Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents who threatened her in a secret Facebook group.
At a thumbs-up sign from a sailor, a U.S. Harrier fighter jet takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer in the Arabian Sea as an oil tanker passes, a nautical mile away. The patrol is "standard" but the situation - growing tension between the United States and Iran - is not. "We want to make sure that we assure allies in the region and to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce," says Colonel Fridrik Fridrikson, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Italian police said Thursday they had arrested 19 suspected members of a Nigerian mob, including the leaders of a clan which forged alliances with other mafias and violently punished anyone who rebelled. In an operation dubbed "Burning Flame", coordinated by police in Bologna and Turin, over 300 officers carried out arrests and searches in nine cities across northern Italy from Bergamo to Modena, Parma and Ravenna. A two-year probe -- aided significantly by a man on the inside who fed details to investigators -- "has allowed us to destroy much of what, within the Nigerian community, is known as the 'Maphite' cult," police said in a statement.
"It is personally disappointing to Congressman Hunter that he is now being told that he cannot use this motto or image that thousands of Marines like Congressman Hunter, who went to war under this banner, have used for tattoos, coins, and multiple other items of personal sentiment," Harrison told Task & Purpose.Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has been told to stop using the Marine Corps' emblem and the 1st Marine Division's motto in his campaign literature, Corps officials confirmed.The Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office has sent Hunter, a Marine veteran, a cease and desist letter telling him to quit using the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem along with the phrase, "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy," on a fundraising mailer that accuses his political opponent of having links to terrorism, NBC News first reported on Wednesday."Please be advised that you are more than welcome to simply and accurately state that you are a Marine Corps veteran, or provide other information about your service that is based on fact," according to the letter, which NBC News posted online. "As an alternative, we do offer a 'Marine Veteran' logo (Attachment B) for use by Marines to indicate their pride in service."Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joseph Butterfield confirmed the Corps had "taken appropriate action" to address the campaign mailers cited in the NBC story.
The U.S. decision to exclude Turkey from an American-led fighter jet program goes against the "spirit of alliance," the Turkish government said Thursday, and called on its NATO ally to reverse the decision. In a major break with a longtime ally, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday said Turkey is being kicked out of the F-35 program because it is buying the Russian S-400 air defense system. In a statement, Turkey's Foreign Ministry rejected that assertion.
Planned Parenthood’s board has fired the organization’s president, Leana Wen, after less than a year on the job. According to reports, Wen was dismissed because the board deemed her insufficiently dedicated to expanding Planned Parenthood’s political advocacy, particularly on abortion.The news comes as a shock for a few reasons. For one thing, Wen was appointed just last fall to replace Cecile Richards, who resigned on good terms after leading the institution for twelve years.But it’s surprising, too, if Wen’s ouster was due to her reluctance to focus more on politics than on public health, as several reports suggest was the case. In June, after all, Planned Parenthood announced a six-figure ad campaign, “Bans Off My Body,” to oppose recent state laws regulating abortion. Judging from Wen’s Twitter account, she was perfectly comfortable promoting what the group frequently calls “reproductive rights.”Why, then, was she forced to depart so unceremoniously, and what does her abrupt exit say about the future of Planned Parenthood?Wen’s dismissal is perhaps best understood in light of the escalating national fight over abortion policy. As blue states have codified the right to abortion on demand, in many cases deeming it a “fundamental right,” red states have passed limitations like heartbeat bills to protect unborn human beings earlier in pregnancy.Planned Parenthood has long sought to downplay its commitment to abortion, calling itself a health-care organization and spreading the lie that abortion is only 3 percent of its business, even as its clinics perform between one-third and half of all abortions in the U.S. annually. The group’s leadership evidently believes this political moment demands more aggressive advocacy.And Wen wasn’t up to the task. Considering her record thus far, she was hired for the “M.D.” beside her name, and little else. She came across in interviews like a placid physician repeating rote talking points drilled into her on the drive to the studio. She consistently inserted the phrase “as a doctor” into her messaging to give the organization the gloss of medical legitimacy, and she never sounded like the polished, sure-footed political advocate Richards had.Plenty of turmoil, meanwhile, was taking place behind the scenes. “Wen had tried to refocus the organization’s mission and image as a health provider offering a wide array of services, including abortions,” sources told the Washington Post this week. “Those