law and ethical codes are forgiven, and his warfighters are unconstrained by modern laws of armed conflict.You might call this program a form of deregulation, parallel to the deregulation he has pushed in other sectors, including environmental protection and finance. Deregulation is much stupider in war than it is in those other fields. If you deregulate polluters, you may end up poisoning the environment—but at least the environment is inanimate, and does not arm itself reciprocally, to match the violence you freed yourself to commit against it. Battlefield enemies are different. ISIS is already willing to commit atrocities against Americans, but now more scrupulous rivals of the United States can reasonably infer that if they fight us according to the laws of armed conflict, they are suckers. One reason more than 80 countries allied to fight ISIS is that they flagrantly ignored these laws. Now we do too.And for what? ISIS and the Taliban have killed Americans. But militarily, these groups are nuisance insects, and the SEALs and Green Berets make very effective flyswatters with their ethical standards in place. Those standards are, additionally, a source of dignity, which separate them from barbarians. The development of those codes has paralleled the decline of armed conflict as a political instrument. Pardons for those who ignored those codes do not just tell our enemies that they would be suckers to follow them; they tell the 99 percent of American soldiers and sailors who respected them that they were suckers, too. “You have to play the game the way [ISIS is] playing the game,” Trump told John Dickerson in 2016, while still a candidate. Now, as president, he is implementing that policy, and telling members of a once-proud fighting force that they should be savages and sneaks.“We’re talking about warfighters who deserve real justice,” Hegseth told his audience. Two of the three recipients of presidential largesse were convicted by a military jury; the third received his pardon before his trial concluded. The juries gave the “benefit of the doubt” Trump wanted the three men to receive, and they convicted them on some charges and acquitted them, in the face of strong evidence and the testimony of their own platoon-mates, on others. Presidents have, historically, refrained from countermanding (“Monday-morning quarterbacking,” if you will) the decisions of their own military leaders—who, after all, are the ones who best understand the stresses that the accused faced in combat.Did “real justice” arrive with the procedures of military courts and the vote of the men and women on those juries? Or did it arrive yesterday, with Trump’s order that their decisions be reversed, and that perpetrators of disgraceful conduct be treated as heroes?
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World Edition - The Atlantic
I Fear the Weak State
In their public testimonies, Bill Taylor, George Kent, and Masha Yovanovitch demonstrated professionalism, integrity, and plainspoken courage.I had the good fortune of seeing those qualities up close over our many years together in the diplomatic trenches—out of sight, out of mind, and far from the public spotlight. It saddens me that our fellow citizens will learn about these patriotic Americans because of an impeachment inquiry, but I’m heartened that they’ve provided a vivid reminder of the dignity of public service in these undignified times.Through their actions and words over recent weeks and months, they’ve also reminded us that human beings animate our institutions and civic norms, not faceless bureaucracies. And they’ve reminded us that the real threat to our democracy is not from an imagined “deep state” bent on undermining an elected president. Instead, it comes from a “weak state” of hollowed out institutions and battered and belittled public servants, no longer able to uphold the increasingly fragile guardrails of our democracy or compete on an increasingly crowded, complicated, and competitive international landscape.It’s not just the Trump administration’s acts of bureaucratic arson, like the systematic sidelining of career officers or historic proposed budget cuts, which have brought applications to the Foreign Service to a two-decade low. And it’s not just its acts of political arson, like the groundless McCarthyist attacks against career professionals perceived to be disloyal to the Trump regime. It’s the cronyism and corruption that have infected so much of our diplomacy and that we see on full and gory display in the Ukraine scandal.[Read more: Stop waiting for a savior]Why shouldn’t governments ignore tough messages from ambassadors and embassies about fighting corruption across the board when the signals they get in other channels suggest a much seedier transactional approach? Why shouldn’t authoritarian rivals conclude that the only thing that matters is the vanity of an eminently manipulable president? Why shouldn’t allies lose confidence in the requests of our diplomats when they can be overturned by the next tweet? And how much longer can we rely on officers with the experience and guts of this past week’s witnesses to do the right thing?Tensions between elected political leaderships and career public servants are not new. Each of the 10 secretaries of state that I served over nearly three and a half decades harbored concerns about the diplomatic corps—some more openly than others.We didn’t always ingratiate ourselves. We tended to relish telling new administrations why their big, new ideas were not so big, not so new, and not so workable. While individual officers could be remarkably innovative and resourceful, the State Department as an institution was rarely accused of being too agile or too full of initiative. As we lost our centrality in the foreign policy process to the military and other agencies, we tended to become passive, and all too often passive aggressive. Like other threatened species, we sometimes prioritized the survival and autonomy of our tribe over everything else. All of that led to inevitable—and understandable—frustration by new administrations looking to put as many points on the board as they could before the clock ran out on their time in office.There is a difference, however, between bad habits and bureaucratic malaise, and active sabotage. In all the reporting, thousands of pages of deposition transcripts, and hours of public testimony, we’ve seen no hint of disloyalty and not a shred of evidence pointing to career officers in Kyiv or Washington or anywhere else skulking around and plotting against the president. In fact, we’ve seen exactly the opposite—disciplined Foreign Service Officers committed to their country’s national interest and faithfully implementing policies of an elected leadership. That is their obligation.When a new administration lays out its policies, it has to be able to depend on career officers to execute them. Those who labored on the Iran nuclear deal in the last administration are now charged with its undoing. Those charged with implementing President Obama’s directive to expand refugee resettlement and mobilize a global coalition to respond to the worst refugee crisis since World War II are now implementing massive cuts to the resettlement program and quashing the coalition they helped build. The senior diplomat on the ground in Syria working with Kurdish partners to fight ISIS one day, read President Trump’s tweet the next day and then told them they were on their own. The fact is that the most undisciplined administration in generations can still count on a disciplined diplomatic corps to implement its policies.But the obligation of diplomats—like all public servants—is not just to implement directives robotically. It’s also to be honest about their views and concerns, provide their best judgment, and blow the whistle on wrongdoing. That’s why dozens of officers took to the State Department’s authorized internal Dissent Channel when the administration banned immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. It’s why another senior officer sent a cable to Washington laying out the dangers of the president’s Syria decision and advice on how to mitigate the fallout.And it’s why, when asked to apply diplomatic leverage to advance the political interests of the president over the national interest, American diplomats in Washington and Kyiv did what they are duty-bound to do. They expressed dissent—within the system and up the chain of command. They did so at considerable risk—ambassadors in the twilight of distinguished careers, and officers just on the verge of entering senior ranks. When asked by Congress to testify, they walked up to Capitol Hill, heads held high, told the truth, and upheld their oaths to the Constitution and the American people. There is a difference between dissent on policy and disloyalty to the president or the Constitution. No one should question the loyalty of these officers.