close to Wen said she was opposed by some board members and others who wanted to emphasize the organization’s commitment to abortion rights.”In January, Wen told BuzzFeed News she wanted to restructure the organization’s goals, noting that people aren’t going to Planned Parenthood to make a political statement. “What we will always be here to do is provide abortion access as part of the full spectrum of reproductive health care,” Wen said. “But we also recognize that for so many of our patients we are their only source of health care.”The day BuzzFeed published its profile, though, Wen backtracked. “I am always happy to do interviews, but these headlines completely misconstrue my vision for Planned Parenthood,” Wen tweeted that morning. “Our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care. We will never back down from that fight.”Wen’s termination sheds some light on this quick reversal. It’s easy to imagine that she faced internal backlash for appearing to have shied away from abortion advocacy, and that her public about-face was an effort to pacify critics within the organization.It didn’t work. In February, top political staffers left Planned Parenthood, reportedly amid ongoing conflict over Wen’s management style. Now that tension seems to have boiled over. Six sources told BuzzFeed this week that “significant management issues [were] part of the board’s decision to oust Wen,” and one “said her removal was accelerated by the intensifying battle over abortion rights, saying that she was not the right leader in this climate.”Perhaps the most revealing detail from Buzzfeed’s report? Two sources said Wen angered staffers by refusing to use “trans-inclusive” language, “for example saying ‘people’ instead of ‘women’ and telling staff that she believed talking about transgender issues would ‘isolate people in the Midwest.’”This anecdote might well be the key to understanding what happened to Wen and where Planned Parenthood’s leaders intend to go from here. Surely she wasn’t fired for her recalcitrance on preferred pronouns. But with a national spotlight on the abortion debate, Planned Parenthood’s leaders are ready to take off the kid gloves.Wen’s firing suggests that, instead of claiming to be just a normal health-care organization, Planned Parenthood intends to capitalize on its status as an influential left-wing interest group. To do that, it must become a purveyor of the entire progressive agenda, to the point of embracing the “intersectional” language promoted by transgender activists. So the mild-mannered Wen had to go.Pro-lifers have long known what Planned Parenthood itself appears to be admitting: The group’s ultimate goal is to wield its political influence within the progressive movement to continue profiting from abortion.
(Bloomberg) -- The House voted overwhelmingly to repeal a tax Wednesday intended to fund the Affordable Care Act, preserving tax breaks for employer-sponsored insurance plans favored by large corporations.In a reversal of the usual partisan roles, Democrats rather than Republicans led the charge to kill a key part of Obamacare.The bill to repeal the levy commonly known as the “Cadillac tax” passed 419-6 with bipartisan support. The 40% excise tax on the most generous and expensive employer health-insurance plans was included in Obamacare as a measure that economists said would help curb health costs.Congress kept delaying its implementation so the tax has never actually been collected. Had it gone into effect, it would have hit about one in five employers that offer health benefits to their workers, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The vote to repeal the tax highlights the conflicting forces pulling at Democrats when campaigning versus legislating.Several of the party’s presidential candidates led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren support replacing nearly all private insurance with a government-run system financed by tax increases. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in the race, has a less sweeping plan to bolster Obamacare, but it still would offer a public health insurance option funded by tax hikes on the wealthy.But in Congress, Democrats and Republicans are facing pressure from labor unions and large companies to move in the opposite direction by keeping tax advantages for employer-sponsored plans. Supporters of repealing the tax say keeping it in place would force employers to offer less generous health insurance to their workers.Employers can reap large tax savings by compensating their employees in the form of more extensive health insurance, rather than wages, which are subject to payroll taxes. Employer-paid premiums are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes, and the premiums employees pay are also often excluded from taxable income.Changing Minds“I’ve been a supporter of the Cadillac tax because I thought it would” lower health care costs, said Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. “But I’ve read some additional material on it and it’s obviously overwhelmingly thought this will not have the effect in terms of raising money or controlling cost that I thought it would have.”The dissonance among Democrats about whether to expand or shrink employer-sponsored health coverage makes them look like “gymnasts,” said Representative Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican.“Where are you on this stuff?” he said. “Wait a minute, you’re all advocating that there be no such thing as employer-sponsored coverage.”The repeated delays in imposing the Cadillac tax delays mean that Congress was never able to test whether it would curb the explosion of health care spending, which has risen an average 4.2% every quarter between 2010 and 2018, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The repeal also would mean that the Treasury Department won’t collect the $201 billion the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would raise over a decade.Obamacare TaxesObamacare included several other tax increases, including a 3.8% tax on investment income and a 0.9% levy on wages for top-earners. The portion of the law that was supposed to be financed through the Cadillac tax instead would be paid for through deficit spending, unless lawmakers propose a last-minute tax increase to offset the cost.Democrats have generally opposed measures to chip away at President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, but the Cadillac tax has been unpopular since it became part of the code.The measure to repeal it, H.R. 748, was passed under a fast-track procedure requiring two-thirds support among House members.Yet popularity doesn’t necessarily mean good policy, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Politicians don’t like the tax on health benefits, but nearly every economist thinks the Cadillac tax or a similar measure is necessary to help slow the rise in health-care costs and curb overuse of health services, he added.“Just because it’s bipartisan doesn’t mean it’s good,” he said.Not all Democrats are on board with eliminating the tax. Representative Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat, said he opposes the repeal because the cost isn’t offset and there wasn’t any discussion about how scuttling the tax would affect the Affordable Care Act overall.“I think we are lapsing into some very bad habits in the majority,” he said. “We need to start instilling some fiscal discipline in this place and making some tough decisions.”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, hasn’t committed to addressing the issue in his chamber. Because the repeal effort is led by Democrats, it sets up a path for McConnell to use it as a vehicle to attach Republican tax priorities, such as correcting errors in the 2017 tax law or extending several expired tax breaks that benefit the biodiesel and energy industries.“We’ve kicked the can down the road for so long on this one that the assumption is that it’s never going to go into effect,” said Representative Dan Kildee, a Michigan Democrat. “There’s a certain inevitability to this one getting repealed.”\--With assistance from Emily Wilkins.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A stunning example of a highly desirable American icon. If you have been in the market for an iconic American muscle car, then you’re in luck. GR Auto Gallery is pleased to announce this bold and beautiful 1972 Dodge Challenger up for sale. Dressed in a brilliant Rally Red paint job, the exterior shines at every angle and is in pristine condition. It’s nicely contrasted by the tidy black interior with wooden accents. Overall, this example is in immaculate condition and was taken care of with love. Everything from the door panels to the dashboard and floor mats are like-new and very clean.The heart and soul of this bad boy is a massive 440 cubic-inch V8 motor paired to a smooth-shifting 727 automatic transmission. This 1972 Dodge Challenger received a full restoration, which includes the powertrain. The odometer reading on the add is 808 miles. Other features include front disc brakes, power steering and heat, all-new front suspension, and a 391 Sure Grip Posi rear end. The sale of this vehicle comes with a full folder of receipts for the restoration and general maintenance paperwork.The Challenger debuted in the fall of 1969 for the 1970 model year. The first-gen was positioned to compete against the Mercury Cougar and Pontiac Firebird in the higher end of the pony car segment. It was also a fairly late response to the Ford Mustang, which was introduced in April of 1964. Nevertheless, the American automaker intended for the Challenger to be the most potent pony car and produced a number of trim and option levels that included virtually every engine in Chrysler’s lineup.The 1972 Dodge Challenger received just a few minor changes. For one, the grille sloped down on either side and extended below the bumper, where the headlights were housed in their respective panels. The taillights were also located in two separate housings on each side of the rear valance. The Rally grille and rear tail panel were both blacked out. Shaker hoods were left behind and replaced by either a flat hood or twin dummy scoops. The bumpers were also chromed out instead of being body-colored. Although some options were changed, buyers could still add front and rear spoilers, rear window louvers, and power accessories like seats and door locks. Read More: Peel Out In This Banana Yellow 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Set Of Rare 1971 Challengers Up For Grabs
A cannonball discovered this week by archaeologists provides a further indication of how close Napoleon Bonaparte came to winning the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The 3 kilogramme (6-pound), rusty cannonball was found on Monday near the site of a field hospital about 600 metres behind Anglo-Allied lines on the battlefield in Belgium. Tony Pollard, the head archaeologist at the site, told Reuters Television he believed it was fired by the French army, another sign of near Napoleon's troops came to victory in the battle described by the Duke of Wellington as a close-run thing.
The California Highway Patrol has arrested a man for a DUI crash that hospitalized five people in Fresno County Wednesday evening.