[Read more: The state of Trump’s State Department]During the course of my career, I’ve watched and admired colleagues who struggled to act with integrity within the system, and those who concluded that they could no longer carry out policies with which they fundamentally disagreed, whether over nonintervention amidst ethnic cleansing in the Balkans in the 1990s or the invasion of Iraq a decade later.In the run-up to that conflict, I was the senior diplomat responsible for the Middle East. My colleagues in the Near East Bureau and I had deep concerns about the rush to war. We tried to be straight about our practical and strategic misgivings, summarizing our concerns in a hurriedly-written, 11-page single-spaced memo for Secretary Colin Powell entitled “The Perfect Storm.” We felt we owed the secretary—and our colleagues—our unvarnished views. Years later, I’m still deeply conflicted about whether I should have resigned, or at least taken a tougher personal stand.Once the decision was made to overthrow Saddam, however, we implemented the administration’s policy. Not a single officer in the Bureau resigned in protest. In fact, hundreds volunteered to do hard work in hard places in postwar Iraq and across the region, picking up pieces of the wreckage, and trying to fix what we had broken.That ethos of service lives on in America’s diplomats—a bright spot in the darkness of the Ukraine scandal. Yet behind the inspiring profiles in courage we’ve seen in recent days (and countless others we’ll never see) lies a more troubling reality. The State Department is adrift, fragile and neutered, its leadership too often complicit in the worst tendencies of this White House.For much of American history, the interests of political leaders and the state were one in the same. The government service was a system of spoils, not the meritocratic, professional system we have today. Political leaders handed out jobs to their supporters. In fact, President Andrew Jackson, whose portrait Trump displays in the Oval Office, replaced one in 10 government workers with his political devotees.The professional civil service was created more than a century ago to curb the excesses and corruption of the Gilded Age—the kinds of self-dealing at the heart of the Trump impeachment inquiry and so much of his administration's behavior. The modern Foreign Service emerged in the same spirit in the 1920s, as the United States was beginning to come to grips with the realities of its growing influence in a more competitive world.In the decades since, we’ve all too often taken for granted our institutions and their capacity to uphold the rule of law and sustain our democracy. We’ve certainly taken for granted the significance of career expertise and commitment at the State Department to help ensure continuity through administrations, manage crises, and promote American interests. After decades of dysfunction and drift, and now three years of unilateral diplomatic disarmament, it would be foolish to ignore the growing risks of a weak state.Trump is the accelerator of this drift, not its inventor, as I’ve argued. After the Cold War, we grew complacent about diplomacy and its utility. We were the biggest kid on the geopolitical block, and sometimes felt we could get our way on our own, or by force alone. With Jesse Helms wielding the knife with relish, the budget for diplomacy and development was cut by 50 percent between 1985 and 2000. Then came the terrible jolt to our system of 9/11, and a further emphasis on military and intelligence tools, with diplomacy an under-resourced afterthought. State did itself no favors throughout this period, often more attuned to mounting challenges abroad than mounting challenges within its own building.However sound his instincts on some policy issues—like pushing back against predatory Chinese trade practices—Trump has badly undermined American influence through his erratic unilateralism, disdain for expertise, and obsession with diplomacy as an exercise in narcissism. It is exactly the wrong prescription for this plastic moment in world affairs, when we’re no longer the only country calling the shots, and when diplomatic tools to cajole and coerce friends and foes alike are more important than ever.The results are predictably grim. Partners are insecure and hedging, worrying about the “brain death” of critical alliances. Adversaries feel the wind in their sails, with Russian state television crowing over dysfunction in Washington and vulnerability in Kyiv. The international landscape is hardening against our interests, and our diplomatic toolkit is being emptied by design and disuse.If we’ve learned one thing during the impeachment inquiry, it is that we ought not to fear the revenge of the deep state. The only thing to fear is the prolonged atrophy of a weak state, precisely when we depend on its strength, purpose, and resilience to carry us through this moment of testing for our country and the world. Those are the qualities we have seen in such full measure from my former colleagues in recent days. They are a reminder of what real patriotism is all about, and of the costs of demeaning it.The day will come when Trump exits, but the damage created by his disdain for diplomacy and public service will remain in his wake. The question will be whether we can take on the task of diplomacy’s renewal with the same zeal that this administration has applied to its destruction.
1 h
World Edition - The Atlantic
The Electoral College’s Racist Origins
Is a color-blind political system possible under our Constitution? If it is, the Supreme Court’s evisceration of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 did little to help matters. While black people in America today are not experiencing 1950s levels of voter suppression, efforts to keep them and other citizens from participating in elections began within 24 hours of the Shelby County v. Holder ruling and have only increased since then.In Shelby County’s oral argument, Justice Antonin Scalia cautioned, “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get them out through the normal political processes.” Ironically enough, there is some truth to an otherwise frighteningly numb claim. American elections have an acute history of racial entitlements—only they don’t privilege black Americans.For centuries, white votes have gotten undue weight, as a result of innovations such as poll taxes and voter-ID laws and outright violence to discourage racial minorities from voting. (The point was obvious to anyone paying attention: As William F. Buckley argued in his essay “Why the South Must Prevail,” white Americans are “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally,” anywhere they are outnumbered because they are part of “the advanced race.”) But America’s institutions boosted white political power in less obvious ways, too, and the nation’s oldest structural racial entitlement program is one of its most consequential: the Electoral College.[Read more: The Electoral College was terrible from the start]Commentators today tend to downplay the extent to which race and slavery contributed to the Framers’ creation of the Electoral College, in effect whitewashing history: Of the considerations that factored into the Framers’ calculus, race and slavery were perhaps the foremost.Of course, the Framers had a number of other reasons to engineer the Electoral College. Fearful that the president might fall victim to a host of civic vices—that he could become susceptible to corruption or cronyism, sow disunity, or exercise overreach—the men sought to constrain executive power consistent with constitutional principles such as federalism and checks and balances. The delegates to the Philadelphia convention had scant conception of the American presidency—the duties, powers, and limits of the office. But they did have a handful of ideas about the method for selecting the chief executive. When the idea of a popular vote was raised, they griped openly that it could result in too much democracy. With few objections, they quickly dispensed with the notion that the people might choose their leader.But delegates from the slaveholding South had another rationale for opposing the direct election method, and they had no qualms about articulating it: Doing so would be to their disadvantage. Even James Madison, who professed a theoretical commitment to popular democracy, succumbed to the realities of the situation. The future president acknowledged that “the people at large was in his opinion the fittest” to select the chief executive. And yet, in the same breath, he captured the sentiment of the South in the most “diplomatic” terms: There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to fewest objections. Behind Madison’s statement were the stark facts: The populations in the North and South were approximately equal, but roughly one-third of those living in the South were held in bondage. Because of its considerable, nonvoting slave population, that region would have less clout under a popular-vote system. The ultimate solution was an indirect method of choosing the president, one that could leverage the three-fifths compromise, the Faustian bargain they’d already made to determine how congressional seats would be apportioned. With about 93 percent of the country’s slaves toiling in just five southern states, that region was the undoubted beneficiary of the compromise, increasing the size of the South’s congressional delegation by 42 percent. When the time came to agree on a system for choosing the president, it was all too easy for the delegates to resort to the three-fifths compromise as the foundation. The peculiar system that emerged was the Electoral College.Right from the get-go, the Electoral College has produced no shortage of lessons about the impact of racial entitlement in selecting the president. History buffs and Hamilton fans are aware that in its first major failure, the Electoral College produced a tie between Thomas Jefferson and his putative running mate, Aaron Burr. What’s less known about the election of 1800 is the way the Electoral College succeeded, which is to say that it operated as one might have expected, based on its embrace of the three-fifths compromise. The South’s baked-in advantages—the bonus electoral votes it received for maintaining slaves, all while not allowing those slaves to vote—made the difference in the election outcome. It gave the slaveholder Jefferson an edge over his opponent, the incumbent president and abolitionist John Adams. To quote Yale Law’s Akhil Reed Amar, the third president “metaphorically rode into the executive mansion on the backs of slaves.” That election continued an almost uninterrupted trend of southern slaveholders and their doughfaced sympathizers winning the White House that lasted until Abraham Lincoln’s victory in 1860.In 1803, the Twelfth Amendment modified the Electoral College to prevent another Jefferson-Burr–type debacle. Six decades later, the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery, thus ridding the South of its windfall electors. Nevertheless, the shoddy system continued to cleave the American democratic ideal along racial lines. In the 1876 presidential election, the Democrat Samuel Tilden won the popular vote, but some electoral votes were in dispute, including those in—wait for it—Florida. An ad hoc commission of lawmakers and Supreme Court justices was empaneled to resolve the matter. Ultimately, they awarded the contested electoral votes to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, who had lost the popular vote. As a part of the agreement, known as the Compromise of 1877, the federal government removed the troops that were stationed in the South after the Civil War to maintain order and protect black voters.The deal at once marked the end of the brief Reconstruction era, the redemption of the old South, and the birth of the Jim Crow regime. The decision to remove soldiers from the South led to the restoration of white supremacy in voting through the systematic disenfranchisement of black people, virtually accomplishing over the next eight decades what slavery had accomplished in the country’s first eight decades. And so the Electoral College’s misfire in 1876 helped ensure that Reconstruction would not remove the original stain of slavery so much as smear it onto the other parts of the Constitution’s fabric, and countenance the racialized patchwork democracy that endured until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.What’s clear is that, more than two centuries after it was designed to empower southern whites, the Electoral College continues to do just that. The current system has a distinct, adverse impact on black voters, diluting their political power. Because the concentration of black people is highest in the South, their preferred presidential candidate is virtually assured to lose their home states’ electoral votes. Despite black voting patterns to the contrary, five of the six states whose populations are 25 percent or more black have been reliably red in recent presidential elections. Three of those states have not voted for a Democrat in more than four decades. Under the Electoral College, black votes are submerged. It’s the precise reason for the success of the southern strategy. It’s precisely how, as Buckley might say, the South has prevailed.Among the Electoral College’s supporters, the favorite rationalization is that without the advantage, politicians might disregard a large swath of the country’s voters, particularly those in small or geographically inconvenient states. Even if the claim were true, it’s hardly conceivable that switching to a popular-vote system would lead candidates to ignore more voters than they do under the current one. Three-quarters of Americans live in states where most of the major parties’ presidential candidates do not campaign.[Read more: The Electoral College conundrum]More important, this “voters will be ignored” rationale is morally indefensible. Awarding a numerical few voting “enhancements” to decide for the many amounts to a tyranny of the minority. Under any other circumstances, we would call an electoral system that weights some votes more than others a farce—which the Supreme Court, more or less, did in a series of landmark cases. Can you imagine a world in which the votes of black people were weighted more heavily because presidential candidates would otherwise ignore them, or, for that matter, any other reason? No. That would be a racial entitlement. What’s easier to imagine is the racial burdens the Electoral College continues to wreak on them.Critics of the Electoral College are right to denounce it for handing victory to the loser of the popular vote twice in the past two decades. They are also correct to point out that it distorts our politics, including by encouraging presidential campaigns to concentrate their efforts in a few states that are not representative of the country at large. But the disempowerment of black voters needs to be added to that list of concerns, because it is core to what the Electoral College is and what it always has been.The race-consciousness establishment—and retention—of the Electoral College has supported an entitlement program that our 21st-century democracy cannot justify. If people truly want ours to be a race-blind politics, they can start by plucking that strange, low-hanging fruit from the Constitution.
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World Edition - The Atlantic
Barcelona's Eric Abidal Says Catalans 'Are Aware Of' Inter's Lautaro Martinez
Barcelona director Eric Abidal has revealed the Catalans are following Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez, as part of their search for a new striker...
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bleacherreport.com
Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on November 17, 2019
On this "Face the Nation" broadcast, we sit down with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to discuss Democrats' strategy in the impeachment probe into Trump. We learn more about the impeachment inquiry timeline with Rep.s Jim Jordan and Mike Quigley. We also dive into the 2020 campaign with CBS News' director of Elections and Surveys Anthony Salvanto.
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CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Alabama confirms QB Tua's season done after hip injury
Tagovailoa, who will be eligible to enter the 2020 NFL Draft, may have played his final down for the Crimson Tide.
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NBC News - Breaking News & Top Stories - Latest World, US & Local News
Aramco IPO range values Saudi oil giant at up to $1.7 trillion
Saudi Aramco is worth up to $1.7 trillion at the IPO price range set by the oil giant on Sunday, below the $2 trillion targeted by Saudi's crown prince but still vying for the title of the world's biggest IPO.
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Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner