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Former NBA star Kobe Bryant and daughter among 9 killed in helicopter crash near Los Angeles

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

CALABASAS, Calif. (Reuters) – Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said.

Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers – 18 of them as an all-star – winning five NBA championships. His death sent shockwaves through the National Basketball Association, which he helped propel to global prominence, and stunned fans around the world.

The cause of the crash was unknown, and an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board could take months.

Bryant was known since his playing days to travel frequently by helicopter to avoid the Los Angeles area’s notorious traffic.

His Sikorsky S-76 chopper went down in foggy weather shortly before 10 a.m. (1800 GMT) in hilly terrain just outside Calabasas, California, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of central Los Angeles, sparking a brush fire, officials said.

“There were no survivors,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a news conference, saying the flight manifest showed nine people on board. He declined to identify them.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among those killed, and sent condolences to Bryant’s wife, Vanessa.

“He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary,” Silver said, as tributes poured in from players, politicians and entertainers.

The fire and debris field from the crash spread over a quarter-acre of steep terrain in the grass-covered foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, county Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

Among the others on board, in addition to the pilot, were a teammate from Bryant’s daughter’s basketball squad and a parent of the teammate, NBC News reported.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli was also one of the victims, the Orange County Register reported, citing assistant coach Ron La Ruffa.

‘KOBE WE LOVE YOU’

Reaction to Bryant’s death was swift, and moments of silence were observed before some of Sunday’s NBA games.

In San Antonio, the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs allowed the 24-second shot clock to expire on each of their first possessions, in tribute to Bryant’s jersey number, 24.

“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling,” said Michael Jordan, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.

“Kobe was an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball,” Jordan said.

Stunned fans gathered near the Lakers’ home arena – the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles – surrounding a wreath with the message: “Kobe we love you RIP.”

Some in the crowd dabbed tears as others laid flowers and basketball sneakers at the wreath. Fans wore both his No. 24 and No. 8 jerseys, breaking the somber mood with occasional chants of “Kobe, Kobe.”

FILE PHOTO: Jul 27, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kobe Bryant is pictured with his daughter Gianna at the WNBA All Star Game at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Hours later inside the arena, musicians and performers paid tribute to Bryant from the stage of the Grammy Awards.

One of a handful of internationally recognized athletes known simply by their first names, Bryant was an avid supporter of soccer and women’s basketball. He spoke Spanish as well as Italian, having spent part of his youth in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played several seasons professionally.

He also won an Oscar in 2018 as writer-producer of that year’s best animated short film, “Dear Basketball,” which Bryant also narrated, and he sometimes mingled with show-business stars in Los Angeles.

‘MUCH MORE THAN AN ATHLETE’

“Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time NBA scoring leader and former Laker, said on Twitter.

Bryant was accused of sexual assault in 2003 by a woman who worked at a Colorado hotel, tarnishing his reputation and leading to a media storm surrounding the case. Bryant denied the allegations, and charges eventually were dismissed after his accuser refused to testify.

Bryant and his wife filed for divorce in 2011 after 10 years of marriage, but the couple said in 2013 they had reconciled.

Besides Gianna, they had three other daughters: Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.

Bryant, who played all 20 of his NBA seasons with the Lakers, also won two Olympic gold medals as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team in 2008 and 2012.

Nicknamed “The Black Mamba,” he became eligible to enter the Hall of Fame this year and is certain to be selected when the 2020 class is enshrined.

Slideshow (21 Images)

Bryant demonstrated from an early age he would surpass the accomplishments of his father, who played eight seasons in the NBA.

The Philadelphia native went straight from high school to the NBA, skipping the college ranks. Since he was just 17 years old at the time, his parents needed to co-sign his first contract with the Lakers. He played his first game with the team shortly after turning 18 in 1996.

He was the third-leading scorer in league history with 33,643 points, until LeBron James surpassed him on Saturday. In his final tweet, Bryant saluted James’ achievement, writing: “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother.”

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Calabasas, California; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta, Andrew Hay, Mekhla Raina, Andrew Both, Rory Carroll, Jane Ross and Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney

Obituary: Bryant, a transcendent star who never took a night off

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

(Reuters) – Kobe Bryant became one of the greatest players in basketball, a transcendent star who went straight from high school to the game’s biggest stage and brought “Showtime” back to the Los Angeles Lakers for two glittering decades.

But Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Sunday at the age of 41, was not initially rated by National Basketball Association (NBA) scouts as a can’t-miss prospect.

After deciding to skip college and go straight to the NBA, at the time an unusual career path, he was not taken until the 13th pick in the 1996 draft, by the Charlotte Hornets, who immediately traded him to the Lakers in a pre-arranged deal.

NBA teams at the time were wary of teenagers straight out of high school. The 1996 draft was also particularly strong, though some of the players taken before Bryant turned out to be complete busts.

Acquiring Bryant from the Hornets was one of the best pieces of business the Lakers ever did, as he led the team to five NBA championship rings and was the face of the franchise during his 20-year career that ended in 2016.

A small forward and shooting guard, Bryant made his debut at age 18 and averaged 25 points over no less than 1,346 regular season games while twice leading the NBA in scoring.

But he did more than just rack up points, equally proficient in defense while playing with an intensity night after night that few could match.

In a league with a grinding 82-game regular season, he turned up with his game face on every time, never just mailing it in, no matter how seemingly meaningless the game.

Bryant was an 18-times NBA All-Star who wore the jersey numbers 24 and 8 – both of which were retired by the Lakers – and continued the “Showtime” tradition of the storied franchise that has been home to the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal.

The fourth-highest scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points, Bryant only gave up the third spot on the list on Saturday night to LeBron James.

On Saturday, Bryant used Twitter to extend his congratulations to James: “Much respect my brother,” he tweeted.

A few hours later, Bryant perished in the crash. He is survived by wife Vanessa, with whom he had four daughters, one of whom, 13-year-old Gianna, also died in the accident.

Born in Philadelphia, Bryant spent eight years of his childhood living in Italy, where his father played professionally, an upbringing that gave him an urbane and worldly outlook that helped him become a global superstar.

Eventually giving himself the nickname “Black Mamba” – a venomous snake native to Africa – he spent his entire career with the Lakers before retiring in 2016.

FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant celebrates after dunking against the New York Knicks during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, California, January 9, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Apart from the five championship rings, he made 18 All-Star teams and in 2008 was named the NBA Most Valuable Player.

Internationally, he won two Olympic gold medals, part of the United States team in 2008 and 2012, helping spread the gospel that has made basketball arguably the second biggest global sport behind soccer.

Part of a legacy that will live much longer than his 41 years.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Marguerita Choy

Kobe Bryant, daughter 'Mambacita' died pursuing basketball dream

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

(Reuters) – Kobe Bryant called his daughter Gianna “Mambacita” after his own court nickname, “Black Mamba,” confident she would follow in his footsteps and become a professional basketball player.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 27, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kobe Bryant is pictured with his daughter Gianna at the WNBA All Star Game at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the 41-year-old five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist died with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash northwest of Los Angeles as they pursued that dream.

Bryant and Gianna were killed traveling to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, where the Ventura County Star reported he was to coach her team in a tournament, citing stunned players and coaches at the sports facility.

Bryant was known as a family man, and his Instagram account is filled with pictures and videos of his wife, Vanessa, and four daughters, aged 17 years to 7 months old.

But it is Gianna, or “Gi Gi,” who was the star of many of the photos and videos, showing basketball skills that ESPN Women, only three weeks ago, compared with those of her father.

Since he retired from the National Basketball Association in 2016, Bryant had been coaching Gianna’s middle-school basketball team.

In a November video Bryant posted on Instagram, she finishes a solo dribble by scoring the kind of fadeaway “swish” basket known as a “Kobe” after her father’s signature shot.

In 2018, Bryant was caught on video saying his daughter was “hell-bent” on playing for the University of Connecticut Huskies, one of the top teams in women’s college basketball.

The next step for Gianna after college would have been the Women’s National Basketball Association, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Joe Bryant, who played in the NBA before coaching the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

Kobe Bryant told late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel in January that when fans came up to him and Gianna and said he had to have a boy to carry on his family’s NBA tradition, Gianna would tell them: “Oi! I’ve got this!” and he would say: “Yes, that’s right, you got this.”

He told the BET network two weeks ago that he had found a new passion for the game watching basketball with Gianna, seeing the sport through the eyes of a 13-year-old.

“It wasn’t me sitting there you know as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it’s like about me, and I don’t like that. It was her, she was having such a good time,” Bryant said.

Reporting by Andrew Hay in New Mexico; Editing by Peter Cooney

Recording Shows That the Swamp Has Not Been Drained

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/us/politics/26dc-lobby1/26dc-lobby1-moth.jpg

The recording of a dinner President Trump held with big-dollar donors in 2018 demonstrates just how alive and well special-interest access and influence remains in Washington.

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant and daughter among nine killed in helicopter crash near Los Angeles

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

CALABASAS, Calif. (Reuters) – Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said.

Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers – 18 of them as an all-star – winning five NBA championships. His death sent shockwaves through the National Basketball Association, which he helped propel to international prominence, and around the world.

The cause of the crash was unknown, and an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board could take months.

Bryant was known to travel frequently by helicopter to avoid Los Angeles’ infamous traffic, dating to his playing days.

His Sikorsky S-76 chopper went down in foggy weather around 10 a.m. (1.00 p.m. ET) in hilly terrain in Calabasas, California, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of central Los Angeles, sparking a brush fire, officials said.

“There were no survivors,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a news conference, saying the manifest showed nine people on board. He declined to identify them.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among those killed, and sent condolences to Bryant’s wife, Vanessa.

“He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary,” Silver said, as tributes poured in from players, politicians and entertainers.

Among the others on board, in addition to the pilot, were a teammate from Bryant’s daughter’s basketball team and a parent of the teammate, NBC News reported.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli was also one of the victims, the Orange County Register reported, citing assistant coach Ron La Ruffa.

‘KOBE WE LOVE YOU’

Reaction to Bryant’s death was swift, and moments of silence were observed before some of Sunday’s NBA games.

In San Antonio, the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs allowed the 24-second shot clock to expire on each of their first possessions, in tribute to Bryant’s jersey number 24.

“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling,” said Michael Jordan, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.

“Kobe was an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball,” Jordan said.

Stunned fans gathered near the Lakers’ home arena – the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles – surrounding a wreath with a message: “Kobe we love you RIP.”

Some in the crowd dabbed tears as others laid flowers and basketball sneakers at the wreath. Fans wore both his No. 24 and No. 8 jerseys, breaking the somber mood with occasional chants of “Kobe, Kobe.”

Among those internationally recognized athletes known simply by their first names, Bryant was an avid supporter of soccer and women’s basketball and spoke Italian, having spent part of his youth in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played several seasons professionally.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 27, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kobe Bryant is pictured with his daughter Gianna at the WNBA All Star Game at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

He also won an Oscar, along with Glen Keane, for the 2017 animated short film “Dear Basketball,” and sometimes mingled with show-business stars in Los Angeles.

‘MUCH MORE THAN AN ATHLETE’

“Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time NBA scoring leader and former Laker, said on Twitter.

Bryant was accused of sexual assault in 2003 by an employee at a Colorado hotel, tarnishing his reputation and leading to a media storm to cover his trial.

Bryant denied the allegations and charges eventually were dropped after the woman refused to testify.

Bryant and his wife filed for divorce in 2011 after 10 years of marriage, but the couple said in 2013 they had reconciled.

Besides Gianna, they had three other daughters: Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.

Bryant played all 20 of his NBA seasons with the Lakers, winning five championships and being named an all-star 18 times. He also won two Olympic gold medals as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team in 2008 and 2012.

Nicknamed “The Black Mamba,” he became eligible to enter the Hall of Fame this year and is certain to be selected when the 2020 class is enshrined.

Bryant demonstrated from an early age he would surpass the accomplishments of his father, who played eight seasons in the NBA.

Slideshow (32 Images)

The Philadelphia native went straight from high school to the NBA, skipping the college ranks. Since he was still only 17 years old, his parents needed to co-sign his first contract with the Lakers and he played his first game with the team shortly after turning 18 in 1996.

He was the third-leading scorer in league history with 33,643 points, until LeBron James passed him on Saturday. In his final tweet, Bryant saluted James’ achievement, writing: “Continuing to move the game forward

@KingJames. Much respect my brother.”

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Calabasas, California; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta, Andrew Hay, Mekhla Raina, Andrew Both, Rory Carroll, Jane Ross and Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney

Kobe Bryant remembered at Grammy Awards hours after his death

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Musicians and performers at the Grammy Awards paid tribute to Kobe Bryant on Sunday at his former home arena, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, hours after the NBA great was killed some 40 miles (65 km) away in a helicopter crash.

62nd Grammy Awards – Show – Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 26, 2020 – Show host Alicia Keys speaks about the passing of NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant (seen on large screen). REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Bryant, 41, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other people died on Sunday morning when the helicopter they were riding in went down in heavy fog and hilly terrain in suburban Calabasas, northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

“Tonight is for Kobe,” pop star Lizzo announced as she took the stage to open the Grammy Awards before performing exuberant versions of her hits “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts” to a standing ovation.

“We are all feeling crazy sadness right now, because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero

and we’re literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” the show’s host, Alicia Keys, said in remarks to open the show.

Keys then brought members of the Boyz II Men on stage to join them in an a capella version of their ballad “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye,” dedicated to Bryant.

The show was being broadcast from the Staples Center, home court for the Los Angeles Lakers, where Bryant starred for two decades as one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players.

“It’s a real tough day and we want to send our love to the families, the kids, the mothers,” performer DJ Khaled said backstage. “It’s hard to catch a vibe right now at this moment but we’re going to do it.”

Teen pop star Billie Eilish, a Los Angeles native nominated for six Grammy awards on the night, posted a photo of Bryant on her Instagram account, along with a video clip of the basketball star Bryant talking with Gianna.

Eilish, 18, captioned the video simply: “Uggghhhhhhhhh”

Grammy nominee Camila Cabello also posted a photo of Bryant on Instagram and wrote that, despite not being a basketball fan, his documentary “MUSE” got her through a painful time in her life.

“I watched every interview, I read every quote of his, and I wish that he knew how many times he saved me, how many times he helped me access a champion in myself that I couldn’t have seen on my own,” the singer wrote.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy

Grammys Open, ‘Heartbroken in House That Kobe Bryant Built’

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/arts/26grammys-kobe-alicia/26grammys-kobe-alicia-moth.jpg

Alicia Keys addresses the death of the retired Lakers star as the awards ceremony began at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Trump wanted aid to Ukraine frozen until it helped on probes of political rivals: New York Times

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump told a then-top aide in August he wanted to freeze security aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Trump’s statement was described in an unpublished manuscript by former White House national security adviser John Bolton, the

Times reported in an article that did not quote the document but cited multiple people as having described Bolton’s account.

The newspaper said the reported statement could undercut a key element of Trump’s impeachment defense: that the aid delay was separate from his requests that Ukraine announce probes into his perceived enemies, including Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm. The elder Biden is a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

Bolton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report drew immediate demands from Democrats that the Republican-controlled Senate, which is conducting a trial on whether to remove Trump from office following his Dec. 18 impeachment by the Democratic-led House of Representatives, should call Bolton as a witness.

“There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President’s defense and therefore must be called as a witness at the impeachment trial of President Trump,” the seven House “managers” prosecuting the case against Trump in the Senate said in a statement.

“There is no defensible reason to wait until his book is published, when the information he has to offer is critical to the most important decision Senators must now make — whether to convict the President of impeachable offenses,” the statement added.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and calls the impeachment process a sham. The White House, which with Senate leaders has resisted calling witnesses, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the New York Times report, nor did Jay Sekulow, who is helping lead the Republican president’s defense.

Democrats have said they are eager to hear testimony by Bolton, who was involved, as his own lawyer has previously said, in “many relevant meetings and conversations” involving issues at the heart of Trump’s impeachment.

Bolton left his post in September after disagreements with the president. Trump said he fired him. Bolton said he quit.

The House impeached Trump on charges of abusing the powers of his office by asking Ukraine to investigate Biden and of obstructing a congressional inquiry into his conduct.

Trump’s defense argued neither impeachment charge constituted a crime or impeachable offense, that he was within his rights as president to make decisions about foreign policy and what information to give Congress, and that the House pursued a flawed and one-sided process before impeaching him.

While the Senate is highly unlikely to remove Trump from office, he is seeking to limit political damage to his bid for a second term in the Nov. 3 election.

LONG-STANDING GRIEVANCES

According to the New York Times, Bolton spoke to Trump in August and raised the $391 million in congressionally approved aid to Ukraine for its war in the country’s east against Russian-backed separatists.

Officials had frozen the aid, and a deadline was looming to begin sending it, Bolton noted, according to the newspaper.

Trump had previously rebuffed senior U.S. officials who had called for the aid to be restored, the newspaper said, airing his long-standing grievances about Ukraine, which mixed legitimate efforts by some Ukrainians to back his Democratic 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, with unsupported accusations and outright conspiracy theories about the country.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses U.S mayors in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The paper said that the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had also spent months stoking the president’s paranoia about the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie Yovanovitch, alleging that she was openly anti-Trump and should be dismissed.

In his August 2019 discussion with Bolton, the newspaper said Trump appeared focused on the theories Giuliani had shared with him and had replied to Bolton’s question that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the investigation that related to Biden and supporters of Clinton in Ukraine.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Pete Schroeder, Arshad Mohammed and Karen Freifeld; Additional reporting by Tim Ahmann and Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Peter Cooney

Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna Dead in Helicopter Crash: Live Updates

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/sports/26kobe-hp-fader-ss-slide-YWIZ/26kobe-hp-fader-ss-slide-YWIZ-moth-v2.jpg
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Credit…Harry How/Getty Images

Here’s what we know so far about the crash.

Video

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The retired N.B.A. star Kobe Bryant, 41, was among the passengers in a helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, Calif.CreditCredit…Gene Blevins/Reuters

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday.

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By The New York Times

Bryant was among the passengers traveling onboard the helicopter. Nine people died in the crash, including the pilot, said Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff, during a news conference.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it sent a team to California on Sunday evening.

Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County fire chief, said the crash site was difficult to access and that firefighters had to hike to the area.

It was not immediately clear how many passengers the helicopter was approved to transport, and fire officials said it was not immediately clear whether the helicopter was overloaded. They declined to specify the helicopter’s destination.

The N.B.A. sent a confirmation of Bryant’s and Gianna’s deaths to all teams and league employees Sunday afternoon, according to two people familiar with the document.

The other victims of the crash included John Altobelli, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif., as well as Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa, university officials said.

Bryant and his daughter were on their way to an academy where he coached her team.

Outside the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., fans laid flowers and lit candles at an impromptu memorial for their star. The gym had handwritten signs on the door: Closed.

A few dozen people, adults of all ages, stood huddled in silence around the memorial of several jerseys, candles, dozens of bouquets, Sports Illustrated magazines with Bryant on the cover, and a Lakers flag. Written on one bouquet was “We love you Kobe and Gigi.” Another card, the shape of a Lakers basketball, read, “The day we lost a legend: 1-26-20 Thank you for being a role model for me and for others.”

Bryant was on his way to the academy to coach his daughter when the helicopter crashed, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge details of the ongoing investigations.

The academy was hosting the Mamba Cup Tournament Series, a series of tournaments for boys and girls basketball teams from the third through eighth grades. All the games were canceled after the news of Bryant’s death became public.

Momentarily, a few fans wearing Laker jerseys started chanting “Ko-be! Ko-be!” and then stopped.

Eddie Lugo, 21, placed a throwback No. 8 jersey and candles on the memorial. He wore a blue throwback jersey backward, so that Bryant’s name faced forward.

“I was walking my dog meeting up with my buddy, complimenting my buddy on all the Laker gear, actually, when one of my best friends called,” Lugo said. “We were all just mind blown, we thought it was fake.”

Bryant was considered one of the best players in N.B.A. history.

Drafted to the N.B.A. directly out of high school in 1996, Bryant was named an All-Star in 18 of his 20 seasons for the Lakers and helped lead the team to five championships. His hypercompetitive nature led to occasional public disagreements with coaches and other players, but his commitment to winning was never questioned.

The winner of the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award for the 2007-8 season, and the N.B.A. finals M.V.P. in both 2009 and 2010, Bryant showed a rare commitment to success on both ends of the court, with a résumé that included two scoring titles — and an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in N.B.A. history — along with 12 appearances on the league’s All-Defense team. He also thrived on the international stage, where he won gold medals for U.S.A. Basketball in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2016, after various injuries had taken their toll on the longtime superstar, he proved to have one more highlight in him, scoring 60 points in his final game while leading the last-place Lakers to a surprising win over the Utah Jazz.

Off the court, Bryant’s legacy was far more complicated. He was arrested in 2003 after a sexual assault complaint was filed against him in Colorado. A 19-year-old hotel employee claimed that Bryant, who was working to rehabilitate his knee following surgery, had raped her. The legal case against Bryant was eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled privately out of court, but Bryant publicly apologized for the incident.

“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said in his statement. “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

In retirement, Bryant became something of a champion for women’s sports and expanded his purview, winning an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” while also creating the web series “Detail” for ESPN in which he analyzed current players.

“My heart can take the pounding / My mind can handle the grind / But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,” he wrote in “Dear Basketball,” the poem that he wrote to announce his retirement that was the basis for the short film.

He was scheduled to headline the 2020 N.B.A. Hall of Fame nominees.

Fans gathered quickly at Staples Center, where Bryant delivered championships with the Lakers.

The fans who gathered at Staples Center represented the ethnic and racial diversity of Bryant’s professional city.

Leo Márquez, 7, placed a candle at the memorial, his eyes filling with tears. He couldn’t get the words out to explain why he was there.

“He wanted to come because he always watched Kobe on TV with his dad,” said his mother, Alejandra Márquez.

Adam Jackman, 18, a University of Southern California student from New York City, walked from the university to the arena.

“I’m here for the impact that Kobe had on the city of L.A., not just on the court but in the community,” he said. “This is the best place to be with the city as it tries to heal.”

Joe Rivas, 28, a registered nurse, was on a gym treadmill in the town of Cerritos when the news of Bryant’s death flashed on the television.

“The whole place froze,” Rivas said. “It sucked the air out of the room. I couldn’t believe it. I grew up with Kobe. He is my favorite player of all time.”

Rivas said he couldn’t finish his workout. He changed and jumped in his car to drive 25 miles to Staples Center, where he had watched Bryant play his last game in April 2016.

“He was not a perfect man but we all have our faults,” said Rivas, who donned a No. 24 jersey. “It’s beyond basketball.”

A college baseball coach, along with his wife and daughter, also died in the crash.

Among the other victims of the crash was John Altobelli, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa. Calif. “This is a tremendous loss for our campus community,” said Angelica Suarez, the president of Orange Coast College, in a statement.

Juan Gutierrez, a spokesman for Orange Coast College, said that Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa also died in the crash.

Last year, Altobelli led the Pirates to the California Community College baseball state championship, their fourth state title under Altobelli. He was named one of the American Baseball Coaches Association coaches of the year.

Among the players Altobelli coached was Mets All-Star infielder, Jeff McNeil, in the summer Cape Cod Baseball League. “He took a chance on me, kept me the whole summer,” McNeil told ESPN. “Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted.”

Fans also went to Bryant’s high school in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

The grief over Bryant’s death extended from coast to coast, with his high school alma mater, near Philadelphia, becoming the scene of a spontaneous shrine.

“I was heartbroken,” said Jasmine Strong, 29, who was visiting from Brooklyn and decided to visit Lower Merion High School, where fans brought flowers and other tributes after Bryant’s death. “I’m lost for words.”

She had charted Bryant’s professional career from its start: when he was 17, fresh out of Lower Merion, where he had led the basketball team to a state title in 1996.

“Aces Nation has lost its heartbeat,” Gregg Downer, who coached Bryant, said in a statement.

Indeed, others with ties to the school flocked to the campus on Sunday as word of Bryant’s death spread.

Brittany Ferro, 30, said she had also gone to Lower Merion and had been moved to come with two friends and her newborn son after she learned of Bryant’s death during dinner.

“We were very upset so we wanted to come and pay our respects,” she said. “He was one of the best of his times and he was admired by a lot of people.”

Bryant was a standout at Lower Merion, where he helped to elevate the basketball program to extraordinary heights. Bryant, who dominated the court from any position, was a draw — plenty would say the central draw in the mid-1990s.

“It was quite a treat to watch a future superstar,” said Rob Wilson, who still lives in Lower Merion Township and recalled taking his son to watch the adolescent Bryant play.

Soon after Bryant was drafted, Wilson walked into Ruby’s Diner, while Wilson and his son were here.

“I remember him coming into Ruby’s and pointing him out and saying, ‘That guy’s a future superstar in the N.B.A., right here in our little Ruby’s,” Wilson recalled. “I was very touched by the fact that he was not being swarmed.”

Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania said the state would “never forget our time as Kobe’s home.”

“At Lower Merion HS, he captured our hearts and the attention of the world,” the governor wrote on Twitter. “He truly shined and brought pride to our state.”

Federal investigators will look into the configuration of the helicopter.

The National Transportation Safety Board said a team of 18 people would be immediately involved in its investigation, and that officials were expected to arrive in California from Washington late on Sunday.

“Our team will be looking at the history of the pilot and whatever crew was on board,” said Jennifer Homendy, a member of the board. “We’ll be looking at maintenance records of the helicopter. We will be looking at records of the owner and operator of the helicopter and a number of other things.”

N.T.S.B. investigations can stretch for months.

Homendy said federal officials were trying to learn the precise configuration of the downed helicopter — a crucial clue in determining the cause of the crash.

N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver said Bryant will be best known for inspiring people to play hoops.

Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, quickly hailed Bryant as “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said, adding that Bryant would “be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Indeed, Silver, who led the N.B.A. in the final years of Bryant’s career, was certain to note how Bryant had taught Gianna, his daughter who also died in the crash. Silver said the longtime star was “generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”

Nike helped introduce Bryant’s nickname: The Black Mamba.

Bryant was associated with Nike for nearly his entire career. The company, which signed him to a $40 million contract in 2003, said in a statement that it was “devastated by today’s tragic news.”

“We extend our deepest sympathies to those closest to Kobe, especially his family and friends,” the statement said. “He was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever.”

Bryant wore the first in his initial line of signature shoes during the 2005-2006 N.B.A. season, including the game in which he scored 81 points in January 2006.

In 2011, the company supported his introduction of the nickname The Black Mamba, releasing a commercial in which he was pitched an idea for an action film by the director Robert Rodriguez. And when Bryant was set to retire, the company christened April 13 “Mamba Day.”

Tiger Woods heard “do it for Mamba” on the course. He found out why after finishing his round.

Tiger Woods said that he heard cries of “do it for Mamba” from the gallery as he finished his final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, Calif., but he didn’t understand why. Then Woods’s caddie, Joe LaCava, broke the news of Bryant’s death as the two walked from the 18th green to hand in his card. Woods could be heard on the CBS broadcast replying, “excuse me?” to LaCava before he stepped into the clubhouse.

In an interview shortly after, Woods said: “It’s a shocker to everyone and I’m unbelievably sad. One of the more tragic days, I think, well, for me, the reality is just kind of setting in because I was just told probably about five minutes ago.

Woods, 44, and Bryant shared a friendship that dated back to their meteoric rise to the top of their respective sports during the mid-1990s and spanned adversities and scandals as both navigated fame, marriage, parenthood, and injuries. When asked what he would remember about his friend, Woods said: “The fire. He burned so competitively hot. And desire to win. He brought it each and every night on both ends of the floor.”

Players at the N.F.L.’s Pro Bowl reacted and fans chanted “Ko-be.”

News of Kobe Bryant’s death reached the N.F.L.’s Pro Bowl game in Orlando, Fla., where public address announcers asked the crowd at Camping World Stadium to observe a moment of silence to commemorate the Lakers star, which the crowd interrupted with chants of “Ko-be, Ko-be.”

In an ESPN interview, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees spoke about Bryant during the second quarter of the game.

“I had so much respect for him as a competitor. I know he inspired so many people in so many different ways,” Brees said. “I mean, one of the great competitors of any generation, not just with sports, but I think just the way he approached a lot of things and what he was doing now after basketball. So I pray for him, I pray for his family. I know we don’t know all the details yet but it’s a tragic loss.”

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, also interviewed by ESPN, said that Bryant sent him a signed jersey when he was drafted. “That meant a lot,” Jackson said. “That’s one of the GOATs. Him, M.J. and LeBron, them the top three.”

The governor of California says Bryant “made history.”

California’s governor said the state was mourning “the tragic and untimely death of a California icon and basketball legend.”

“In his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he made history with raw talent and unparalleled dedication that raised the bar and paved the way for a newer generation of players,” Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, said in a statement that also cited Bryant’s charity work.

“He was taken too soon and he will be missed,” they said.

Fans reacted swiftly to the news.

Some 200 people had huddled together in the foggy Calabasas at the foot of the hill closest to the crash. Several people were wearing Kobe gear and had basketballs.

Paolo Santos, 27, had looked forward to catching a glimpse of his childhood idol at the Lakers game on Tuesday. “I’ve been watching him since I was a kid,” Santos said. “My stomach just hurts.”

“He’s a figure. He’s a legend. He brought L.A. back. He’s an L.A. icon,” he said. “He was a competitor. His drive, shooting in the gym at 4 in the morning. He’s what everyone wants to be.”

Philip Gordon, 45 of Winnetka, who was wearing a Kobe bathrobe over a Kobe jersey, Kobe shoes and socks, said he was watching the NFL Pro Bowl when he heard the news. “It’s so surreal,” he said.

“For 20 years I looked up to him. I became a fan of his as a person. It’s a huge loss for the city. He’s an icon beyond any Laker. We love Magic, we love Kareem, but Kobe transcends generations.”

Over in Echo Park Lake, joggers ran past residents of the cluster of tents on the lake’s northwest corner who were gathering around a table of donated food.

One man joined them and asked if the others had heard the news about Kobe Bryant. Immediately, expressions of disbelief rang out.

“No way!” someone said, punctuated with an expletive.

The man insisted it was true.

But slowly the reality set in.

Davon Brown, 29, wearing Lakers purple warm-up pants and a matching knitted beanie, said he moved to Southern California from New York years ago to play basketball. He saw Bryant as an example both on the court and off.

“He was way beyond” Michael Jordan, he said. “He was more omnipresent.” His game, Brown said, was more like dance.

Basketball, Brown said, has been a lifesaving force for him. And Bryant represented a powerful ethos.

“He had a killer instinct,” he said. “That self-love, that confidence transmutes into play.”

Bryant had been a subject of the conversation among N.B.A. fans this weekend.

On Saturday, the current Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James surpassed Bryant on the league’s all-time scoring list in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Bryant congratulated James in a tweet, with a hashtag, #33644, referring to the number of points James had scored to surpass Bryant’s career total of 33,643 points. Before Saturday, Bryant had stood third only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone on the list of career points scored.

After the game, James, who joined the Lakers in 2018, spoke at length about what Bryant meant to him, to the team and to the league.

“He had zero flaws offensively,” James said.

James described his long history with Bryant — how he had admired Bryant’s ability to go from high school to the N.B.A., how the two had met in Philadelphia where Bryant had insisted upon the value of hard work. Later, Bryant gave a high-school age James a pair of his signature shoes, which James wore in a game even though they were the wrong size.

“I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play,” James said. “One of the all time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”

Jennifer Medina, Marc Stein, Louis Keene, Jill Cowan, Miriam Jordan, Mihir Zaveri, Jon Hurdle, Rachel Abrams and Jonah Engel Bromwich contributed reporting.

Coronavirus Infections Expanding at a Growing Rate

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

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SHANGHAI — A top Chinese health official warned on Sunday that the spread of the deadly new coronavirus, already extraordinarily rapid, could accelerate further, deepening global fears about an illness that has sickened more than 2,000 people worldwide and killed at least 80 people in China.

Adding to the growing alarm, the official, Ma Xiaowei, the director of China’s National Health Commission, said that people carrying the virus but not showing symptoms could still infect others. The incubation period, he added, can vary from one to 14 days, with a typical duration of about 10 days.

Such asymptomatic transmission would represent a major difference between the new respiratory disease and SARS, which killed 800 people in China and around the world nearly two decades ago.

“The epidemic is now entering a more serious and complex period,” Mr. Ma said during a news conference in Beijing. “It looks like it will continue for some time, and the number of cases may increase.”

In China, it was a weekend of grim new warnings about the little-understood virus and a rising tally of infections and deaths. The official number of confirmed infections across China jumped by half within a span of 24 hours, building to 1,975 on Sunday from around 1,300 on Saturday morning.

Among the most recent announced fatalities from the coronavirus was an 88-year-old man in Shanghai — the first death to be reported in the commercial hub, which is one of China’s most populated cities. One of the latest confirmed cases was that of a 9-month-old girl in Beijing.

New cases cropped up in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that California and Arizona both had patients, bringing the country’s total to five. The virus had already been found in Thailand, France, Japan, South Korea, Australia and beyond.

In Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak, the mayor said on Sunday that health officials were likely to confirm an additional 1,000 cases of the illness in the city.

The mayor, Zhou Xianwang, said that the estimate was based on the assumption that around half of the city’s nearly 3,000 suspected cases of the coronavirus would eventually test positive for the disease.

Mr. Zhou also said that five million people had left Wuhan before travel out of the city was restricted, leaving nine million people still living there. That could imply that many more cases will be confirmed in other places in China over the next week or two.

China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, has promised drastic measures to contain the virus. The national government on Sunday banned the wildlife trade until the epidemic passes. The outbreak had drawn fresh attention to China’s animal markets, where the sale of exotic creatures has been linked to epidemiological risks.

The 50 million people of Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the capital, found themselves in a virtual lockdown on Sunday. Chinese officials were considering extending the Lunar New Year holiday, which would delay the reopening of schools and offices and encourage more people to stay home. They are also limiting intercity bus travel and have ordered Chinese tour groups to cease operations starting Monday.

But worries remained about whether the government could contain the spread of the virus. Epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated that each case infected an average of 2.6 other people in the early stages of the crisis.

That number could drop as the authorities take more stringent measures to halt the spread. But if it holds up, the number of infected could rise sharply.

Even as the highest echelons of China’s government mobilize to fight the illness, much of the task of preventing contagion still falls on local officials, who can be unsure of how to respond to crises and uneven about following through on policies.

On Sunday in Wuhan, for example, police officers were flummoxed by new restrictions on driving within the city limits.

First, the city authorities said that most cars should stay off the roads, and that a fleet of 6,000 taxis would be on call to deliver food and medicine. Then, the authorities said drivers would be notified by text message if they had to stay off the roads. Nobody seemed to receive the text messages on Sunday.

“My understanding,” one police officer said, “is that you can drive in your district if you don’t get a text message telling you that you can’t. But you should check that with the transport authorities.”

In the end, most drivers stayed off the streets. But as the day went on, more ventured out, and the police did not seem to do much about it.

For some residents, it was another exasperating fumble by Wuhan officials, who many believe have mishandled the epidemic. But the restrictions seemed to be mostly accepted with the same stoic fortitude that many showed over the past several days as the city imposed bans on travel out of Wuhan for all but a select few.

That mood could shift, however, if the measures hamper food supplies and worsen medical shortages.

“Now is not the time for recriminations,” said Li Xiandu, a retired business manager. “The local government wasn’t forthcoming with information and didn’t take vigorous enough measures. But we need to get through this first, and then we can assign blame.”

The sense of confusion and uncertainty has even extended to the United States government’s effort to evacuate American diplomats and citizens from China.

The State Department said on Sunday that it was arranging a flight that would leave Wuhan on Tuesday and travel to San Francisco. Apart from diplomatic personnel, the plane was also to carry a limited number of private citizens, the State Department said.

But the department did not say who would be given priority on the flight if there are not enough seats for everyone who wants to leave.

That was not much help for people like Jonny Dangerfield, 30, an American who went to Wuhan to celebrate the Lunar New Year with his wife and children.

Mr. Dangerfield, who works in finance in Phoenix, said he hoped that his family might be considered to be at greater risk from the virus because his three children are all under 5. But for now, he simply does not know.

“Just to keep ourselves sane, I guess, we have low expectations about getting on that plane,” Mr. Dangerfield said in a telephone interview.

Raymond Zhong reported from Shanghai, and Chris Buckley from Wuhan, China. Claire Fu and Wang Yiwei contributed research.

Grammys 2020: Performance by Lizzo Opens the Show

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

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Credit…Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Lizzo opens the show, declaring, ‘Tonight is for Kobe.’

LOS ANGELES — Lizzo and Alicia Keys set the tone of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards right from the start on Sunday night as both mournful and celebratory.

Lizzo announced, “Tonight is for Kobe,” and went straight into a bold, full-throated medley of her songs “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts,” backed up by a mini orchestra and surrounded by ballerinas with otherworldly lights in their tutus.

Keys, the host for the night, followed her by walking solemnly to the center stage and saying softy, “Here we are together, on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now.”

“We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” Keys went on to say, a reference to Staples Center, the arena where Bryant, who died at 41 in a helicopter crash on Sunday, played for much of his N.B.A. career.

She then invited members of the group Boyz II Men to the stage and sang part of their elegiac song “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” with them.

In the lead-up to the televised show Sunday afternoon, the news of Bryant’s death led to gasps in the press room. The Grammys take place at the Staples Center, where championship banners Bryant helped the Los Angeles Lakers win hang from the building’s rafters, along with his jerseys.

“In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle,” John Legend wrote on Twitter. “Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes.”

Flags outside the arena were lowered to half-staff as preparations for the event continued, and lights shined on Bryant’s jerseys inside. Harvey Mason Jr., the chairman and interim chief of the Recording Academy, called for a moment of silence.

“Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence,” Mason said, The Associated Press reported.

Lady Gaga and Beyoncé are early winners.

All but nine of the Grammys’ 84 awards were given out before the television broadcast, in a separate “premiere” ceremony that was plagued by celebrity absences — but also featured non-stars celebrating how a Grammy win can be a career-defining moment.

Early prizes were sprinkled among Lizzo, Eilish, Lil Nas X, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, with none taking a clear lead. Lizzo won two prizes: urban contemporary album for the deluxe version of “Cuz I Love You” and traditional R&B performance in the song “Jerome.” Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” — the “country-trap” hybrid that became a chart phenomenon last year and ignited debate about the blurring of genre — won best pop/duo group performance in its remix with the country star Billy Ray Cyrus.

“Old Town Road” also took best music video, while Beyoncé’s concert special “Homecoming” won best music film. Michelle Obama won best spoken word album for the audio version of her book “Becoming.” The former first lady was not present to accept the honor; the jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding, a presenter, said, “I will proudly accept this on her behalf.”

Gary Clark Jr., a guitarist adored by critics and rock and blues purists, won three awards. His album “This Land” took best contemporary blues album, while the title track from that release won best rock song and best rock performance.

The early ceremony featured some landmarks. Gloria Gaynor, the disco diva who won in 1980 for her anthem “I Will Survive,” took home her first award since then — best roots gospel album, for “Testimony.” Tracy Young became the first woman to win the best remixed recording category for a version of Madonna’s “I Rise.” “We’ve shattered the glass ceiling together,” Young said when accepting the award. “I proudly accept this on behalf of all female producers who have been overlooked.”

Tanya Tucker, the 61-year-old country singer, won the first Grammys of her career, taking best country album for “While I’m Livin’,” her first release in a decade, and best country song for “Bring My Flowers Now.”

Nipsey Hussle, the rapper who died last March at 33, won his first Grammy for “Racks in the Middle,” which took best rap performance. Family members spoke, including his grandmother, who said: “I wanted to thank all of you for showing all the love that I have felt for him all of his life and will always live in my heart. So thank you, thank you, thank you.” Hussle is to be celebrated during the telecast in a performance segment scheduled to include Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, John Legend, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch and YG.

Beyond the Grammy glitz, a battle is raging behind the scenes.

Intense drama hangs over the 62nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday night, but not in ways that the Recording Academy, the nonprofit behind the show, would like.

This year’s event, which will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. Eastern, features a fresh crop of stars like Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and Ariana Grande competing for the top awards. It was supposed to represent “a new era for the Recording Academy,” one that would be more attuned to pop’s current pulse after years of bruising criticism over the Grammys’ poor record in recognizing women and artists of color in the major categories.

That “new era” statement was made just two months ago, when nominations were announced, by Deborah Dugan, the academy’s new chief executive. She had been telegraphed as the bold new leader the Grammys needed, and came armed with an unsparing critique of the academy’s record on diversity by Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, the Time’s Up leader Tina Tchen.

But just 10 days ago, Dugan was removed from her position, stunning the industry and plunging the normally cheery pre-Grammys week into mudslinging and chaos that has threatened to overshadow the event itself.

Dugan claimed in a 44-page complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that she had been retaliated against for uncovering misconduct including sexual harassment, vote rigging and rampant conflicts of interest. The academy, in turn, said that an assistant had complained about a toxic and bullying work environment, and that Dugan had demanded a $22 million payoff to leave quietly, a charge Dugan has denied.

Their battle may stretch on for months. For the academy itself — and the artists now rehearsing their performances and acceptance speech shout-outs — the show must go on. But the entire music industry will be watching closely for any sign of artist dissent or any crack in the academy’s facade of celebratory glitz.

While artists have largely remained silent, one of the few public comments from a major industry figure came Saturday night from the hip-hop mogul Diddy.

Accepting an award at Clive Davis’s glamorous annual pre-Grammys party, Diddy avoided mentioning Dugan by name but criticized the academy for its failure to recognize hip-hop artists of color in the top categories. Over the last decade, for example, just one nonwhite artist — Bruno Mars — has won album of the year.

“Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys; black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be,” Diddy said. “For years, we have allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now.”

He added: “You’ve got 365 days’ notice to get this [expletive] together.”

Lizzo leads a crop of young nominees.

For music fans, the Grammys are a television show about splashy performances and, oh yes, a handful of awards scattered across three and a half hours. There may be no mention at all of the academy’s behind-the-scenes crisis.

The biggest contests this year feature some of pop’s most dynamic young faces, many of whom went from obscurity to mega-stardom over the past year.

Lizzo, a charismatic and outspoken pop and R&B singer who has fascinated fans and critics alike, is this year’s most nominated artist, with eight nods. She and the 18-year-old alternative dynamo Billie Eilish, who has a total of six nominations, are each up in all four top categories — album, record and song of the year and best new artist.

Lil Nas X, the internet meme virtuoso whose “country-trap” hybrid “Old Town Road” became a cultural phenomenon last year, is also up for six awards, including record and album of the year, and best new artist. If he wins big, it could be a statement by the academy’s voters that they want to shed their conservative reputation and fully embrace the most up-to-the-minute trends. That does not seem super likely.

Other big contenders include Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend. Taylor Swift is up for just one major award: song of the year for “Lover.”

Big names will perform, but Taylor Swift is no longer one of them.

At the music industry’s schmoozy pre-Grammy parties last week in Los Angeles, the insider chatter has all been about Dugan versus the academy. But, for the most part, the events have been business as usual. Few people expect the show to be affected.

Still, a top musician signaling a position on Dugan’s claims could change the conversation entirely. Label executives and publicists have been wringing their hands over what their artists might be asked — and what they might say — on the red carpet or onstage.

And while the lineup of performers appears to be steady, the industry was riveted on Friday with reports that Swift would not appear. But why? Was Swift — always an outspoken backer of women — dropping out in protest, or was she simply unprepared or uninterested? Everyone, including fans and the most powerful people in music, was left to guess.

The performances planned for the show include tributes to Prince and the rapper Nipsey Hussle; an “Old Town Road All-Stars” segment with Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, BTS, Diplo and Mason Ramsey, the so-called Walmart yodeling kid; and appearances by Grande, Eilish, Lizzo, Rosalía, Aerosmith, the Jonas Brothers and Tyler, the Creator.

The producer who shaped 40 years of Grammy shows says farewell.

This year’s show will be the last for Ken Ehrlich, who has produced the Grammys telecast since 1980 and is largely responsible for the show’s signature presentation style — the “Grammy moments” strategy of pairing artists together for special appearances, going back to Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand doing “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” 40 years ago.

Ehrlich has lived — and scrambled — through some of the Grammys’ most bizarre moments, like the “soy bomb” dancer crashing Bob Dylan’s performance in 1998. He has also frequently been the target of criticism that the show is out of touch and too often favors late-career stars at the expense of younger faces and more current nominees. Exhibit A: the 2018 show’s preponderance of Sting and absence of Lorde, who had been up for album of the year.

Ehrlich has always said that his mandate is to put on a varied and imaginative show, not simply to parade the current nominees. Viewers may consider that this year when he presents his swan song, a recreation of the ensemble performance of “I Sing the Body Electric” from the 1980 film “Fame,” featuring performances by Joshua Bell, Camila Cabello, Gary Clark Jr., Common, Misty Copeland, Lang Lang, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend and others.

What Happened on the 2020 Grammys Red Carpet

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

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The show needed to go on.

The Grammys red carpet took place in Los Angeles, with many attendees responding to the death of Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter accident just hours before.

Mr. Bryant, who was 41, played 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers — his only team — and so has been a fixture of Southern Californian lives for decades.

The Grammys was already struggling with internal chaos — the chief executive was ousted, and has said she was forced out for complaining about sexual harassment and irregularities in the nominating process — and the show was already prepared to go on anyway. Here’s what we saw.

Lil Nas X led the charge on the Western trend.

“Urban cowboy” has been real for more than a year and this Grammys made it official. Lil Nas X as shocking pink dominatrix Versace cowboy. Diplo as cool-tuxedo cowboy. Orville Peck as leather-masked, white-hat cowboy. And Billy Porter as fringe-glam-disco cowboy. Home, home, on the red carpet.

Lizzo showed up in dazzling white, the shade of the night.

We saw a lot of white on the red carpet.

Forget the tiny bag: Lizzo went major old-school glamour this evening, in a strapless, slit-leg white Versace gown with a stole (and Veronica Lake hair!). The nails, dripping in crystals, and the bejeweled arm bands added to the effect. She looked kind of like an angelic host.

You know the fashion rule: One of anything is a fluke, two is a coincidence and three is a trend. If we start with Lizzo’s gown, move on to Gwen Stefani’s white Dolce & Gabbana dress and then throw in Shaun Ross’s pearl-covered coat, pants and boots, this makes a … trend!

Men embraced bold colors.

Forget the yawn of black tie. That’s so “boring movie awards.” For the Grammys, men suited up in an entire Pantone color wheel. Shawn Mendes, who was nominated for best pop duo performance, wore fuchsia. Lucky Daye, a nominee for best R&B performance, wore iridescent jade green. Anderson Paak, who won in that category for “Come Home,” wore sapphire. And Dan Smyers of Dan + Shay donned hot pink. Gives new meaning to rainbow nation.

Billie Eilish in Gucci. Ariana Grande in a cloud of tulle. BTS in trench coats and turtlenecks … and more!

The nails though.

Over-the-top nails were all over the carpet, acting more as accessories than beauty choices. Rosalía’s super-long pointed talons were dipped in crystals.

Lizzo’s manicurist affixed crystals to her nails, hanging one off each finger.

Billie Eilish also made her nail art — green and Gucci-logoed — an extension of her outfit.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas used her nails to send a message, posing with her husband on a red carpet darkened by the sudden death of Kobe Bryant. In black, she’d written the number 24 — Bryant’s jersey number — on one French-manicured finger.

And finally, some déjà vu for you …

Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s white plunge-front gown is sending us whooshing down memory lane to J. Lo’s plunging Versace of 2000. But it’s not all a nod to yesteryear. The fringe is very 2020 mind meld — which is to say, it’s another trend, as seen on Billy Porter’s mechanical hat (and boots), Rosalía’s red leather dress and Orville Peck’s mask.

America, the Idea, Is Lost

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The idea of America that most of us have come to embrace — that of a functioning democracy responsible and responsive to its citizens who are entitled to vote and whose votes are equal — is lost. In fact, it may never have existed in that way at all. And the trends in society are now toward the worse rather than the better.

The founders of this country never intended for everyone to vote, and they didn’t even include a right to vote in the Constitution. Instead they let voting default to the states, which erected their own barriers to the ballot. As such, the right to vote has expanded and contracted over time.

In the beginning, generally speaking, property-owning white men were the only people allowed to vote. That franchise has expanded over time to include all white men, black men, women and so forth. But, there remain efforts to restrict access to the ballot, particularly for black and brown people in this country.

This rash of new restrictions seems to have been ignited by the election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president. As the Brennan Center for Justice has pointed out, “After the 2010 election, state lawmakers nationwide started introducing hundreds of harsh measures making it harder to vote.” As the center documented:

“Overall, 25 states have put in place new restrictions since then — 15 states have more restrictive voter ID laws in place (including six states with strict photo ID requirements), 12 have laws making it harder for citizens to register (and stay registered), 10 made it more difficult to vote early or absentee, and three took action to make it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions.”

In fact the idea of “one person, one vote” wasn’t fully invoked in the United States until the 1960s, when Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the decision for Reynolds v. Sims in 1964: “The conception of political equality from the Declaration of Independence, to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Amendments can mean only one thing — one person, one vote.”

Furthermore, big money from corporations and candidates themselves is corrupting the process and wielding outsize influence on voters’ choices.

In the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy came under attack for spending what his competitor Hubert Humphrey thought an unseemly amount on a political campaign. As CBS reported:

“Humphrey called Kennedy’s campaign ‘the most highly financed, the most plush, the most extravagant in the history of politics in the U.S.’ At that point, Kennedy had spent $72,000 (about $575,000, in today’s dollars) on radio, TV and mailers in Wisconsin.”

Kennedy defended himself by pointing out that “President Eisenhower’s campaign in 1952, when costs were lower, was $2,500,000.” That was still only about $20 million in today’s value.

Compare that to the nearly one billion dollars Trump raised in 2016 and the nearly one and a half billion raised by Hillary Clinton.

And, the outside spending — political spending by outside groups, excluding party committees — has skyrocketed in the last couple of decades. From 1990 to 2002, it rarely broke the million-dollar mark, according to OpenSecrets.org. In 2016, it reached $178 million.

This is to say nothing of how Russia’s political influence campaign exposed just how vulnerable individual Americans were to being manipulated by misinformation.

Our electoral process has become corrupted, with politicians seeking to block some from the ballot and plutocrats seeking to beguile those who would vote.

Now, with the Trump impeachment, we are seeing that the structure of government is also showing signs of fracture.

There has been no doubt, since the White House released the quasi-transcript of the phone call between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine, that Trump had been engaged in a corrupt act when trying to pressure the Ukrainians to announce an investigation of the Bidens. Indeed, this month, the Government Accountability Office determined that Trump broke the law when withholding funds to Ukraine as part of his pressure campaign.

Then, Trump did everything within his power to conceal what he had done when the House of Representatives launched its impeachment investigation.

Now, Senate Republicans stand poised to cement in precedent, by way of an acquittal, that the president who thought himself king, who considers himself above the law, is in fact above the law. Oaths be damned. Constitution be damned.

An acquittal will say to the world, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the checks and balances built into the Constitution are fatally flawed and unworkable, that they are compromised to the partisanship and therefore unworkable and worthless.

The Senate will be saying to America that corruption is an acceptable feature of the executive branch. This will be another devastating blow to electoral confidence and to trust in government.

Everything from who can vote, how they vote, who influences that vote, who is elected by that vote and who is accountable having been voted in, is broken.

American, as an idea, as a representative democracy with the power ultimately vested in the people and accountable to the people, is vanishing like a vapor.

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Kobe Bryant, Transformational Star of the N.B.A., Dies in Helicopter Crash

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Bryant, 41, who won five titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, was traveling to a basketball game with his 13-year-old daughter when they and seven other people perished in the crash.

T Minus 8 Days: A Frenetic Weekend on the Trail in Iowa

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DES MOINES — With the Iowa caucuses a week away and senators briefly sprung from their impeachment-induced confinement on Capitol Hill, the Democratic presidential candidates and their surrogates spilled out across Iowa on Sunday.

They gave their stump speeches. They took photos and shook hands. They tried mightily to address the elephant in the room — a series of polls showing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont pulling even with or ahead of the longtime front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — without appearing to concern themselves with it.

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., carried on the long tradition of campaign-trail subtweeting, attacking Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden unmistakably but without naming them.

“The country will be crying out for a president capable of unifying and healing the American people,” Mr. Buttigieg said at a rally in West Des Moines, a clear shot at Mr. Sanders.

Later, at a town hall televised on Fox News, he said that he had “heard some folks saying” that now was not the time for voters to take a risk — Team Biden is running an ad arguing exactly that — but that the real risk “would be to try to go up against this president with the same old playbook that we’ve been relying on.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who has gained ground in recent weeks but is still polling a distant fifth here, tried to focus on crowd sizes instead — and on somewhat better poll results she received in New Hampshire, which will vote the week after Iowa.

“We are seeing this overwhelming number of people showing up on a Sunday afternoon,” Ms. Klobuchar told reporters in Ames. “We’re seeing the poll that we just saw this morning in New Hampshire, in double digits, just a few points away from many of my maybe more well-known competitors on the national stage.”

And besides, how much attention should voters pay to polls to begin with? “Let’s see what happens when people are actually showing up,” she said.

As always, the undertone — and sometimes the overtone — was each candidate’s so-called electability against President Trump. From Davenport in the east to Sioux City in the west, the candidates circled one another, jostling to cast themselves as the most viable contender for November.

“Can we just address it right here? Women win,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said at an event in Davenport, invoking the same argument she made at this month’s debate when she noted that she and Ms. Klobuchar were the only people onstage who had never lost an election. “Women candidates have been outperforming men candidates since Donald Trump was elected.”

Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden, meanwhile, continued to spar with each other, each seeing the other — justifiably, based on recent polls — as his biggest threat.

After a weeklong public fight over their records on Social Security, they turned to climate. At an event in Perry on Sunday, Mr. Sanders shot back at Mr. Biden for his remark a couple days earlier that “not a single solitary scientist” considered Mr. Sanders’s climate plan workable.

“Well, Joe, you’re wrong,” Mr. Sanders said. “Many leading scientists agree with our plan, and in a few days we’re going to have a long list of scientists who agree with our plan.”

In Des Moines, Mr. Biden sought to shift voters’ attention to what is arguably his biggest strength nationally: his strong support from black voters. It is a key part of the same electability argument that echoed across the state all weekend: Black voters are an essential constituency in the Democratic Party.

“I know a lot of folks out here were wondering, ‘Why does Biden get such overwhelming support from the African-American community?’” Mr. Biden said. “Because that’s what I’m part of. That’s where my political identity comes from. And it’s the single most loyal constituency I’ve ever had.”

As for the Iowans he and everyone else were courting, some of them ended the weekend as torn as they had begun it.

“It’s hard to tell. They are all so similar,” said Ann Clary, a state budget analyst who attended one of Mr. Buttigieg’s events on Sunday but is also considering caucusing for Mr. Biden and Ms. Klobuchar. “Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at night. I just can’t stop thinking about it.”

As night fell, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg went on with business as usual, looking forward to another full week of events. And then there were the senators.

Round and round the state they went: Ms. Warren from Davenport to Cedar Rapids, Ms. Klobuchar from Waterloo to Ames to Des Moines, Mr. Sanders from Perry to Storm Lake to Sioux City.

They had to hurry, because soon the day, and their window, would be over.

“I could have literally done these in every town and revisited all 99 counties again,” Ms. Klobuchar told reporters wistfully after an event in Ames. “That was one of my secret plans, but it’s now been dashed, since I turn into a pumpkin at midnight.”

Reporting was contributed by Nick Corasaniti from Ames, Iowa; Sydney Ember from Ames and Perry; Reid J. Epstein from West Des Moines and Storm Lake; Shane Goldmacher from Davenport; Thomas Kaplan from Des Moines; and Lisa Lerer from Perry.

Unveiling the Quiescent Accretion State of AGN with Fading Changing-Look Quasars

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I am looking at the Star GSC-02581-02323 with Wide Field Camera 3 for John Ruan

Yes, Secretary Pompeo, Americans Should Care About Ukraine

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As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv later this week, he has reportedly asked, “Do Americans care about Ukraine?”

Here’s why the answer should be yes: Ukraine is defending itself and the West against Russian attack. No matter the outcome of the debate about the propriety of a phone call between the two presidents, the relationship between the United States and Ukraine is key to our national security. Americans should care about Ukraine.

Russia is fighting a hybrid war against Ukraine, Europe and the United States. This war has many components: armed military aggression, energy supply, cyberattacks, disinformation and election interference. On each of these battlegrounds, Ukraine is the front line.

For the last seven months, I represented the United States in Ukraine and regularly visited the front line of the military conflict. After its occupation of Crimea, Russia sent its army, security forces, undercover agents, weapons, funding and political instruction into Ukraine’s southeastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, a region known as the Donbas. The 280-mile line of contact between Russian-led forces and Ukrainian forces has stabilized but has not gone quiet.

To the contrary, the front line in the Donbas region marks the only shooting war in Europe. Every week Russian-led forces kill Ukrainian soldiers — and take casualties in return. During the 12 hours of my last visit, in November, a Ukrainian soldier was killed and another wounded. Since the Russians invaded in 2014, 14,000 Ukrainians have died in this war.

Because Ukraine stands between NATO and Russia, the United States and our allies support Ukraine. That includes providing Ukrainian armed forces with weapons, training and support. American security assistance to Ukraine — that regularly receives broad, bipartisan support in Congress — is at the center heart of the impeachment trial, but the importance of that assistance to Ukraine, and to our national security, is not at issue.

On the energy battlefield, the Kremlin is trying to bypass Ukraine and increase German and European dependence on Russia by spending billions on an unnecessary underwater natural gas pipeline, a political project without economic justification. In another show of bipartisan political support for Ukraine, Congress late last year passed sanctions on companies trying to complete the pipeline, forcing a significant delay in the project.

Russia’s hybrid war is also an information war. Starting at home, Russian media is dominated by the state, leading its citizens to believe they are under threat from a hostile West and convincing them that President Vladimir Putin protects them from corrupt enemies. Russia’s trolls and internet hackers target Ukrainian, European and American political and social fault lines, exaggerating differences and fomenting dissension. They seek to weaken Western alliances, undermine confidence in democratic institutions, and turn citizens against citizens. We and other NATO allies are working with Ukraine to counter this malign influence.

The Russians interfered in our elections in 2016 — but not before interfering in Ukraine’s elections in 2014, and Britain’s Brexit referendum earlier in 2016. Because Ukraine is the front line, we assisted the Ukrainian central election commission in its preparations for the country’s 2019 elections to defend against further Russian interference. Their efforts, with our assistance, successfully frustrated Russian attacks.

But the Russian challenge is even broader than hybrid warfare. The Kremlin is attacking the rules that have guided relations among nations since World War II, rules that kept the peace among major European powers for 70 years. With their invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Mr. Putin trashed those rules, spurned international consensus, violated the treaties and principles that even previous Russian and Soviet leaders had respected — even in the breach.

Mr. Putin seems to want to return to the law of the jungle that characterized relations among nations for centuries before 1945, where powerful nations dominated and invaded less powerful nations, where nations established spheres of influence that oppressed neighbors, leading to war and suffering. That was how the Russian Empire and Soviet Union conducted international relations — dominate, control and absorb neighboring lands. A return to jungle rules threatens not just Ukraine and the United States, but global stability itself.

Until Russia withdraws from Ukraine — both Donbas and Crimea — and recognizes that Ukraine is an independent, sovereign nation, other nations cannot be secure. Until Russia recommits to a rules-based international order, Western nations are in jeopardy. Ukraine is the front line.

In an even broader sense, Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the West is an attack on democracy. The question of how nations govern themselves — democracy versus autocracy — is being fought out among and within nations. Russia, China, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, the Philippines, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria — all are autocracies, all are unfree. In the contest between democracies and autocracies, the contest between freedom and unfreedom, Ukraine is the front line.

To support Ukraine means to support a young democracy, fighting to regain sovereignty over its internationally recognized borders. It is to support a nation that has broken from its troubled past to embrace European and Western values and that seeks to join European and North Atlantic institutions, to defeat post-Soviet corruption, and to give its citizens the chance to prosper in a normal country.

To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that avoided war among major powers in Europe for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do.

William B. Taylor served as the United States ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009. He served as chargé d’affaires at the embassy in Kyiv from June 2019 until January 2020.

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Iowa Should Never Go First Again

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The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary owe their first-in-the-nation status partly to circumstance. Decades ago, Iowa’s caucus was the initial step in a long, complex process that the state used to award delegates, which meant that the voting had to happen early in the year. New Hampshire was mostly trying to save money — by scheduling its primary on the same day as many annual town meetings, which were held before the spring mud season.

But circumstance has not kept Iowa and New Hampshire at the front of the line. An aggressive protection of their own self-interest has. As primaries and caucuses became a bigger part of national politics in the 1970s, officials in Iowa and New Hampshire have fought hard to stay first.

“We weren’t stupid,” Cliff Larsen, a former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, once said. New Hampshire passed a law saying its primary always must be the first, and Iowa has been similarly protective. “Iowa caucuses are first-in-the-nation mainly because the state insists on remaining first,” Kathie Obradovich, a prominent Iowa journalist, has said.

It’s all worked out very nicely for the two states. A typical voter in Iowa or New Hampshire has up to 20 times more influence than somebody in later-voting states, one study found. Sometimes, the two states have turned a parochial issue (ethanol) into a national priority. Local hotels, restaurants, pollsters and television and radio stations have received millions of dollars in extra business.

This system has worked out much less well for the other 48 states. They have voluntarily surrendered political influence — and allowed the presidential nominating process to become warped.

I know the usual excuse for Iowa’s and New Hampshire’s special status: That the good people there take extra care in selecting candidates. And many Iowans and New Hampshirites are good people who take their civic duty seriously.

But step back and think about how paternalistic and condescending that explanation is. The residents of New Jersey, New Mexico, Indiana, Louisiana and other late-voting states somehow aren’t sufficiently civic-minded or intelligent to choose their own presidential candidates? They always need the same two states to winnow the field?

Right now, I’m as obsessed as anyone with the early-state polls. Yet I also want to use this moment to point out how bizarre the current system is — and to make a plea: The 2020 cycle should be the last time that Iowa and New Hampshire benefit at the country’s expense.

The strongest part of the case for change, of course, is the racial aspect of the current calendar. Iowa and New Hampshire are among the country’s whitest states. About 6 percent of their combined population is black or Asian-American. Almost 87 percent is non-Hispanic white, compared with 60 percent for the country as a whole. Demographically, Iowa and New Hampshire look roughly like the America of 1870.

Julián Castro, the former presidential candidate, was right when he called out the Democratic Party’s hypocritical support for the status quo. “Iowa and New Hampshire are wonderful states with wonderful people,” Castro said. But Democrats can’t “complain about Republicans suppressing the votes of people of color, and then begin our nominating contest in two states that hardly have people of color.”

The typical defense from Iowa officials is that their state can be trusted because it once voted for a black man (Barack Obama) — which is a pretty stark bit of paternalism.

In truth, the whiteness of Iowa and New Hampshire matters. Consider that Cory Booker and Kamala Harris were doing as well as Amy Klobuchar in early polls of more diverse states; they led Pete Buttigieg in some polls. But Booker and Harris are finished, in no small part because of their struggles in Iowa and New Hampshire. Klobuchar and Buttigieg still might break out.

Or consider that a candidate with strong white support (like Bernie Sanders) could win both Iowa and New Hampshire this year. That result would create a media narrative about Joe Biden’s campaign being badly wounded, even though Biden leads among two large groups of Democratic voters: African Americans and Latinos. Those voters, however, are told to wait their turn.

Race isn’t the only problem, either. Iowa and New Hampshire are not home to a single city of more than 250,000 people. The two states also have a disproportionately large share of retirees and a smaller share of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

All of this skews the campaign. And it’s another form of privilege for groups that already benefit from the Senate and Electoral College — white voters, older voters and voters outside of major metropolitan areas.

It would not be hard to create a fairer system, one that aspired to treat all Americans equally. It could even retain the best aspect of Iowa and New Hampshire: the emphasis on in-person politics that a small state demands.

One or two smaller states could always go first, with the specific states rotating each cycle. (Many smaller states — like Delaware, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico and Rhode Island — are diverse.) They could immediately be followed by a couple of larger states that are home to major cities.

Obviously, politicians in Iowa and New Hampshire will fight any such change, as they always have. They’ll use lofty language, about how solemnly they take their responsibilities and how the current system allows the voices of ordinary citizens to be heard. Strip away the rhetoric, though, and their argument comes down to this: We’re better than the rest of you, and we deserve special treatment forever.

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5 Takeaways on Trump and Ukraine From John Bolton’s Book

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New revelations from the former White House national security adviser could complicate President Trump’s impeachment trial.

Before Trump Rally in N.J., Justice Dept. Joins Local Immigration Case

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On the eve of a visit by President Trump to New Jersey for a campaign rally, his administration has unexpectedly intervened on behalf of local officials in the state in a heated immigration dispute.

The Justice Department on Friday joined a lawsuit that seeks to overturn a state directive that has been in effect for nearly a year that limits how much local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The move comes amid the Trump administration’s escalating efforts against so-called sanctuary policies around the country, but experts said the timing could suggest it has as much to do with politics as with immigration.

The two counties that filed the suit are in the district of Representative Jeff Van Drew, a freshman centrist who was elected as a Democrat but recently became a Republican after voting against impeaching Mr. Trump.

In changing parties — and pledging “undying support” for Mr. Trump — Mr. Van Drew roiled the political landscape in the southern part of the state and raised the stakes for his re-election campaign this year.

Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Representative Patrick Kennedy, part of the political dynasty, announced this month that she would join the crowded race against Mr. Van Drew, releasing a video that included images of him meeting with the president in the Oval Office after his switch. Mr. Trump announced that same day he would be holding a rally in New Jersey on Tuesday.

The Justice Department’s decision to side with the two counties may signal that Mr. Van Drew — who will speak at Mr. Trump’s rally in Wildwood, N.J. — intends to make immigration a central plank in his re-election campaign, just as Mr. Trump has done.

Mr. Van Drew did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

John J. Farmer Jr., a former New Jersey attorney general and director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, said politics did seem to play a part in the timing of the move. “It should be seen as an attempt by the president to inspire his base in South Jersey, where he does have support, and as an attempt to bolster Van Drew’s newfound status as a Republican,” he said.

Mr. Farmer said the federal officials’ involvement in the suit should also be viewed in light of an “unusually high” volume of litigation between Gov. Philip D. Murphy’s administration and Mr. Trump’s Justice Department. “Completely different world views colliding, that is what is happening here,” Mr. Farmer said.

Mr. Trump’s forthcoming appearance at the Wildwood Convention Center will be his first campaign rally in the state as president, though he frequently has visited his golf courses there.

New Jersey has tended recently to lean Democratic, voting overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Democratic Party also controls both the governor’s office and the Legislature. But the rally will take place in a more conservative area in the southern part of the state that is more friendly to Republicans.

The event is expected to draw thousands of Trump supporters, including from out of state. Mr. Van Drew told Fox News that 100,000 tickets had been requested for the rally at the venue, which holds 7,400 people.

At issue in the lawsuit is the New Jersey attorney general’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which the Justice Department is asking to be declared unconstitutional. (The federal officials are not a party in the lawsuit, but will be supporting the counties’ efforts.)

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign declined to comment.

The state attorney general, Gurbir S. Grewal, said in a statement on Saturday that he was “deeply disappointed” that federal officials “have suddenly chosen to challenge” the directive in court.

Mr. Grewal said the directive had played an important role in “ensuring that victims and witnesses come forward and report crimes to law enforcement without fear of deportation.”

He added: “The federal government’s efforts to coerce states into implementing its immigration agenda have failed repeatedly in the past, and we’ll respond to their latest efforts in court at the appropriate time.”

Issued in November 2018, the state attorney general’s directive laid out rules limiting the extent to which local and state law enforcement can assist federal civil immigration enforcement efforts. It restricts law enforcement from sharing information with federal authorities and prohibits asking people about their immigration status.

It allows law enforcement officers to turn over undocumented immigrants charged with certain crimes to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, but only if enforcement agents pick up the migrants on the day of their release.

Cape May County and Ocean County filed separate lawsuits last fall opposing the directive, but those lawsuits were consolidated before the Justice Department got involved in the suit.

State Senator Michael Testa Jr., a Republican who is one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Cape May County, said he had not been consulted about the Justice Department’s decision.

But he criticized the limits the directive places on local law enforcement officers’ ability to cooperate with ICE.

“I really don’t understand why our attorney general would not want to have coordination between law enforcement agencies at the county level, with ICE, when an individual who is here in this country illegally has in fact committed a crime,” said Mr. Testa, who is an honorary chairman of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign in New Jersey.

The Justice Department has repeatedly spoken out against what it calls sanctuary policies around the country and has attempted to cut off federal funding to jurisdictions that have laws limiting cooperation with ICE.

It is not the first time it has gotten involved in legal challenges to such policies under Mr. Trump. In 2018, the Justice Department unsuccessfully filed its own suit challenging California’s sanctuary laws. A federal judge largely ruled against the administration’s case in July of that year, saying that the state never violated the Constitution by passing its own laws. The department lost again on appeal last spring.

In New Jersey, most local law enforcement officers have supported the attorney general’s directive, which went into effect last March, saying that it has helped reassure immigrants that they can interact with law enforcement without risking deportation.

In Bridgeton, a rural community in southern New Jersey that is home to many Latino immigrants, the police have been conducting a monthslong search for Dulce Maria Alavez, a 5-year-old who disappeared from a park in September. Michael A. Gaimari Sr., the police chief in Bridgeton, said he was “disappointed” to learn that the Justice Department had joined the challenge to the statewide directive.

“We have been trying to break down the barriers to get the information we need to investigate cases like this one — that becomes difficult when there’s fear,” he said.

Activists also lamented that the federal government was throwing its weight behind the legal challenge to the directive.

“Before the directive, immigrants in New Jersey feared even the slightest contact with law enforcement could lead to family separations,” said Sara Cullinane, the director of Make The Road Action in New Jersey, an advocacy group. “Since the directive went into effect, we have seen that trust has been significantly repaired.”

Tracey Tully and Katie Benner contributed reporting.

Before Trump Rally in N.J., Justice Dept. Joins Local Immigration Case

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On the eve of a visit by President Trump to New Jersey for a campaign rally, his administration has unexpectedly intervened on behalf of local officials in the state in a heated immigration dispute.

The Justice Department on Friday joined a lawsuit that seeks to overturn a state directive that has been in effect for nearly a year that limits how much local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The move comes amid the Trump administration’s escalating efforts against so-called sanctuary policies around the country, but experts said the timing could suggest it has as much to do with politics as with immigration.

The two counties that filed the suit are in the district of Representative Jeff Van Drew, a freshman centrist who was elected as a Democrat but recently became a Republican after voting against impeaching Mr. Trump.

In changing parties — and pledging “undying support” for Mr. Trump — Mr. Van Drew roiled the political landscape in the southern part of the state and raised the stakes for his re-election campaign this year.

Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Representative Patrick Kennedy, part of the political dynasty, announced this month that she would join the crowded race against Mr. Van Drew, releasing a video that included images of him meeting with the president in the Oval Office after his switch. Mr. Trump announced that same day he would be holding a rally in New Jersey on Tuesday.

The Justice Department’s decision to side with the two counties may signal that Mr. Van Drew — who will speak at Mr. Trump’s rally in Wildwood, N.J. — intends to make immigration a central plank in his re-election campaign, just as Mr. Trump has done.

Mr. Van Drew did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

John J. Farmer Jr., a former New Jersey attorney general and director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, said politics did seem to play a part in the timing of the move. “It should be seen as an attempt by the president to inspire his base in South Jersey, where he does have support, and as an attempt to bolster Van Drew’s newfound status as a Republican,” he said.

Mr. Farmer said the federal officials’ involvement in the suit should also be viewed in light of an “unusually high” volume of litigation between Gov. Philip D. Murphy’s administration and Mr. Trump’s Justice Department. “Completely different world views colliding, that is what is happening here,” Mr. Farmer said.

Mr. Trump’s forthcoming appearance at the Wildwood Convention Center will be his first campaign rally in the state as president, though he frequently has visited his golf courses there.

New Jersey has tended recently to lean Democratic, voting overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Democratic Party also controls both the governor’s office and the Legislature. But the rally will take place in a more conservative area in the southern part of the state that is more friendly to Republicans.

The event is expected to draw thousands of Trump supporters, including from out of state. Mr. Van Drew told Fox News that 100,000 tickets had been requested for the rally at the venue, which holds 7,400 people.

At issue in the lawsuit is the New Jersey attorney general’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which the Justice Department is asking to be declared unconstitutional. (The federal officials are not a party in the lawsuit, but will be supporting the counties’ efforts.)

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign declined to comment.

The state attorney general, Gurbir S. Grewal, said in a statement on Saturday that he was “deeply disappointed” that federal officials “have suddenly chosen to challenge” the directive in court.

Mr. Grewal said the directive had played an important role in “ensuring that victims and witnesses come forward and report crimes to law enforcement without fear of deportation.”

He added: “The federal government’s efforts to coerce states into implementing its immigration agenda have failed repeatedly in the past, and we’ll respond to their latest efforts in court at the appropriate time.”

Issued in November 2018, the state attorney general’s directive laid out rules limiting the extent to which local and state law enforcement can assist federal civil immigration enforcement efforts. It restricts law enforcement from sharing information with federal authorities and prohibits asking people about their immigration status.

It allows law enforcement officers to turn over undocumented immigrants charged with certain crimes to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, but only if enforcement agents pick up the migrants on the day of their release.

Cape May County and Ocean County filed separate lawsuits last fall opposing the directive, but those lawsuits were consolidated before the Justice Department got involved in the suit.

State Senator Michael Testa Jr., a Republican who is one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Cape May County, said he had not been consulted about the Justice Department’s decision.

But he criticized the limits the directive places on local law enforcement officers’ ability to cooperate with ICE.

“I really don’t understand why our attorney general would not want to have coordination between law enforcement agencies at the county level, with ICE, when an individual who is here in this country illegally has in fact committed a crime,” said Mr. Testa, who is an honorary chairman of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign in New Jersey.

The Justice Department has repeatedly spoken out against what it calls sanctuary policies around the country and has attempted to cut off federal funding to jurisdictions that have laws limiting cooperation with ICE.

It is not the first time it has gotten involved in legal challenges to such policies under Mr. Trump. In 2018, the Justice Department unsuccessfully filed its own suit challenging California’s sanctuary laws. A federal judge largely ruled against the administration’s case in July of that year, saying that the state never violated the Constitution by passing its own laws. The department lost again on appeal last spring.

In New Jersey, most local law enforcement officers have supported the attorney general’s directive, which went into effect last March, saying that it has helped reassure immigrants that they can interact with law enforcement without risking deportation.

In Bridgeton, a rural community in southern New Jersey that is home to many Latino immigrants, the police have been conducting a monthslong search for Dulce Maria Alavez, a 5-year-old who disappeared from a park in September. Michael A. Gaimari Sr., the police chief in Bridgeton, said he was “disappointed” to learn that the Justice Department had joined the challenge to the statewide directive.

“We have been trying to break down the barriers to get the information we need to investigate cases like this one — that becomes difficult when there’s fear,” he said.

Activists also lamented that the federal government was throwing its weight behind the legal challenge to the directive.

“Before the directive, immigrants in New Jersey feared even the slightest contact with law enforcement could lead to family separations,” said Sara Cullinane, the director of Make The Road Action in New Jersey, an advocacy group. “Since the directive went into effect, we have seen that trust has been significantly repaired.”

Tracey Tully and Katie Benner contributed reporting.

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter among nine killed in California helicopter crash

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

CALABASAS, Calif. (Reuters) – Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said.

Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers – 18 of them as an all-star – winning five NBA championships. His death sent shockwaves through the National Basketball Association, which he helped propel to international prominence, and around the world.

The cause of the crash was unknown, and an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board could take months.

Bryant was known to travel frequently by helicopter to avoid Los Angeles’ infamous traffic, dating to his playing days.

His Sikorsky S-76 chopper went down in foggy weather around 10 a.m. (1.00 p.m. ET) in hilly terrain in Calabasas, California, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of central Los Angeles, sparking a brush fire, officials said.

“There were no survivors,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a news conference, saying the manifest showed nine people on board. He declined to identify them.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among those killed, and sent condolences to Bryant’s wife, Vanessa.

“He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary,” Silver said, as tributes poured in from players, politicians and entertainers.

Among the others on board, in addition to the pilot, were a teammate from Bryant’s daughter’s basketball team and a parent of the teammate, NBC News reported.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli was also one of the victims, the Orange County Register reported, citing assistant coach Ron La Ruffa.

‘KOBE WE LOVE YOU’

Reaction to Bryant’s death was swift, and moments of silence were observed before some of Sunday’s NBA games.

In San Antonio, the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs allowed the 24-second shot clock to expire on each of their first possessions, in tribute to Bryant’s jersey number 24.

“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling,” said Michael Jordan, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.

“Kobe was an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball,” Jordan said.

Stunned fans gathered near the Lakers’ home arena – the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles – surrounding a wreath with a message: “Kobe we love you RIP.”

Some in the crowd dabbed tears as others laid flowers and basketball sneakers at the wreath. Fans wore both his No. 24 and No. 8 jerseys, breaking the somber mood with occasional chants of “Kobe, Kobe.”

Among those internationally recognized athletes known simply by their first names, Bryant was an avid supporter of soccer and women’s basketball and spoke Italian, having spent part of his youth in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played several seasons professionally.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 27, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kobe Bryant is pictured with his daughter Gianna at the WNBA All Star Game at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

He also won an Oscar, along with Glen Keane, for the 2017 animated short film “Dear Basketball,” and sometimes mingled with show-business stars in Los Angeles.

‘MUCH MORE THAN AN ATHLETE’

“Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time NBA scoring leader and former Laker, said on Twitter.

Bryant was accused of sexual assault in 2003 by an employee at a Colorado hotel, tarnishing his reputation and leading to a media storm to cover his trial.

Bryant denied the allegations and charges eventually were dropped after the woman refused to testify.

Bryant and his wife filed for divorce in 2011 after 10 years of marriage, but the couple said in 2013 they had reconciled.

Besides Gianna, they had three other daughters: Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.

Bryant played all 20 of his NBA seasons with the Lakers, winning five championships and being named an all-star 18 times. He also won two Olympic gold medals as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team in 2008 and 2012.

Nicknamed “The Black Mamba,” he became eligible to enter the Hall of Fame this year and is certain to be selected when the 2020 class is enshrined.

Bryant demonstrated from an early age he would surpass the accomplishments of his father, who played eight seasons in the NBA.

Slideshow (27 Images)

The Philadelphia native went straight from high school to the NBA, skipping the college ranks. Since he was still only 17 years old, his parents needed to co-sign his first contract with the Lakers and he played his first game with the team shortly after turning 18 in 1996.

He was the third-leading scorer in league history with 33,643 points, until LeBron James passed him on Saturday. In his final tweet, Bryant saluted James’ achievement, writing: “Continuing to move the game forward

@KingJames. Much respect my brother.”

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Calabasas, California; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta, Andrew Hay, Mekhla Raina, Andrew Both, Rory Carroll, Jane Ross and Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney

Factbox: Reaction to the death of former NBA player Kobe Bryant

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

(Reuters) – Kobe Bryant, who won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, died aged 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash in California. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also among the victims.

Following are reactions to his death:

ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER

“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.

“But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”

MICHAEL JORDAN, SIX-TIMES NBA CHAMPION

“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much.

“He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was an amazing dad who loved his family deeply – and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball.”

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, ON TWITTER

“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.

To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”

SHAQUILLE O’NEAL, FORMER BRYANT TEAMMATE, ON TWITTER

“There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW.”

EARVIN MAGIC JOHNSON, FORMER LAKERS GREAT, ON TWITTER

“As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken.”

KAREEM ABDUL-JABAAR, FORMER LAKERS GREAT, ON TWITTER

“Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete.”

TIGER WOODS, FORMER WORLD NUMBER ONE GOLFER

“It’s unbelievably sad and the reality is sinking in because I was told about five minutes ago.

“He burned so competitively hot, the desire to win he brought every night on both ends of the floor, not too many guys can say that. Any time he was in the game he’d take on their best player.

“It’s a shocker to everyone, unbelievably sad, and one of the more tragic days.

STEVE NASH, BASKETBALL HALL OF FAMER, ON TWITTER

“My heart is broken for Kobe and his family. I’ll never forget the battles but what I really admired was the father he was to his girls. Rest In Peace old friend with your angel Gianna.”

USA BASKETBALL

“USA Basketball has lost a real champion. Women’s sports has lost one of their strongest advocates. Professional sports has lost a true legend who used his stature to make a difference in the world.”

WNBA COMMISSIONER CATHY ENGELBERT

“The WNBA mourns the sudden and tragic loss of NBA Great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Kobe’s support for the WNBA and women’s basketball along with his passion for helping young girls and boys follow their dreams made him a true legend for our sport.

U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, ON TWITTER

“Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating ….

“Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!”

REVEREND JESSE JACKSON, ON TWITTER

“As I tweet through my tears, I am so hurt. I cannot stop crying. Kobe was instrumental to so many people. There is a hole in the basketball world and will be for a long time. Rest in heavenly peace. #KobeBryant”

PAU GASOL, FORMER BRYANT TEAMMATE, ON TWITTER

“Beyond devastated… my big brother… I can’t, I just can’t believe it.”

TED LEONSIS, OWNER OF NBA’S WASHINGTON WIZARDS, ON LINKEDIN

“We have not only lost one of the greatest all-time basketball players in NBA history, we’ve also lost a tremendous human being … His legacy will continue to live on through the many people he touched and influenced throughout his life of basketball and beyond. May he rest in peace.”

DWYANE WADE, THREE-TIMES NBA CHAMPION, ON TWITTER

“Nooooooooooo God please No!

NATIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION

“We are stunned and devastated by the news of the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant. Words cannot express his impact on our Players, the NBA and the game of basketball. This is a monumental loss for the entire basketball community and our hearts are quite simply broken. We send love and prayers out to his wife Vanessa and the entire family.”

WAYNE GRETZKY, NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE GREAT, ON TWITTER

“Janet and I have no words to describe our shock and sadness on the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant today. Praying for him and his family.”

CRISTIANO RONALDO, PORTUGUESE SOCCER GREAT, ON INSTAGRAM

“So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend.”

KANYE WEST, GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING ARTIST, ON TWITTER

“Kobe, We love you brother We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave.”

HALLE BERRY, OSCAR-WINNING ACTRESS, ON TWITTER

FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant loses control of the ball during Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference first round playoff basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in Los Angeles, California April 17, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

“There are no real words to convey the depth of my sadness. Love and strength to Kobe’s entire family and to the families of all who were lost in today’s crash.”

JUSTIN BIEBER, CANADIAN POP SUPERSTAR, ON INSTAGRAM

“It can’t be. You always encouraged me mamba. Gave me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day.! Love you man!”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, Amy Tennery in New York, Pritha Sarkar in London, Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, and Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Marguerita Choy

Trump wanted aid to Ukraine frozen until it helped on probes of political rivals: NYTimes

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump told a then-top aide in August he wanted to freeze security aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Trump’s statement was described in an unpublished manuscript by former White House national security adviser John Bolton, the

Times reported in an article that did not quote directly from the document.

The newspaper said the reported statement could undercut a key element of Trump’s impeachment defense: that the aid delay was separate from his requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm. The elder Biden is a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the New York Times report, nor did Jay Sekulow, who is helping lead the Republican president’s defense.

The newspaper report landed the day before Trump’s lawyers resume their defense in his Senate impeachment trial and could strengthen demands from Democrats that the 100-member chamber subpoena witnesses as well as documents.

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump on Dec. 18 on charges of abusing the powers of his office by asking Ukraine to investigate Biden and of obstructing a congressional inquiry into his conduct.

Democrats have said they are eager to hear testimony by Bolton, who was involved, as his own lawyer said, in “many relevant meetings and conversations” involving issues at the heart of Trump’s impeachment.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses U.S mayors in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Bolton left his post in September after disagreements with the president. Trump said he fired him. Bolton said he quit.

Trump’s defense argued neither impeachment charge constituted a crime or impeachable offense, that he was within his rights as president to make decisions about foreign policy and what information to give Congress, and that the House pursued a flawed and one-sided process before impeaching him.

While the Republican-controlled Senate is highly unlikely to remove Trump from office, he is seeking to limit political damage to his bid for a second term in the Nov. 3 election.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Pete Schroeder, Arshad Mohammed and Karen Freifeld; Additional reporting by Tim Ahmann and Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Peter Cooney

Trump told Bolton he wanted to hold Ukraine aid pending help on Biden probe: NYTimes

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Politics

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as National Security Advisor John Bolton looks on during a meeting with Slovakia’s Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump told his then-national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats, including presidential rival Joe Biden, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Trump’s statement was described by former White House national security adviser John Bolton in an unpublished manuscript by the conservative Republican foreign policy specialist, the newspaper reported, citing a description of the text from multiple people.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Jay Sekulow, who is helping lead Trump’s defense in his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. Charles Cooper, a lawyer representing Bolton, did not respond to a request for comment.

Bolton’s assertion could undercut one of the primary defenses made by Trump and his allies amid the impeachment inquiry – that the hold on aid was unrelated to any desire to see Ukraine launch investigations into political opponents, including Biden, whose son Hunter was director of a Ukrainian energy company during his father’s time as vice president.

According to the Times, Trump was pressed for weeks by senior aides, including Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper to release the aid, which had been appropriated by Congress.

But in an August 2019 discussion with Bolton, Trump said he preferred sending no aid to Ukraine until officials there turned over all materials they had about the investigation that involved Biden, as well as Hillary Clinton backers in Ukraine.

The White House has directed Bolton and other administration officials not to cooperate with the impeachment probe, although Bolton has said he would testify on the matter if subpoenaed.

The Senate is hearing arguments for removing Trump from office on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from the Republican president’s dealings with Ukraine. But it is not clear whether there will be sufficient support among senators to call for additional witnesses and evidence. The House did not receive testimony from Bolton.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Pete Schroeder and Karen Freifeld; Editing by Peter Cooney

In Coronavirus, a ‘Battle’ That Could Humble China’s Strongman

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/world/26china-xi1/26china-xi1-moth.jpg

BEIJING — It took thousands of infections and scores of deaths from a mysterious virus for China’s authoritarian leader to publicly say what had become glaringly obvious to many in recent weeks: The country is facing a grave public health crisis.

After his declaration, the leader, Xi Jinping, put China on a virtual war footing to cope with the unfolding epidemic of the coronavirus. He convened an extraordinary session of the Communist Party’s top political body, issuing orders for handling the crisis with the crisp, somber stoicism of a field marshal.

“We’re sure to be able to win in this battle,” he proclaimed on Saturday before his six grim-faced colleagues on the party’s Politburo Standing Committee.

Compared to the very low bar set by the Chinese leadership’s secrecy and inaction during the SARS epidemic in 2002 and 2003, Mr. Xi has responded with speed and alacrity to the latest health emergency, a pneumonialike virus that at last official count has killed at least 80, sickened thousands in China and spread around the world.

But there are also signs that the government, especially at the regional level in Hubei Province, the source of the outbreak, was slow to recognize the danger and is continuing to mishandle the crisis. Some public health experts have asked whether the sweeping travel restrictions that have been imposed are leaving people without access to medical care, while many Chinese remain unconvinced the government is being completely forthcoming about the toll of the disease.

“Substantively, the response this time is more or less the same,” said Minxin Pei, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California. “Local officials downplayed the outbreak at the initial, but crucial, stage of the outbreak. The media was muzzled. The public was kept in the dark. As a result, valuable time was lost.”

The turnaround from complacency to nationwide mobilization typifies how China can respond to unexpected crisis like a lumbering giant, reluctant to stir, but then capable of shattering urgency. It represents both sides of the authoritarian political bargain under Mr. Xi.

A fear of upsetting the party’s protocols and leaders’ desire for unruffled stability can deter even officials who want to do well by the public. Conversely, the government can operate with brutal efficiency when it wants.

It was only after a brief written statement under Mr. Xi’s name on Jan. 20, when he was touring a military base and shopping exposition in Yunnan Province, that the vast Chinese state bureaucracy began to shudder into action.

Officials then quickly acknowledged the dangers of the coronavirus and ordered drastic measures to stop the spread — perhaps, experts said, belatedly — including the lockdown of much of the province where the epidemic emerged, penning in 56 million people. The government also ordered the construction of two hospitals in Wuhan to deal exclusively with patients afflicted with the coronavirus, which are expected to open within days, not months or years.

“The thing about China is that they can mobilize agencies and resources faster than anybody else can,” said Richard McGregor, a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney and author of “Xi Jinping: The Backlash.” “The other side is that they can conceal things.”

“In China there is no independent entity that can get on the front foot and disseminate information,” he added.

From a localized medical mystery a few weeks ago, the coronavirus has erupted as one of the most complex and unpredictable tests for Mr. Xi since he came to power more than seven years ago. Over that time, he has by some measures established himself as the most formidable Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.

The epidemic and the effectiveness of the government’s response remain subject to many unknowns, but the outbreak comes at a time when Mr. Xi has already been facing quiet whispers about his political acumen. In the past year, he has experienced repeated setbacks on some of the most vital issues on his agenda.

Protests against China’s tightening grip continue to convulse Hong Kong. Rancor with Washington was only partly eased by a trade deal that some said required China to promise too many concessions. Two weeks ago, voters in Taiwan, the island democracy that Mr. Xi has made clear should join a greater China, resoundingly re-elected a president despised by Beijing.

Mr. Xi’s sheer dominance, according to several experts and political insiders, may be contributing to his problems by hampering internal debate that could help avoid misjudgments. Beijing, for example, has underestimated the staying power of the protesters in Hong Kong and the public support behind them.

“It’s a paradox,” said Rong Jian, an independent scholar of Chinese politics in Beijing. “It’s precisely because Xi is so powerful that policy problems often arise — nobody dares disagree, and problems are spotted too late.”

While state and local officials have been criticized, the public health system has been credited with responding effectively, particularly compared to the response to the SARS crisis.

In that case, officials covered up the extent of the viral outbreak for months, almost certainly abetting its spread and exacerbating the death toll, which reached nearly 800.

This time, even as officials in Wuhan said nothing publicly, government scientists shared information with the World Health Organization on the last day of 2019, isolated the virus, and posted details about it on an international database 10 days later.

That allowed experts from around the world to quickly conclude that the new coronavirus, like the one from SARS, had very likely originated in bats and made the leap to humans through infection of another mammal in a market in Wuhan.

The Lancet, one of the leading medical journals, praised China’s handling of the outbreak so far in an editorial.

“The lessons from the SARS epidemic — where China was insufficiently prepared to implement infection control practices — have been successfully learned,” it wrote. “By most accounts, Chinese authorities are meeting international standards and isolating suspected cases and contacts, developing diagnostic and treatment procedures, and implementing public education campaigns.”

The journal went on to emphasize that the ultimate success of the response would “depend on maintaining trust between the authorities and the local population.”

Mr. Xi’s government, despite its call to arms, may have already undercut that trust.

On the local level in Wuhan, people have vented anger and frustration, which is percolating on social media despite censorship. In widely circulated, and then censored, comments, a senior journalist with The Hubei Daily, the province’s main party newspaper, called for a change of leadership in Wuhan.

“With this extraordinarily grim situation worsening and expanding by the day, those currently in office lack that commanding leadership,” the journalist, Zhang Ouya, wrote on Sina.com Weibo, a popular Chinese social media service.

There is evidence, too, that the local authorities kept a lid on the crisis in the first days of January so as not to upset the cheerful tone for a provincial legislative session that is a highlight of the local political cycle.

“This year will be a major landmark year,” Wang Xiaodong, the provincial governor, told the legislative members. “Let us unite even more closely around the party central leadership with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core.”

Mr. Wang is now widely accused of underplaying the virus threat.

“China is a much more decentralized place than it appears,” said David Cowhig, a former American diplomat who served 10 years in China and monitored health and science issues.

“Local officials have great discretion; China is a coalition of ‘little’ Big Brothers,” he said. “Xi realizes this and is trying to re-centralize China.”

Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations who studies China, said that the centralization of power since the SARS crisis did not appear to have strengthened expertise at the local level or the willingness of underequipped regional hospitals to report.

“I think the central health authorities are trying to be more transparent,” he said, “but the local government remains loath to share disease related information in a timely and accurate manner.”

Not all the blame can fall on the officials in Wuhan.

The central authorities still control the political and propaganda apparatus, which has sought to minimize the severity of the crisis. Before the standing committee’s meeting on Saturday, Mr. Xi and other senior officials went about their business as if there were no crisis, appearing at a banquet on Thursday in the Great Hall of the People to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

When he did speak, Mr. Xi emphasized the need for preserving public stability.

The phrase alludes to the fear of popular unrest boiling over, which is, as ever, the party state’s highest priority. It could become a reality if the epidemic, as predicted, inflicts sustained hardship on the economy and people’s livelihood.

“The truth is in a public-health emergency; it’s not just the medical professionals who matter,” Mr. McGregor said. “It’s the management of it in the government and in the public that matters, too. It’s hard to argue that they’ve done that well.”

Steven Lee Myers reported from Beijing, and Chris Buckley from Wuhan, China. Claire Fu contributed research.

Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/us/politics/26dc-bolton/26dc-bolton-moth.jpg

WASHINGTON — President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The president’s statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates. He also sent a draft to the White House for a standard review process for some current and former administration officials who write books.

Multiple people described Mr. Bolton’s account of the Ukraine affair.

The book presents an outline of what Mr. Bolton might testify to if he is called as a witness in the Senate impeachment trial, the people said. The White House could use the pre-publication review process, which has no set time frame, to delay or even kill the book’s publication or omit key passages.

Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement.

For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged privately that there was no basis to claims by the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani that the ambassador to Ukraine was corrupt and believed Mr. Giuliani may have been acting on behalf of other clients, Mr. Bolton wrote.

Mr. Bolton also said that after the president’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine, he raised with Attorney General William P. Barr his concerns about Mr. Giuliani, who was pursuing a shadow Ukraine policy encouraged by the president, and told Mr. Barr that the president had mentioned him on the call. A spokeswoman for Mr. Barr denied that he learned of the call from Mr. Bolton; the Justice Department has said he learned about it only in mid-August.

And the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was present for at least one phone call where the president and Mr. Giuliani discussed the ambassador, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Mulvaney has told associates he would always step away when the president spoke with his lawyer to protect their attorney-client privilege.

During a previously reported May 23 meeting where top advisers and Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, briefed him about their trip to Kyiv for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump railed about Ukraine trying to damage him and mentioned a conspiracy theory about a hacked Democratic server, according to Mr. Bolton.

Charles J. Cooper, a lawyer for Mr. Bolton, declined to comment. The White House did not provide responses to questions about Mr. Bolton’s assertions, and representatives for Mr. Johnson, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney did not respond to emails and calls seeking comment on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Bolton’s submission of the book to the White House may have given the White House lawyers direct insight into what Mr. Bolton would say if he were called to testify at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial. It also intensified concerns among some of his advisers that they needed to block Mr. Bolton from testifying, according to two people familiar with their concerns.

The White House has ordered Mr. Bolton and other key officials with firsthand knowledge of Mr. Trump’s dealings not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. Mr. Bolton said in a statement this month that he would testify if subpoenaed.

In recent days, some White House officials have described Mr. Bolton as a disgruntled former employee, and have said he took notes that he should have left behind when he departed the administration.

Mr. Trump told reporters last week that he did not want Mr. Bolton to testify and said that even if he simply spoke out publicly, he could damage national security.

“The problem with John is it’s a national security problem,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland. “He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it’s not very positive?”

“It’s going to make the job very hard,” he added.

The Senate impeachment trial could end as early as Friday without witness testimony. Democrats in both the House and Senate have pressed for weeks to include any new witnesses and documents that did not surface during the House impeachment hearings to be fair, focusing on persuading the handful of Republican senators they would need to join them to succeed.

But a week into the trial, most lawmakers say the chances of 51 senators agreeing to call witnesses are dwindling, not growing.

Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said the Bolton manuscript underscores the need for him to testify, and the House impeachment managers demanded after this article was published that the Senate vote to call him. “There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the president’s defense,” they said in a statement.

Republicans, though, were mostly silent; a spokesman for the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, declined to comment.

Mr. Bolton would like to testify for several reasons, according to associates. He believes he has relevant information, and he has also expressed concern that if his account of the Ukraine affair emerges only after the trial, he will be accused of holding back to increase his book sales.

Mr. Bolton, 71, a fixture in conservative national security circles since his days in the Reagan administration, joined the White House in 2018 after several people recommended him to the president, including the Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson.

But Mr. Bolton and Mr. Trump soured on each other over several global crises, including Iranian aggression, Mr. Trump’s posture toward Russia and, ultimately, the Ukraine matter. Mr. Bolton was also often at odds with Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney throughout his time in the administration.

Key to Mr. Bolton’s account about Ukraine is an exchange during a meeting in August with the president after Mr. Trump returned from vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Mr. Bolton raised the $391 million in congressionally appropriated assistance to Ukraine for its war in the country’s east against Russian-backed separatists. Officials had frozen the aid, and a deadline was looming to begin sending it to Kyiv, Mr. Bolton noted.

He, Mr. Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper had collectively pressed the president about releasing the aid nearly a dozen times in the preceding weeks after lower-level officials who worked on Ukraine issues began complaining about the holdup, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Trump had effectively rebuffed them, airing his longstanding grievances about Ukraine, which mixed legitimate efforts by some Ukrainians to back his Democratic 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, with unsupported accusations and outright conspiracy theories about the country, a key American ally.

Mr. Giuliani had also spent months stoking the president’s paranoia about the American ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch, claiming that she was openly anti-Trump and needed to be dismissed. Mr. Trump had ordered her removed as early as April 2018 during a private dinner with two Giuliani associates and others, a recording of the conversation made public on Saturday showed.

In his August 2019 discussion with Mr. Bolton, the president appeared focused on the theories Mr. Giuliani had shared with him, replying to Mr. Bolton’s question that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the Russia investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine.

The president often hits at multiple opponents in his harangues, and he frequently lumps together the law enforcement officials who conducted the Russia inquiry with Democrats and other perceived enemies, as he appeared to do in speaking to Mr. Bolton.

Mr. Bolton also described other key moments in the pressure campaign, including Mr. Pompeo’s private acknowledgment to him last spring that Mr. Giuliani’s claims about Ms. Yovanovitch had no basis and that Mr. Giuliani may have wanted her removed because she might have been targeting his clients who had dealings in Ukraine as she sought to fight corruption.

Ms. Yovanovitch, a Canadian immigrant whose parents fled the Soviet Union and Nazis, was a well-regarded career diplomat who was known as a vigorous fighter against corruption in Ukraine. She was abruptly removed last year and told the president had lost trust in her, even though a boss assured her she had “done nothing wrong.”

Mr. Bolton also said he warned White House lawyers that Mr. Giuliani might have been leveraging his work with the president to help his private clients.

At the impeachment trial, Mr. Trump himself had hoped to have his defense call a range of people to testify who had nothing to do with his efforts related to Ukraine, including Hunter Biden, to frame the case around Democrats. But Mr. McConnell repeatedly told the president that witnesses could backfire, and the White House has followed his lead.

Mr. McConnell and other Republicans in the Senate, working in tandem with Mr. Trump’s lawyers, have spent weeks waging their own rhetorical battle to keep their colleagues within the party tent on the question of witnesses, with apparent success. Two of the four Republican senators publicly open to witness votes have sounded notes of skepticism in recent days about the wisdom of having the Senate compel testimony that the House did not get.

Since Mr. Bolton’s statement, White House advisers have floated the possibility that they could go to court to try to obtain a restraining order to stop him from speaking. Such an order would be unprecedented, but any attempt to secure it could succeed in tying up his testimony in legal limbo and scaring off Republican moderates wary of letting the trial drag on when its outcome appears clear.

Katie Benner, Nicholas Fandos and Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.

U.S. candidate Bloomberg vows to back Israel, takes dig at Sanders

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

(Reuters) – U.S. presidential contender Michael Bloomberg pledged on Sunday to “always have Israel’s back,” while separately joking he was the only Jewish candidate who does not want to turn the United States into a “kibbutz.”

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul and former New York City mayor, now Democratic candidate hosts a kick off ‘United for Mike’ at the Aventura Turnery Jewish Center and Tauber Academy Social in Miami, Florida, U.S., January 26, 2020. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona

The joke, made during a speech on anti-Semitism and foreign policy, referred to collectivist farms in Israel and was an apparent dig at fellow Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.

Bloomberg and Sanders, who are both Jewish, are vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the November election.

Sanders is a front-runner in the race and proposes left-wing policies like abolishing private health insurance in favor of a government-run Medicare for All program, based on the government program for older Americans.

Sanders spent several months in Israel in the 1960s as a volunteer on a kibbutz, or communal farm, and calls himself a democratic socialist.

Bloomberg has more centrist positions and has largely avoided attacks against individual Democratic candidates. A former mayor of New York whose wealth is estimated at about $60 billion, he has pledged to spend from his fortune to support the eventual Democratic nominee even if he loses the contest.

Bloomberg previously criticized leading Democratic candidates as too liberal to beat Trump. His remarks on Sunday appeared to take aim at Sanders, although he did not mention the senator from Vermont by name.

“I’m not the only Jewish candidate running for president. But I am the only one who doesn’t want to turn America into a kibbutz,” he told a campaign event at a synagogue in Miami.

Bloomberg’s views include a proposal to create a government-run health insurance plan that would exist alongside private plans.

On Sunday, he vowed never to impose any conditions on U.S. military aid to Israel.

Bloomberg added that “as president, I will always have Israel’s back.”

He said he originally opposed a 2015 international deal aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons because the agreement did not do enough to protect Israel. But he also criticized Trump’s decision to exit the deal because doing so could boost Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

Bloomberg also said he was shaken by anti-Semitic attacks, including a gunman’s killing in 2018 of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue that Bloomberg said his sister used to attend.

A late entrant to the Democratic nominating race, Bloomberg trails Sanders and fellow front-runners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in public opinion polls. But Bloomberg is rising as he floods U.S. airwaves with a television advertising campaign that has cost him more than $225 million, according to estimates by Advertising Analytics.

Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Peter Cooney

Brazil Under Bolsonaro Has Message for Teenagers: Save Sex for Marriage

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/world/26brazil-abstinence/merlin_167457300_e4ba7897-fe46-4496-b6c1-236a01311544-moth.jpg

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s far-right government has a message for adolescents as the nation grapples with a stubbornly high teenage pregnancy rate and rising H.I.V. infections: Save sex for marriage.

“Our young people, by and large, are having sex as a result of social pressure,” Damares Alves, the minister of human rights, family and women, said recently as she encouraged abstinence. “You can go to a party and have lots of fun without having sex.”

To formulate her policy, Ms. Damares has made clear she consulted closely with the team behind a campaign called “I Chose to Wait,” started by evangelical pastors with a large social media following. In doing so, she has incited a heated debate about reproductive rights and sex education in Latin America’s largest nation.

Critics say the government’s new emphasis on abstinence blurs the line between church and state and could lead young people to make poorly informed decisions about sex that may be detrimental to their health.

“We have 20 years of public health studies all around the world that show not only that abstinence policies are ineffective but that they have nefarious consequences when it comes to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,” said Debora Diniz, a Brazilian law professor and reproductive rights activist. “We’re making public policy based on religious beliefs.”

The government’s emphasis on abstinence follows a presidential campaign in 2018 during which sex and sexuality was a dominant theme.

President Jair Bolsonaro and his allies accused their leftist rivals of encouraging teenagers to have sex at a young age. He also condemned a school campaign against homophobia that was designed, but never implemented, by his leftist predecessors. He called it a “gay kit” intended to “pervert” students.

His message was powerfully effective at mobilizing evangelical voters, a growing and politically powerful constituency in Brazil.

The government’s abstinence campaign is being led by Ms. Alves, an evangelical pastor who calls herself “extremely Christian” and is among Mr. Bolsonaro’s most popular and visible cabinet members.

Experts say the campaign could undermine the progress Brazil has made in curbing teen pregnancy.

The country’s teenage pregnancy rate, which peaked in the 1990s at about 80 per 1,000 births, followed the global downward trend in recent decades, but remains stubbornly high, at about 62 per 1,000 births, well above the global average of 44 per 1,000, according to a United Nations report issued last year. The rate in the United States was 18 per 1,000 in 2017.

Another pressing health care challenge that could be adversely affected by the campaign is curbing H.I.V.’s spread. Brazil earned global accolades for its maverick efforts to fight the disease at the beginning of this century, including ignoring global patents to make generic versions of lifesaving medicine. But in recent years, the virus has been spreading at a rate experts call alarming.

In 2018, there were 43,941 new cases reported, according to Brazil’s health ministry, a 41 percent increase compared to the number of cases recorded in 2014.

Ms. Alves, who did not respond to a request for an interview, defended her ministry’s abstinence campaign in a recent essay published in the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, stressing that it would complement, rather than replace, existing initiatives, which include providing access to contraceptives and condoms.

“We’re working across ministries to offer additional material as people make decisions,” she wrote, adding that the government did not wish “to impose, but rather to inform, which strengthens autonomy.”

Laryssa Pereira de Souza, 15, who had a baby last year, said the abstinence message could conceivably resonate with evangelical teens, but she predicted it would be dismissed by most adolescents.

Laryssa, raised in a conservative evangelical family in Rio de Janeiro, struggled to tally all her classmates who had children.

“Almost all my friends at school got pregnant,” she said while bouncing her 7-month-old son, Arthur Bernardo, on her lap. Like many girls her age, Laryssa took advantage of home schooling programs that allow teenage mothers to stay enrolled in classes.

“Here, things are very liberal,” she said. “What we need is better access to pills and those things,” she added, referring to birth control.

Ms. Alves has provided few details about the budget and scope of the abstinence campaign, which is to be rolled out next month. In defending the approach, Ms. Alves said abstinence campaigns in the United States have been effective.

Leslie Kantor, a professor at the School of Public Health at Rutgers University, and a leading expert on teen pregnancy, said the minister’s claim is demonstrably untrue based on the findings of dozens of studies on the issue, which has been the subject of a fierce political fight in the United States since the 1980s.

Sex education programs that emphasized abstinence, Dr. Kantor said, have tended to exclude information pertinent to gay and bisexual people and provided misleading information about the efficacy of condoms and contraceptives. She said the idea of limiting, or delaying, sex education might seem politically expedient, but is ultimately a bad idea.

“The risk is people are not going to get sex education later on,” she said. “If you don’t get it in school, you’re not going to get it at the altar either.”

The abstinence campaign is being rolled out at a time when information about sex education and reproductive rights is being restricted in Brazil.

Last year, Mr. Bolsonaro asked the Health Ministry to recall a reproductive health pamphlet that included details of human anatomy, which the president deemed improper for children.

And also last year, the country’s main internet providers began blocking access to the website of Women on Waves, an abortion rights organization that provides information about reproductive health and in some cases makes abortion pills available to women in countries where their use is illegal.

Internet providers said they blocked the website in response to a judicial order. They refused to say who sought the order and to identify the judge who issued it.

Rebecca Gomperts, an Amsterdam-based physician who founded Women on Waves, said the group’s website still receives more visits from users in Brazil than any other country.

During a recent week, she said, 78,000 people in the country managed to access the site despite the block. Dr. Gomperts said that is a sign that women in Brazil — where abortion is illegal with a few exceptions, including cases of rape — are in dire need of reliable reproductive health information.

The only other countries where internet providers have blocked access to Women on Waves are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and South Korea, Dr. Gomperts said.

Dr. Gomperts said she was baffled by the censorship in Brazil, which has strong protections for freedom of information.

“Brazil is a huge country and there is a huge need,” she said. “If you are censoring scientifically accurate information about best medical practices, which is what we’re providing, it means you are leaving information that may not be correct and that may be harmful.”

Kobe Bryant's death leaves sports world stunned

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

(Reuters) – The sporting world was plunged into mourning on Sunday as news of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash spread leaving the rich and famous, presidents, Hall of Famers and ordinary fans stunned.

A true global superstar, the depth of Bryant’s popularity quickly surfaced as reports were confirmed that the Los Angeles Lakers great had been killed along with his daughter Gianna and seven others when his helicopter crashed in a remote field near the city of Calabasas.

As the deaths were confirmed social media exploded in grief while television programming was interrupted to report on the tragedy with video showing smoke billowing from the crash site as first responders put out the flames.

U.S. President Donald Trump was among the first to take to Twitter to express his shock.

“Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!” tweeted Trump.

Trump and former U.S. President Barack Obama agree on little but were united in their grief over the five-time NBA champion’s untimely passing.

“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents,” Obama wrote on Twitter.

Where Bryant’s death hit close to home was on the basketball courts, where his skill and personality made him one of world’s most recognisable and popular athletes.

“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.

“He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.

“He will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

But perhaps it was three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade who best expressed the disbelief and sadness that washed over the league, tweeting: “Nooooooooooo God please No!”

Two of the greatest players of all-time, Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, praised Bryant as one of the best ever to set foot on the court but noted he was an even better person.

Jan 26, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and players stand during a moment of silence in passing of Los Angeles Lakers former player Kobe Bryant (24) prior to the game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

“Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players,” tweeted Abdul-Jabaar. “But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete.”

No group was left more devastated than the Lakers family that Bryant had been a part of for 20 seasons as a player.

“As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken,” Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson wrote on Twitter.

As a slate of NBA games tipped off on Sunday, teams and players searched for ways to pay tribute to the man they knew as “Mamba”.

The NBA champions Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs honoured Bryant by both choosing to run out the shot clock on their opening possessions.

It was not just basketball fans left blindsided by Bryant’s death, as tributes poured in from other athletes, other sports, on other fields, golf courses and arenas around the globe.

In France, Brazil soccer international Neymar dedicated his goal scored from a penalty for Paris St Germain at Lille in a Ligue 1 match on Sunday to Bryant, holding up two and four fingers (Bryant’s retired jersey number), putting his hands together in prayer and bowing before the crowd.

“It’s very sad for the world of sport and for all of us, not just for the basketball fans as he did so much for sport in general,” said Neymar. “I hope he will rest in peace.”

“A legend in one sport who loved, and was loved in, ours,” tweeted FIFA, world soccer’s governing body.

It was not just the sports world left crushed as Bryant’s popularity cut across cultures and countries.

Being a Hollywood fixture, the death of Bryant, who also won an Oscar to go along with his five NBA titles, sent shockwaves through the music, entertainment and business worlds as well.

“It can’t be. You always encouraged me mamba. Gave me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day! Love you man!” tweeted singer Justin Bieber.

At the end of the day those impacted most, however, were Bryant’s ordinary fans, who took to social media in millions in an outpouring of sadness.

Slideshow (4 Images)

“Feels like a bad dream,” wrote Twitter user @mischiefluis. “Kobe’s the reason I love the game. My super hero. My heart breaks for his family and the other 4 individuals involved.

“Let’s keep the memory of Kobe alive.”

Additional reporting Amy Tennery in New York, Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, Gene Cherry in Raleigh, Julien Pretot in Paris. Editing by xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Bloomberg Warns of Anti-Semitism ‘Rearing Its Ugly Head’

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/us/politics/26bloomberg-01/26bloomberg-01-moth.jpg

AVENTURA, Fla. — Michael R. Bloomberg on Sunday addressed rising anti-Semitism and spoke personally of his Jewish heritage in a speech at a prominent synagogue near Miami, a sign that courting Jewish voters is core to his strategy of building support in Florida.

The speech was a rare instance of a major address by a Democratic presidential candidate this cycle that specifically confronted the rise in anti-Semitic attacks across the country. He spoke directly to Jewish Americans who may worry that progressive Democratic front-runners have too sharply criticized Israel or who may dislike some of President Trump’s agenda but support his Israel policy.

“The violence that has always threatened Israel is rearing its ugly head here in America, with alarming frequency,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

“The toxic culture the president has created is harming our relationship with Israel,” he said. “If I am elected, you will never have to choose between supporting Israel and supporting our values here at home.”

Mr. Bloomberg not-so-subtly sought to distinguish himself from Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is also Jewish and who recently took the lead in Iowa, according to a recent New York Times/Siena College poll of likely caucusgoers. Mr. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, took aim not only at Mr. Sanders’s Israel policy but also at his democratic socialism.

“Now, I know I’m not the only Jewish candidate running for president,” Mr. Bloomberg said in his speech on Sunday afternoon, delivered in a ballroom with a roving blue spotlight and Israeli techno and music by the rapper Pitbull setting the mood. “But I am the only one who doesn’t want to turn America into a kibbutz.” The audience whooped.

The crowd of several hundred people included prominent business figures, former local politicians and many with personal connections to the candidate, some of whom had traveled from New York. Ari Ackerman, an owner of the Miami Marlins baseball team, was among them, having helped to rally young Jewish support for two of Mr. Bloomberg’s mayoral runs.

“Quadrupling funding for religious institutions, creating a Holocaust program in schools so people are educated about what happened, bringing together the presidents of different universities to create a coalition to battle anti-Semitism — this is what he’s talking about,” Mr. Ackerman said.

The speech on Jewish identity was an unusual move for Mr. Bloomberg, a secular Jew who has long not been religiously observant. He has previously turned to his Judaism in competitive campaign moments, as in his 2005 mayoral re-election campaign when he addressed Hasidic Jews in Borough Park, Brooklyn, on a stage dotted with blue balloons that read “Mike the Mensch.”

While Jews make up only about 3 or 4 percent of Florida’s population, they are a critical voting group in the delegate-rich swing state. As his competitors crisscross Iowa, Mr. Bloomberg has instead looked past early voting states in hopes of picking up delegates on Super Tuesday and beyond.

He delivered his words Sunday at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, standing in front of a “United for Mike” sign, the dot of the “i” in his name replaced by a Star of David. Campaign staff members distributed an array of pins and shirts, some emblazoned with “Mishpucha for Mike” (using a Yiddish word for “family”), while platters of black-and-white cookies and rugelach were on hand nearby.

“A Jew can become president,” Philip Levine, the former mayor of Miami Beach, told the crowd as he introduced the billionaire. “And, I’ll tell you something, you’re lucky — it’s not going to cost you money.”

Aventura, a small suburban city near the beach in northeast Miami-Dade County, is known as a hub for politically active Jewish Democrats in the state.

“It is important to talk to a set of people who may not know him as well,” Howard Wolfson, a senior adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, said in a phone interview.

Mr. Bloomberg spoke of personal connections to the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire in 2018, killing 11 congregants. He also said that while he had initially opposed the Iran deal, he opposed Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from it, and promised to work to end Iran’s nuclear program to protect Israel and the region.

“As president, I will always have Israel’s back,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

Mr. Bloomberg has also long opposed the movement of economic boycotts and sanctions against Israel known as B.D.S., or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

The Democratic presidential candidates across the board have condemned anti-Semitism, especially after the recent attacks in Monsey, N.Y., when five people were stabbed in a Hasidic rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah celebration and an Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed while walking to synagogue. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., said his administration would devote $1 billion to combat violent extremism, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has a plan to fight white nationalism; both of their plans aim to fight anti-Semitism.

But the field as a whole has not addressed the specifics of anti-Semitism enough, said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League.

“We are certainly hearing about this issue more than we have before,” Mr. Greenblatt said in a phone interview. But the real question candidates must address is, he said, “How do you move from rhetoric condemning anti-Semitism to real plans rooting it out?”

Many American Jews have found themselves caught in an uncomfortable tension between traditional liberal American Jewish values and Mr. Trump’s alliance with Israel. Mr. Trump, who won 24 percent of Jewish voters in Florida in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center, has also been trying to strengthen his support by making anti-Semitism and backing of Israel a partisan issue.

Mr. Sanders wrote about his Jewish identity, his relatives who were murdered by Nazis and the recent rise of anti-Semitic violence in a personal essay in November for Jewish Currents, a progressive Jewish publication. Unlike Mr. Bloomberg, he criticized what he called “false accusations of anti-Semitism” by Mr. Trump against progressives and called for the end of Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinians.

“We should be very clear that it is not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of the Israeli government,” he wrote. “We must also be honest about this: The founding of Israel is understood by another people in the land of Palestine as the cause of their painful displacement.”

That position worries some Democratic Jews across the country. “Among the Jews I talk to, Bernie is anathema,” said George Arzt, a political consultant who was press secretary to the former New York mayor Ed Koch. But Mr. Bloomberg’s views, he said, have been “lesser known.”

Evan Ross, a lobbyist and Democratic activist in Miami-Dade County who attended the event, said many Jews in the area had supported Mr. Trump’s Israel policy, even though they disliked much else about his leadership.

“There are people who are really fearful of the possibility that our party could nominate someone more extreme like Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Ross said in a phone interview. “If that happens, we might as well take Florida off the map and hand it to Donald Trump. We need a moderate.”

Patricia Halfen Wexler, a Venezuelan-American who works in venture capital and lives in Miami, said Bloomberg’s centrism made him well-suited to court Hispanic voters. “We’re not a monolith, but Hispanics generally are much more moderate than liberals imagine we are,” she said. “Seeing the trauma of what happened in Venezuela made me realize we can’t be glib about thinking crazy things couldn’t happen here. Bloomberg is by far the one I have the most confidence putting my trust in.”

Debbie Picker, who splits her time between Westchester County and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said she was disappointed Mr. Bloomberg hadn’t taken questions on Sunday and wanted to know how he planned to elevate his profile in the race.

“We pay attention because we’re Jewish New Yorkers who were there for him for 12 years,” she said. “But if you were to go anywhere outside of the New York Metro and Miami Metro, I don’t think people know him.”

A Seed in Darkest Winter

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/27/opinion/27renklWeb/27renklWeb-moth.jpg

NASHVILLE — For most of my adult life, I wore a red coat when the weather got cold. It started when I was 22 and searching for new outerwear during my first winter in Philadelphia. (It turned out to be my only winter in Philadelphia.) I kept being drawn to a bright red peacoat in a mail-order catalog. Perhaps it reminded me of home in Alabama, the color of the ubiquitous cardinals perched among green pine needles.

My block in urban Philadelphia offered no such reminders of home — the birds outside my grad-school apartment were pigeons and house sparrows and starlings, gray or brown or black. I loved that red peacoat. The Philly skies were steely and low, continually threatening snow or a bitter rain, and I felt happier swaddled in a cheerful bit of living color while the world turned itself into a 19th-century engraving all around me.

But even before I left Alabama, winter was my least favorite season, a time when songbirds mostly cease their singing and small, furtive creatures find a secret place to sleep all day. Winter is the season of coats, the season of shoes. In summer I was a barefoot child in the emerald woods. In winter I sat indoors and watched it rain.

For decades afterward, I stuck with that red-coat cure for the wintertime blues, but four years ago the zipper broke on my latest red coat, and I couldn’t find a replacement I liked. Turns out it didn’t matter. Somewhere along the way I had stopped hating winter. I fell in love with the way the peeling bark and bare limbs of the sycamore reveal a ghost tree reaching for the sky, and the way the faded beech leaves cling to their branches and rustle in the wind like castanets. A shivering beech tree in a damp winter forest gives off its own light in the same way that dogwood blossoms in springtime look like tiny ground-borne suns.

I fell in love with the great-horned owl’s haunting winter courtship song and the crows’ constant, raucous conversation. One of my chief wintertime pleasures is to leave whole peanuts out for the squirrels to hide in their secret caches under the leaf litter and in the forks of trees — and then to watch the wily blue jays digging them up and carrying them away to their own hidy-holes. I have come to welcome the gray, lowering skies because they mean I will have the trails at the park to myself.

Who could fail to love a season so beautiful and so fragile?

For far too long most of us didn’t understand how fragile it truly is. But on Christmas Day it was 70 degrees in Nashville, and two weeks later, the daffodils were blooming. It’s always a mistake to confuse weather for climate, but all five of the five warmest years on record have occurred since 2015, and last year was the 43rd year in a row in which temperatures across the planet measured above average. There can be no reasonable argument about what is happening here in the Anthropocene.

Nevertheless, the winter of old returned last week to pay a visit. The songbirds, mostly absent during the extended warm spell, once again swarmed our feeders. With insects no longer flying, even the bluebirds settled for sunflower hearts until I could get to the store for mealworms. When I walked the dog on a night with temperatures in the teens, my eyes kept tearing up and the tears kept freezing to the inside of my glasses.

That’s when I remembered the seed catalogs. I love to sit under a blanket on a cold night and thumb through page after page of blooming flowers. The loss of a 70-year-old maple tree last summer left a new sunny place in our yard, and there’s room now for a whole new pollinator bed to feed our local bees and butterflies. I picked out some promising seed varieties, and then I looked them all up to be sure they were native to Middle Tennessee. By the time I’d come up with a plan for the new flower bed that included plants of varying heights and colors and blooming times, plants that are also compatible with both the specific light and soil conditions of our yard and the specific needs of native insects, I felt as though I’d passed some kind of test.

I was so absorbed by the task of planning for spring that I completely forgot it was winter. I was imagining the scent of turned earth, the feel of damp soil. I was thinking about how nature always renews itself, given even half a chance. I was remembering my favorite part of planting: the moment when the seedling, as fragile as any lace-winged insect or hollow-boned nestling, somehow shoves the clods of earth aside and makes its way upward and outward. The way it somehow always finds the light.

Margaret Renkl is a contributing opinion writer who covers flora, fauna, politics and culture in the American South. She is the author of the book “Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

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Tape Made Public of Trump Discussing Ukraine With Donors

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

WASHINGTON — For more than an hour one evening in 2018, President Trump sat around a dinner table in a private suite in his Washington hotel with a group of donors, including two men at the center of the impeachment inquiry, talking about golf, trade, politics — and removing the United States ambassador to Ukraine.

The conversation, captured on a recording made public Saturday, contradicted Mr. Trump’s repeated statements that he does not know the two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who went on to work with the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to carry out a pressure campaign on Ukraine.

The recording — a video shot on Mr. Fruman’s phone during the dinner in April 2018 — largely confirmed Mr. Parnas’s account of having raised with Mr. Trump criticisms of the ambassador to Kyiv at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch, and the president’s immediate order that Ms. Yovanovitch should be removed from the post.

“Get rid of her,” Mr. Trump can be heard responding.

The recording was made public by Mr. Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, hours after the president’s lawyers began presenting their defense in the impeachment trial and as Democrats looked for leverage to persuade Republicans to support their calls to expand the inquiry by introducing additional evidence and calling new witnesses.

[Six revelatory moments from the video of Trump’s private donor dinner.]

Mr. Bondy said it was being released in “an effort to provide clarity to the American people and the Senate as to the need to conduct a fair trial, with witnesses and evidence.”

In the recording, Mr. Parnas, who is the more talkative of the two, broached an energy deal the two were pursuing in Ukraine, and then went on to discuss several themes that later became central to the pressure campaign. He claimed that Ms. Yovanovitch, whose name he did not cite, had been disparaging Mr. Trump. He said that the Ukrainians “were supporting the Clintons all these years.” He even mentioned in passing the family of the former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The recording does not appear to introduce substantive new information about the effort to oust Ms. Yovanovitch.

But it does seem to shed light on the origins of Mr. Trump’s interest in the issue, and to foreshadow his administration’s withholding of military assistance from the country as part of the pressure campaign. It hints at the motivations of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, who had come to believe that Ms. Yovanovitch was opposed to their business plans in Ukraine, where they had tried to break into the natural gas market, according to associates of the two men, both of whom are Soviet-born American citizens.

And it provides a glimpse of something rarely seen: top-tier political donors getting a chance in an intimate setting to share their views with the president and press their agendas with him.

During the dinner, Mr. Trump lashed out at the European Union for trying to “screw” the United States, assailed the World Trade Organization as a “weapon” intended to harm America and lamented the “globalists” around him who do not care if manufacturing plants shutter.

Democrats are seeking Mr. Trump’s removal from office on the grounds that he abused his power by pressing Ukraine to investigate targets of the president, including Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman worked closely with Mr. Giuliani in seeking information and making contacts in Ukraine in support of the effort, starting months after the April 2018 dinner.

For most of the recording, the camera is pointed at the ceiling but the audio is clear. Early in the recording, Mr. Trump can be seen as he enters the private room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on April 30, 2018.

The existence and some of the conversation in the recording were first reported by ABC News on Friday.

The effort to oust Ms. Yovanovitch would later become directly linked to the broader pressure campaign on Ukraine waged by Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman. Evidence provided to House investigators showed that Mr. Parnas was in regular contact last year with Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, who also wanted Ms. Yovanovitch replaced, and seemed to be willing to trade investigations of Mr. Biden for her removal and other signs of support from the Trump administration.

By the time of the dinner with Mr. Trump, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman already saw Ms. Yovanovitch as an impediment to their efforts to get into the energy business in Ukraine.

In the full recording released on Saturday, Mr. Parnas can be heard telling Mr. Trump that he and Mr. Fruman “are in the process of purchasing an energy company in Ukraine right now.”

Mr. Trump responds, “How’s Ukraine doing?” then quickly adds, “Don’t answer,” prompting laughter in the room.

After some conversation about Ukraine’s war with its hostile neighbor, Russia, and its efforts to establish energy security, Mr. Trump asked, “How long would they last in a fight with Russia?”

“I don’t think very long,” Mr. Parnas responded. “Without us, not very long,” adding “they feel they’re going to be O.K. if you support them.”

Mr. Parnas continued by saying that “the biggest problem is corruption there,” and later added Ms. Yovanovitch, though not by name, to a list of issues Mr. Trump should address in Ukraine.

“The biggest problem there, I think, where we, where you, need to start is we got to get rid of the ambassador,” he said. “She’s basically walking around telling everybody, ‘Wait, he’s going to get impeached, just wait.’”

The remark prompted laughter in the room.

Mr. Trump asked for the ambassador’s name. Mr. Fruman said, “I don’t remember.” Mr. Trump, sounding stern, then said: “Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. O.K.? Do it.”

Those comments were directed at one of Mr. Trump’s aides who was in the room at the time, Mr. Parnas has previously said. There was some additional laughter in the room at Mr. Trump’s remarks.

Ms. Yovanovitch remained in her job for another year after Mr. Trump’s remarks until she was recalled on the White House’s orders. It is not clear whether the president changed his mind, forgot about his order or was talked out of dismissing her. Mr. Parnas has recently acknowledged that he was wrong about Ms. Yovanovitch, who has denied ever disparaging Mr. Trump.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr. Trump has previously acknowledged that he had problems with Ms. Yovanovitch but has defended his actions as appropriate, given that presidents have the right to name and replace ambassadors as they see fit.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman gained access to the dinner, which was organized by a pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action, by pledging to donate $1 million to the group.

The month after the event, they donated $325,000 to the group through a company they had recently formed to pursue energy deals called Global Energy Producers.

At the beginning of the video, the person holding the phone walks around the private suite filming chatter among the guests, who included Donald Trump Jr., Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson and namesake of the legendary golfer, and Barry Zekelman, a Canadian billionaire whose steel business is mostly in the United States.

Later, Mr. Trump said to attendees, “This is all sort of, like, off the record, right?”

During the dinner, attendees fawned over Mr. Trump and seemed to revel in their ability to ask him for direct help with business issues.

In the meandering conversation, Mr. Trump defended the aggressive actions he was taking against China and explained that he overruled advisers who urged him to take a softer approach because the United States was already so deeply on the losing end of the relationship.

“They’re tough, but I always say when you’re $500 billion down, you can’t lose the trade war,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the bilateral trade deficit the United States runs with China.

Mr. Trump, who has since reached a trade truce with China, foreshadowed his next big trade fight, taking aim at the European Union.

“The European Union is a group of countries that got together to screw the United States, it’s as simple as that,” Mr. Trump said, adding that such a notion is surprising because “we’re all sort of from there, right?”

The conversation came just one month after Mr. Trump had slapped tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, including metals imported from Europe.

At the dinner, Mr. Trump repeatedly praised the tariffs, though he occasionally expressed concern that they could reduce the amount of available metals. “I don’t want to be at a point where we don’t have enough steel in this country,” he said. A few minutes later, he added, “You’re going to see prices go up. Hopefully not too much.”

It has been a decade since legal changes paved the way for unlimited donations to super PACs, making such gatherings an even more explicit demonstration of how a large political payment can turn into access to push a special interest.

The donors competed for time to walk through their sometimes conflicting issues, one by one, pitching the president to take up their causes almost as if they were on “Shark Tank,” the reality television show, looking for investors in their ideas.

Mr. Zekelman, a Canadian citizen who owns a steel tube manufacturing company that donated $1.75 million to the political action committee supporting Mr. Trump, pushed the president on what he saw as the top two challenges facing his company: cheap steel tube imports from Asia and new federal rules that make it harder to find truck drivers.

He first urged Mr. Trump to go even further in his effort to limit steel imports to the United States, and he then questioned the rules intended to prevent fatal truck accidents by using electronic monitoring systems to limit how many hours drivers can be on the road.

Since that dinner, legislation has been introduced in the House with the co-sponsorship of 12 Republicans, including the brother of Vice President Mike Pence, to allow smaller trucking companies to get exemptions from the rule.

Mr. Zekelman is not legally allowed under federal law to make a contribution to the political action committee. So his company donated the money through one of its subsidiaries based in the United States, a maneuver that has generated a complaint with the Federal Election Commission that he might have violated federal election law, after The New York Times wrote about the donations last year.

One attendee told Mr. Trump that he operates a company that supplies trucks powered by compressed natural gas and urged Mr. Trump to take steps to make the business more competitive with electric powered trucks or cars.

Another, who said he runs a company that does business with the United States Postal Service, pushed Mr. Trump to consider backing the construction of a 500-mile section of highway in the United States that would be used exclusively by self-driving trucks. Paying truck drivers, he said, is one of his company’s biggest costs.

“All the technology is there, right now,” he said. “It is absolutely safe.”

Mr. Parnas did not limit his efforts to influence Mr. Trump to Ukraine. He can be heard trying to engage Mr. Trump about issues related to another business venture he would go on to pursue — a plan to win marijuana retail licenses in Nevada and elsewhere.

He appeared to ask Mr. Trump to consider changing regulations that banks have said made it difficult for them to process transactions related to the cannabis business.

“Have you thought about allowing banking in some of these states that allow cannabis?” Mr. Parnas asked.

“What?” Mr. Trump responded. “You can’t do banking there?”

Mr. Parnas said banking regulations were “the biggest problem” for the industry, and argued that the issue could help Mr. Trump politically. If the president created a bipartisan committee to study it, Mr. Parnas argued “you can know what’s going on, and make the right decision. By just putting the committee together, it will give you such a boost in the midterm with a lot of the millennials.”

Mr. Trump expressed some skepticism, saying marijuana use has led to “more accidents” and asserting “it does cause an I.Q. problem.”

But Donald Trump Jr. seemed more agreeable, arguing “between that and alcohol, as far as I’m concerned alcohol does much more damage,” and asserting “you don’t see people beating their wives on marijuana. It’s just different.”

A spokesman for the younger Mr. Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

In the months after the dinner, Mr. Parnas, Mr. Fruman and two associates tried to enlist political support for an effort to win marijuana retail licenses in Nevada and elsewhere by planning to spend $1 million to $2 million for potential political donations, some of which prosecutors say was funded by a Russian investor, according to an indictment against the men.

They have pleaded not guilty.

Kenneth P. Vogel reported from Washington, and Ben Protess from New York. Alan Rappeport, Jim Tankersley and Eric Lipton contributed reporting from Washington.

Tesla's Musk seeks to allay water concerns at factory site after protests

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Technology

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Tesla (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk sought to allay environmental concerns about the electric carmaker’s planned factory in Germany, saying the plant would use less water than was estimated originally.

The U.S. company had said in planning documents that the factory would need 372 cubic meters of water from the public drinking water network per hour, sparking protests by local residents earlier this month.

“Sounds like we need to clear up a few things! Tesla won’t use this much net water on a daily basis. It’s possibly a rare peak usage case, but not an everyday event”, Musk said on Twitter on Saturday.

On another environmental issue, Musk tweeted that only a small part of the forest on the property that Tesla bought in the outskirts of Berlin will be cut to construct the planned factory.

“Also, this is not a natural forest — it was planted for use as cardboard,” he said.

The U.S. carmaker announced plans last November to build its first European car factory in Gruenheide, in the eastern state of Brandenburg.

Politicians, unions and industry groups have welcomed the move, saying it will bring jobs to the region, but environmental groups have aired concerns and a Brandenburg water association warned against “extensive and serious problems with the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal” for the proposed factory.

Separately, German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Sunday that Tesla had applied for subsidies for battery cell production and research in Germany.

Tesla had no immediate comment on the matter.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Helen Popper

Defense at Senate trial says ousting Trump would be 'massive interference' in election

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump told his Senate impeachment trial on Saturday that Democrats’ efforts to remove the president from office would set a “very, very dangerous” precedent in an election year.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the head of the defense team, told senators they would be denying voters their right to give their opinion on Trump at the Nov. 3 presidential election if they found him guilty and ousted him now.

In only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history, Democrats argued earlier this week that Trump should be removed for encouraging Ukraine to interfere in the election by pressuring its leader to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

The defense tried to turn that election interference line against the Democrats in its opening argument on Saturday by warning against removing a president less than 10 months before Americans vote on whether to give him a second term.

“For all their talk about election interference … they’re here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in American history, and we can’t allow that to happen. It would violate our Constitution. It would violate our history. It would violate our obligations to the future,” he said in a session that ran two hours, far shorter that the Democratic arguments of the preceding days.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives impeached Trump last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, setting the stage for the trial in the Republican-led Senate.

Trump is expected to be acquitted in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote is required to convict and remove a president from office. No Republican senator has voiced any support for his ouster.

Democrats rejected Cipollone’s concerns about impeaching a president in an election year.

“They argue that we must not impeach the president and remove him from office, because this would upset the election, and after all, there’s another election coming up. That argument would say that the impeachment process does not belong in the Constitution,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, part of the team that presented the House case.

While the main thrust of the defense’s argument on Saturday was to warn about the consequences of ejecting Trump from the White House, his lawyers also tried to chip away at the Democrats’ portrayal of a president who put U.S. national security goals at risk by trying to enlist a foreign country to help his own political career.

A major focus of the Democrats’ case is a phone call last July in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden on unsubstantiated corruption allegations.

Democrats contend that Trump was trying to find dirt on Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, to help the president win a second term.

Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the head of the prosecution, told Senators this week that the campaign of pressure on Ukraine was a “corrupt scheme” in which Trump also temporarily froze almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks as fellow House Impeachment Managers, Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Val Demings (D-FL), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Jason Crow (D-CO), listen after the impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump ended for the day in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

‘VERY, VERY CONSEQUENTIAL’

Cipollone said removing Trump and taking him off the ballot in November would mean having to “tear up all of the ballots across this country on your own initiative, take that decision away from the American people.”

“They are asking you to do something very, very consequential and, I would submit to you … very, very dangerous,” he said.

The articles of impeachment — or formal charges — against Trump call not only for his removal from office but also his “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

Schiff wrote on Twitter that the defense was trying to deflect from discussing what witnesses have described as Trump’s pressure campaign against Ukraine.

“They don’t contest the facts of Trump’s scheme. They’re trying to deflect, distract from, and distort the truth. And they are continuing to cover it up by blocking documents and witnesses,” he wrote.

Trump denies any wrongdoing. He wrote on Twitter on Saturday: “Any fair minded person watching the Senate trial today would be able to see how unfairly I have been treated and that this is indeed the totally partisan Impeachment Hoax that EVERYBODY, including the Democrats, truly knows it is. This should never be allowed to happen again!”

Mike Purpura, part of Trump’s team, said most of the witnesses who testified in the House inquiry that led to Trump’s impeachment had never actually spoken to the president.

Democrats counter that argument by saying the only reason the Senate did not hear from first-hand witnesses, such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton, was because Trump blocked them from testifying.

Slideshow (9 Images)

In wrapping up the prosecution’s opening arguments on Friday, Schiff urged Republican senators to show “real political courage” and subpoena witnesses and new documents.

Trump’s defense said on Saturday that subpoenas issued by Democratic-run committees for witnesses and documents in the inquiry were not valid, alleging that the probe itself lacked authority.

“All of those subpoenas were invalid,” lawyer Patrick Philbin said. “That was the reason for not responding to them.”

No president has ever been removed through impeachment, a mechanism the nation’s founders devised to oust a president for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. One, Richard Nixon, resigned in the face of a looming impeachment.

Reporting by Richard Cowan and David Morgan; Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Scott Malone and Daniel Wallis

Dinner download: Tape surfaces of Trump calling for envoy's firing

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Halfway through a dinner at the Trump Hotel, U.S. President Donald Trump can be heard giving the order to remove the U.S ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, according to a video that surfaced on Saturday.

The video, obtained by Reuters from Lev Parnas’ attorney Joseph Bondy, begins with Trump posing for photos then entering a room with a table set for 15 including a close-up of the president’s place setting.

The video from April 2018 lasts 83 minutes and most of it shows no images of the participants as the camera was pointed at the ceiling. Excerpts of the taped encounter were published on Friday by ABC News.

Halfway through the recording, after one of the participants suggests Yovanovitch is a problem, Trump’s voice can be heard saying “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump has said he had the right to fire Yovanovitch, a main figure in the series of events that led to his impeachment. Trump fired her in May 2019 and he told Fox News on Friday that he was “not a fan” of Yovanovitch.

Democrats say Trump associates spent nearly a year trying to oust Yovanovitch because they saw her as an obstacle in their efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Trump’s political rival in the 2020 election, Joe Biden.

Parnas, a former associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, had recounted the conversation in media interviews last week. Trump has said that he does not know Parnas.

After the ABC report on Friday, Parnas found a digital recording of the comments, Bondy said, and sent it to the House Intelligence Committee, which is continuing to investigate Trump’s conduct.

“I was particularly gratified to see that everything Mr. Parnas has been stating about that event was true,” Bondy said, referring to the April 30, 2018 dinner. “It is yet another example of Mr. Parnas’ version of events being corroborated by evidence in the form of recordings, emails, text messages.”

Parnas, a Florida businessman, has been providing evidence to Democrats now pushing for Trump’s ouster at his impeachment trial in the Senate. He played a key role in Giuliani’s effort to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine for Trump. He is now under indictment for campaign finance violations in a separate criminal case.

FILE PHOTO: Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, reacts while testifying before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Other attendees at the dinner were Trump’s son, Donald Trump Junior and Parnas’ associate Igor Fruman, according to a shot of his place setting.

Topics that surfaced at the dinner included cannabis financing, Tesla, Amazon, natural gas, aluminum, steel, golf and Russia and Ukraine.

(The story corrects name in 12th paragraph)

Reporting by Mike Stone and Aram Roston; Editing by Mary Milliken and Sandra Maler

Highlights from the career of former NBA star Kobe Bryant

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

(Reuters) – Kobe Bryant, who won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, died at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash in California. Here is biographical information on him and highlights from his career.

Born in Philadelphia in 1978, son of former NBA player Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant

Lived for eight years in Italy, where his father played professionally after his National Basketball Association career ended

On returning to the United States, Kobe Bryant attended Lower Merion High School outside Philadelphia and gained a reputation as one of the best high school players in the country

Chosen as the 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 draft and immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers

A forward and shooting guard, he made his NBA debut in November 1996 at the age of 18 and played 20 consecutive seasons in the league.

Nicknamed the ‘Black Mamba,’ he won NBA championships with the Lakers in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010

Won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2008, and was named to the NBA All-Star team 18 times

Won Olympic gold medals with the United States in 2008 and 2012

Retired in 2016 after playing 1,346 regular season games and averaging 25 points a game, twice leading the league in scoring

He earned more than $300 million on the court during his career.

His career points total of 33,643 is fourth on the all-time NBA list

Slideshow (2 Images)

Off the court, he married Vanessa Laine in 2001

In 2005, he reached a civil settlement with a woman who said he raped her in a Colorado hotel

Died on Jan. 26, 2020, when a helicopter in which he was a passenger crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California

Compiled by Andrew Both in North Carolina; Editing by Peter Cooney

6 Revelatory Moments From the Video of Trump’s Private Donor Dinner

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

A video recording released on Saturday of President Trump speaking in 2018 to a group of donors at a private dinner, including two businessmen at the center of the impeachment inquiry, made headlines this weekend for capturing Mr. Trump saying that the ambassador to Ukraine should be removed from her post.

The video was recorded on the phone of one of the businessmen, Igor Fruman. It was made public by a lawyer for Lev Parnas, the other businessman. Both men have worked with the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to carry out a pressure campaign on Ukraine, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed not to know them.

The recording undercut those claims, providing fodder for Democrats trying to persuade Republicans to support their calls to expand the impeachment inquiry.

But it also provided a remarkable, inside view at how wealthy and politically connected donors interact behind closed doors with the president of the United States.

Here we look at six revelatory moments from the recording, which was captured at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on April 30, 2018.

A location pitch for a summit in North Korea

Time stamp: 21 minutes

At one point, one of the guests asked Mr. Trump to hold his upcoming meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in Songdo, a business district on the western coast of South Korea.

A New York-based firm, Gale International, is helping develop the district there.

“My family, specifically, and the Gales, as well, would be honored if you would consider it,” the guest told the president.

Mr. Trump responded, “We’re very far down the line, but I will,” and then quickly changed the subject.

“You know that Kim Jong-un is a great golfer. You know that, right?” Mr. Trump told the guests, who included Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson of the legendary golfer.

As the dinner party erupted in laughter, one of the guests said to Mr. Trump of Mr. Kim, “His goal in life is to meet you! It’s true! His whole goal in life! He wants to meet the president! He wants to be you! He would like to be you!”

Marijuana causes an ‘I.Q. problem,’ Trump suggests

Time stamp: 45 minutes

Mr. Parnas asked Mr. Trump, “Have you thought about allowing banking in some of these states that allow cannabis?”

Mr. Trump said, “What? You can’t do banking there?”

Mr. Parnas responded that “that’s the biggest problem” and later said “it’s a tremendous movement with a lot of the young people.”

“Do you think the whole marijuana thing is a good thing?” Mr. Trump asked the guests.

“No,” one woman responded.

Mr. Parnas said, “It’s something that is in the future, no matter how you look at it. I think it’s something that’s already so far out that you’re not going to stop it.”

Mr. Trump indicated he was not impressed with the results of legalization in Colorado.

“In Colorado, they have more accidents,” Mr. Trump said. “It does cause an I.Q. problem.”

Donald Trump Jr., one of Mr. Trump’s sons, said: “I will say this, between that and alcohol, as far as I’m concerned, alcohol does much more damage.”

“You don’t see people beating their wives on marijuana. It’s just different,” he said.

Mr. Parnas suggested that the president establish a bipartisan committee to study marijuana, “so you can know what’s going on, and make the right decision.”

“By just putting the committee together, it will give you such a boost in the midterm with a lot of the millennials,” Mr. Parnas said.

Trump muses on if Hillary Clinton had picked Bernie Sanders as her running mate

Time stamp: 54 minutes

Discussing one of his favorite topics, the 2016 election, Mr. Trump said he might have had a much more difficult time defeating Hillary Clinton if she had picked Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont to be her running mate instead of Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.

“If Bernie were Hillary’s vice president, it would have been tougher,” Mr. Trump said, “because all those people that hated her so much who voted for me.”

Mr. Trump added, “You know I got 20 percent of Bernie vote. People don’t realize that, because of trade, because he’s a big trade guy, you know he basically says we’re getting screwed on trade, and he’s right, and I’m worse than he is, and we can do something about it, I don’t know if he could have.”

“Had she picked Bernie Sanders, it would have been tougher,” Mr. Trump said. “He was the only one I didn’t want her to pick.”

Trump’s dream of a concrete wall is scuttled by the potential dangers of drugs being thrown over it

Time stamp: 23 minutes

An unidentified guest said they shipped 125,000 tons of material for the wall at the border.

Mr. Trump then said he wanted a “concrete wall, 30 feet high, very slick outside.”

Another individual can be heard saying that border agents have said that could be dangerous.

“They actually said these drug dealers, it’s so dangerous to have a solid wall because they take the drugs, it weighs 100 pounds, approximately, you know a satchel, they call it a satchel, they throw it over the wall, it goes over the wall, and it will land on a guy’s head and it kills him,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump clarifies that “our border guys” are the victims.

“It can hit people,” Mr. Trump says. “Can you imagine, you get hit with a hundred pounds of drugs?”

Laughs can be heard.

“Only in America,” someone says.

Trump bashes the European Union

Time stamp: 16 minutes

At another point, Mr. Trump, while indulging a familiar lament — that other countries are not trading fairly with the United States — unleashed a tirade against the European Union.

“The European Union is a group of countries that got together to screw the United States,” Mr. Trump told his guests. “It’s as simple as that.”

Mr. Trump continued: “And frankly, they’re probably worse than China in a sense, just smaller. They’re worse than China in the sense of barriers.”

“But the European Union is really bad,” he said. “You know it doesn’t sound like it. You know, the European Union, we’re all sort of from there, right? But the European Union is brutal. But we’re changing that rapidly, too. They can’t even believe it.”

A Canadian billionaire presses his case on steel tube imports

Time stamp: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Barry Zekelman, a Canadian citizen who owns a Chicago-based steel-tube manufacturing company that donated $1.75 million to a political action committee supporting Mr. Trump, urged the president to further limit steel imports to the United States, which he has said undermine sales for his American business.

Mr. Zekelman then questioned rules intended to prevent fatal truck accidents by using electronic monitoring systems to limit how many hours drivers can be on the road. The rules, he said, were having an impact on Mr. Zekelman’s ability to move the steel pipe he manufactures.

“Say someone is half an hour from home on their long haul truck — they literally have to pull over on the side of the road and stop,” Mr. Zekelman said. “They can’t go home. They don’t even want to do it anymore.”

Mr. Zekelman said they cannot get enough drivers to haul his products.

Mr. Trump did not seem to be aware of the rules.

“They have a method that you shut down a truck?” Mr. Trump said.

Since the dinner, legislation has been introduced in the House with the cosponsorship of 12 Republicans to allow smaller trucking companies to get exemptions from the rule.

Mr. Zekelman is not legally allowed under federal law to make a contribution to the political action committee. His company donated the money through one of its United States based subsidiaries, a maneuver that has generated a complaint with the Federal Election Commission that he might have violated federal election law, after The New York Times wrote about the donations last year.

Kenneth P. Vogel and Eric Lipton contributed reporting.

6 Revelatory Moments From the Video of Trump’s Private Donor Dinner

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

A video recording released on Saturday of President Trump speaking in 2018 to a group of donors at a private dinner, including two businessmen at the center of the impeachment inquiry, made headlines this weekend for capturing Mr. Trump saying that the ambassador to Ukraine should be removed from her post.

The video was recorded on the phone of one of the businessmen, Igor Fruman. It was made public by a lawyer for Lev Parnas, the other businessman. Both men have worked with the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to carry out a pressure campaign on Ukraine, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed not to know them.

The recording undercut those claims, providing fodder for Democrats trying to persuade Republicans to support their calls to expand the impeachment inquiry.

But it also provided a remarkable, inside view at how wealthy and politically connected donors interact behind closed doors with the president of the United States.

Here we look at six revelatory moments from the recording, which was captured at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on April 30, 2018.

A location pitch for a summit in North Korea

Time stamp: 21 minutes

At one point, one of the guests asked Mr. Trump to hold his upcoming meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in Songdo, a business district on the western coast of South Korea.

A New York-based firm, Gale International, is helping develop the district there.

“My family, specifically, and the Gales, as well, would be honored if you would consider it,” the guest told the president.

Mr. Trump responded, “We’re very far down the line, but I will,” and then quickly changed the subject.

“You know that Kim Jong-un is a great golfer. You know that, right?” Mr. Trump told the guests, who included Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson of the legendary golfer.

As the dinner party erupted in laughter, one of the guests said to Mr. Trump of Mr. Kim, “His goal in life is to meet you! It’s true! His whole goal in life! He wants to meet the president! He wants to be you! He would like to be you!”

Marijuana causes an ‘I.Q. problem,’ Trump suggests

Time stamp: 45 minutes

Mr. Parnas asked Mr. Trump, “Have you thought about allowing banking in some of these states that allow cannabis?”

Mr. Trump said, “What? You can’t do banking there?”

Mr. Parnas responded that “that’s the biggest problem” and later said “it’s a tremendous movement with a lot of the young people.”

“Do you think the whole marijuana thing is a good thing?” Mr. Trump asked the guests.

“No,” one woman responded.

Mr. Parnas said, “It’s something that is in the future, no matter how you look at it. I think it’s something that’s already so far out that you’re not going to stop it.”

Mr. Trump indicated he was not impressed with the results of legalization in Colorado.

“In Colorado, they have more accidents,” Mr. Trump said. “It does cause an I.Q. problem.”

Donald Trump Jr., one of Mr. Trump’s sons, said: “I will say this, between that and alcohol, as far as I’m concerned, alcohol does much more damage.”

“You don’t see people beating their wives on marijuana. It’s just different,” he said.

Mr. Parnas suggested that the president establish a bipartisan committee to study marijuana, “so you can know what’s going on, and make the right decision.”

“By just putting the committee together, it will give you such a boost in the midterm with a lot of the millennials,” Mr. Parnas said.

Trump muses on if Hillary Clinton had picked Bernie Sanders as her running mate

Time stamp: 54 minutes

Discussing one of his favorite topics, the 2016 election, Mr. Trump said he might have had a much more difficult time defeating Hillary Clinton if she had picked Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont to be her running mate instead of Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.

“If Bernie were Hillary’s vice president, it would have been tougher,” Mr. Trump said, “because all those people that hated her so much who voted for me.”

Mr. Trump added, “You know I got 20 percent of Bernie vote. People don’t realize that, because of trade, because he’s a big trade guy, you know he basically says we’re getting screwed on trade, and he’s right, and I’m worse than he is, and we can do something about it, I don’t know if he could have.”

“Had she picked Bernie Sanders, it would have been tougher,” Mr. Trump said. “He was the only one I didn’t want her to pick.”

Trump’s dream of a concrete wall is scuttled by the potential dangers of drugs being thrown over it

Time stamp: 23 minutes

An unidentified guest said they shipped 125,000 tons of material for the wall at the border.

Mr. Trump then said he wanted a “concrete wall, 30 feet high, very slick outside.”

Another individual can be heard saying that border agents have said that could be dangerous.

“They actually said these drug dealers, it’s so dangerous to have a solid wall because they take the drugs, it weighs 100 pounds, approximately, you know a satchel, they call it a satchel, they throw it over the wall, it goes over the wall, and it will land on a guy’s head and it kills him,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump clarifies that “our border guys” are the victims.

“It can hit people,” Mr. Trump says. “Can you imagine, you get hit with a hundred pounds of drugs?”

Laughs can be heard.

“Only in America,” someone says.

Trump bashes the European Union

Time stamp: 16 minutes

At another point, Mr. Trump, while indulging a familiar lament — that other countries are not trading fairly with the United States — unleashed a tirade against the European Union.

“The European Union is a group of countries that got together to screw the United States,” Mr. Trump told his guests. “It’s as simple as that.”

Mr. Trump continued: “And frankly, they’re probably worse than China in a sense, just smaller. They’re worse than China in the sense of barriers.”

“But the European Union is really bad,” he said. “You know it doesn’t sound like it. You know, the European Union, we’re all sort of from there, right? But the European Union is brutal. But we’re changing that rapidly, too. They can’t even believe it.”

A Canadian billionaire presses his case on steel tube imports

Time stamp: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Barry Zekelman, a Canadian citizen who owns a Chicago-based steel-tube manufacturing company that donated $1.75 million to a political action committee supporting Mr. Trump, urged the president to further limit steel imports to the United States, which he has said undermine sales for his American business.

Mr. Zekelman then questioned rules intended to prevent fatal truck accidents by using electronic monitoring systems to limit how many hours drivers can be on the road. The rules, he said, were having an impact on Mr. Zekelman’s ability to move the steel pipe he manufactures.

“Say someone is half an hour from home on their long haul truck — they literally have to pull over on the side of the road and stop,” Mr. Zekelman said. “They can’t go home. They don’t even want to do it anymore.”

Mr. Zekelman said they cannot get enough drivers to haul his products.

Mr. Trump did not seem to be aware of the rules.

“They have a method that you shut down a truck?” Mr. Trump said.

Since the dinner, legislation has been introduced in the House with the cosponsorship of 12 Republicans to allow smaller trucking companies to get exemptions from the rule.

Mr. Zekelman is not legally allowed under federal law to make a contribution to the political action committee. His company donated the money through one of its United States based subsidiaries, a maneuver that has generated a complaint with the Federal Election Commission that he might have violated federal election law, after The New York Times wrote about the donations last year.

Kenneth P. Vogel and Eric Lipton contributed reporting.

Schiff, Calling Trump ‘Wrathful and Vindictive,’ Sees Tweet as a Threat

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/us/politics/26dc-impeach/26dc-impeach-moth.jpg
Image
Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Representative Adam B. Schiff, the House’s lead impeachment manager, accused President Trump on Sunday of trying to threaten him on Twitter and urged Republican senators to find the “moral courage to stand up” to a “wrathful and vindictive president.”

Mr. Trump, writing on Twitter Sunday morning, attacked Mr. Schiff as “a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man,” warning, “He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”

It was an extraordinary back-and-forth between a member of Congress and a sitting president, coming at a turning point in Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors — the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. Mr. Schiff’s comments, on the NBC program “Meet the Press,” came as Mr. Trump’s legal team planned to resume its defense of the president when the Senate reconvenes Monday at 1 p.m.

“Look at the president’s tweets about me today saying that I should pay a price,” Mr. Schiff said on “Meet the Press.”

“Do you take that as a threat?” asked Chuck Todd, the show’s host.

“I think it’s intended to be,” the congressman replied.

Mr. Schiff has been under fire from Republicans for mentioning a news report during the trial that alleges that the White House had threatened to put their heads “on a pike” if they voted to convict. He doubled down on that claim Sunday, saying that he merely meant it would require fearlessness on the part of the senators.

Once Mr. Trump’s defense team wraps up its case, senators will have an opportunity to ask questions and then vote on whether to call witnesses or subpoena new documents. Unless at least four Republicans join Democrats to vote to expand the scope of the proceedings, the trial could wrap up as early as this week with Mr. Trump’s expected acquittal.

At least two Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, who is running for re-election this year, and Mitt Romney of Utah, elected in 2018 — appear to be leaning toward calling witnesses. But Mr. Trump, in an interview that aired on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” said doing so could be “very bad” for Republican senators who are up for re-election.

“I think it would be very bad for the Republican Party if we lost that great unity that we have right now,” Mr. Trump said in the interview, which was taped at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Some of them are running, and I think it would be very bad for them.”

Democrats have been pushing for four witnesses — including John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, who wrote in an unpublished manuscript that the president conditioned security aid to Ukraine on investigations into Democrats — over the strong objections of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. Some Republicans are floating the idea of a witness swap in which they would call either former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. or his son Hunter Biden, both of whom Mr. Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate, even though neither has direct knowledge of Mr. Trump’s behavior.

Democrats have opposed such a move, and Mr. Schiff suggested on Sunday that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is presiding over the trial, should rule on that question.

“We have a very capable justice sitting right behind me who can make decisions about the materiality of witnesses,” Mr. Schiff said, adding, “We trust the Supreme Court justice.”

If history is any guide, Chief Justice Roberts will be reluctant to do so. When President Bill Clinton was tried in the Senate in 1999, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist used his authority sparingly, leaving most questions to the Senate to decide.

Lawmakers on both sides — along with Alan Dershowitz, a consultant to Mr. Trump’s legal team — took to the Sunday morning talk show circuit to make the case for or against Mr. Trump. The president was impeached by the House in December on charges that he abused his oath of office and obstructed Congress by pressuring the leader of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and then covering it up by concealing evidence from lawmakers.

Mr. Schiff and his team of prosecutors maintain that the president was trying to influence the 2020 election for his personal gain. During an abbreviated session of the Senate on Saturday, the president’s team pushed back hard on that assertion, arguing that it was the Democrats who were trying to undo the results of the 2016 election — and to interfere with the one in 2020.

“They’re asking you to tear up all of the ballots all across the country on your own initiative, take that decision away from the American people,” Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, said of the House managers, adding: “They’re here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in American history, and we can’t allow that to happen.”

Mr. Dershowitz, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” backed away from an assertion he made in 1998, when Mr. Clinton was facing possible impeachment in the House, that a crime is not needed to remove a president from office. Mr. Trump’s team has argued that he cannot be convicted or removed because he is not accused of violating a law — an argument Mr. Dershowitz said he now agreed with because he had done more research.

“I’ve been immersing myself in dusty old books, and I’ve concluded that no, it has to be a crime,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “That’s what scholars do, that’s what academics do. We do more research.”

Mr. Schiff has emerged as a polarizing figure in the trial. His speech on Thursday telling lawmakers they could “not trust this president to do what is right for this country” went viral — and earned even grudging respect from some Republicans. But on Friday, he invoked a CBS report that cited an anonymous source saying Republican senators had been warned their heads would be “on a pike” if they voted against Mr. Trump.

In so doing, Mr. Schiff angered several centrist or swing-state Republicans — including Senators Collins and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — who are potential votes in favor of having witnesses. The congressman said Sunday that he was not intending to offend.

“It is going to be very difficult for some of these senators to stand up to this president. It really is. There’s no question about it,” he said. “I don’t want to acknowledge it in a way that is offensive to them, but I do want to speak candidly about it — and if this weren’t an issue, there wouldn’t be an issue about calling witnesses.”

Democrats on Sunday came to Mr. Schiff’s defense. During a conference call with reporters, Representative Sylvia Garcia, Democrat of Texas and a House impeachment manager, said Republicans should be disturbed by Mr. Trump’s behavior, not Mr. Schiff’s.

“If you look at this president and his behavior, he has done some very outlandish things, so it kind of surprised me that Mr. Schiff referencing a news report would be so offensive to them,” she said. “The president’s behavior should outrage them to the highest degree.”

Chris Cameron contributed reporting.

Schiff, Calling Trump ‘Wrathful and Vindictive,’ Sees Tweet as a Threat

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/26/us/politics/26dc-impeach/26dc-impeach-moth.jpg
Image
Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Representative Adam B. Schiff, the House’s lead impeachment manager, accused President Trump on Sunday of trying to threaten him on Twitter and urged Republican senators to find the “moral courage to stand up” to a “wrathful and vindictive president.”

Mr. Trump, writing on Twitter Sunday morning, attacked Mr. Schiff as “a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man,” warning, “He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”

It was an extraordinary back-and-forth between a member of Congress and a sitting president, coming at a turning point in Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors — the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. Mr. Schiff’s comments, on the NBC program “Meet the Press,” came as Mr. Trump’s legal team planned to resume its defense of the president when the Senate reconvenes Monday at 1 p.m.

“Look at the president’s tweets about me today saying that I should pay a price,” Mr. Schiff said on “Meet the Press.”

“Do you take that as a threat?” asked Chuck Todd, the show’s host.

“I think it’s intended to be,” the congressman replied.

Mr. Schiff has been under fire from Republicans for mentioning a news report during the trial that alleges that the White House had threatened to put their heads “on a pike” if they voted to convict. He doubled down on that claim Sunday, saying that he merely meant it would require fearlessness on the part of the senators.

Once Mr. Trump’s defense team wraps up its case, senators will have an opportunity to ask questions and then vote on whether to call witnesses or subpoena new documents. Unless at least four Republicans join Democrats to vote to expand the scope of the proceedings, the trial could wrap up as early as this week with Mr. Trump’s expected acquittal.

At least two Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, who is running for re-election this year, and Mitt Romney of Utah, elected in 2018 — appear to be leaning toward calling witnesses. But Mr. Trump, in an interview that aired on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” said doing so could be “very bad” for Republican senators who are up for re-election.

“I think it would be very bad for the Republican Party if we lost that great unity that we have right now,” Mr. Trump said in the interview, which was taped at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Some of them are running, and I think it would be very bad for them.”

Democrats have been pushing for four witnesses — including John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, who wrote in an unpublished manuscript that the president conditioned security aid to Ukraine on investigations into Democrats — over the strong objections of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. Some Republicans are floating the idea of a witness swap in which they would call either former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. or his son Hunter Biden, both of whom Mr. Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate, even though neither has direct knowledge of Mr. Trump’s behavior.

Democrats have opposed such a move, and Mr. Schiff suggested on Sunday that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is presiding over the trial, should rule on that question.

“We have a very capable justice sitting right behind me who can make decisions about the materiality of witnesses,” Mr. Schiff said, adding, “We trust the Supreme Court justice.”

If history is any guide, Chief Justice Roberts will be reluctant to do so. When President Bill Clinton was tried in the Senate in 1999, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist used his authority sparingly, leaving most questions to the Senate to decide.

Lawmakers on both sides — along with Alan Dershowitz, a consultant to Mr. Trump’s legal team — took to the Sunday morning talk show circuit to make the case for or against Mr. Trump. The president was impeached by the House in December on charges that he abused his oath of office and obstructed Congress by pressuring the leader of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and then covering it up by concealing evidence from lawmakers.

Mr. Schiff and his team of prosecutors maintain that the president was trying to influence the 2020 election for his personal gain. During an abbreviated session of the Senate on Saturday, the president’s team pushed back hard on that assertion, arguing that it was the Democrats who were trying to undo the results of the 2016 election — and to interfere with the one in 2020.

“They’re asking you to tear up all of the ballots all across the country on your own initiative, take that decision away from the American people,” Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, said of the House managers, adding: “They’re here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in American history, and we can’t allow that to happen.”

Mr. Dershowitz, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” backed away from an assertion he made in 1998, when Mr. Clinton was facing possible impeachment in the House, that a crime is not needed to remove a president from office. Mr. Trump’s team has argued that he cannot be convicted or removed because he is not accused of violating a law — an argument Mr. Dershowitz said he now agreed with because he had done more research.

“I’ve been immersing myself in dusty old books, and I’ve concluded that no, it has to be a crime,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “That’s what scholars do, that’s what academics do. We do more research.”

Mr. Schiff has emerged as a polarizing figure in the trial. His speech on Thursday telling lawmakers they could “not trust this president to do what is right for this country” went viral — and earned even grudging respect from some Republicans. But on Friday, he invoked a CBS report that cited an anonymous source saying Republican senators had been warned their heads would be “on a pike” if they voted against Mr. Trump.

In so doing, Mr. Schiff angered several centrist or swing-state Republicans — including Senators Collins and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — who are potential votes in favor of having witnesses. The congressman said Sunday that he was not intending to offend.

“It is going to be very difficult for some of these senators to stand up to this president. It really is. There’s no question about it,” he said. “I don’t want to acknowledge it in a way that is offensive to them, but I do want to speak candidly about it — and if this weren’t an issue, there wouldn’t be an issue about calling witnesses.”

Democrats on Sunday came to Mr. Schiff’s defense. During a conference call with reporters, Representative Sylvia Garcia, Democrat of Texas and a House impeachment manager, said Republicans should be disturbed by Mr. Trump’s behavior, not Mr. Schiff’s.

“If you look at this president and his behavior, he has done some very outlandish things, so it kind of surprised me that Mr. Schiff referencing a news report would be so offensive to them,” she said. “The president’s behavior should outrage them to the highest degree.”

Chris Cameron contributed reporting.

Kobe Bryant's 13-year-old daughter also killed in helicopter crash: NBC News

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

(Reuters) – Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also on the helicopter that crashed near Los Angeles on Sunday, killing him and all four others on board, several major U.S. media outlets reported.

A teammate from Bryant’s daughter’s basketball team, a parent of the teammate, and the pilot were also killed, NBC News reported.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney

Obituary: Bryant, widely considered one of basketball's greatest

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

(Reuters) – Kobe Bryant, widely considered one of the greatest players in basketball, was killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Sunday. He was 41.

A transcendent star who went straight from high school to the game’s biggest stage, Bryant won five NBA championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers and was the face of the franchise during his 20-year career.

Bryant, a small forward and shooting guard, averaged 25 points during his career and twice led the NBA in scoring.

He was an 18-times NBA All-Star who wore the jersey numbers 24 and 8 – both of which were retired by the Lakers – and continued the ‘Showtime’ tradition of the storied franchise that has been home to the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal.

The fourth-highest scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points, Bryant only gave up the third spot on the list on Saturday night to LeBron James.

On Saturday, Bryant used Twitter to extend his congratulations to James: “Much respect my brother,” he tweeted.

A few hours later, Bryant perished in the crash. He is survived by wife Vanessa, with whom he had four daughters.

Born in Philadelphia, Bryant was only 17 when he was taken as the 13th overall draft pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 NBA draft.

FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant celebrates after dunking against the New York Knicks during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, California, January 9, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

But he never played for the Hornets and immediately traded to the Lakers, where he played his entire career before retiring in 2016.

In 2008, he was named the NBA Most Valuable Player.

Internationally, he won two Olympic gold medals, part of the United States team in 2008 and 2012.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Galería de imágenes de los próximos capítulos de ‘Acacias 38’ (del 27 al 31 de enero)

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Cultura en Serie

– Publicidad –

Galería de imágenes de los próximos capítulos de ‘Mercado central’ (del 27 al 31 de enero)

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Cultura en Serie

– Publicidad –

Galería de imágenes de los próximos capítulos de ‘Servir y proteger’ (del 27 al 31 de enero)

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Cultura en Serie

– Publicidad –

Jesús aparta a Elías del control del negocio familiar, avances del 27 al 31 de enero en ‘Mercado central’

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Cultura en Serie

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Avance del capítulo 86 (lunes, 27 de enero): Adela se enfrenta a Celia y a Elías

Elías convence a Germán para que ayude a que Jesús les deje paso y les ceda parte de la empresa.

Adela se enfrenta a Celia y a Elías y les deja claro lo que piensa de ambos. Pero quiere evitar que la relación de su marido y su socia se haga pública. Mantendrá el negocio con Celia, pero solo por guardar las apariencias. Germán se entera de lo ocurrido.

Javier contacta con Ingrid para intentar que su proyecto recale en el mercado, a pesar de la oposición de Jorge.

Paolo, deprimido, intenta fingir ante Jorge que está bien y se inventa que tiene una salida con amigos para divertirse.

Noa cree la versión de Paolo sobre la pelea entre Nacho y él y se enfrenta a su padre. Pero la discusión provoca que descuiden a Rosa, que empeora de su gripe.

Jorge, con ciática, necesita a alguien que le ayude a cargar peso. Carla está interesada, pero Jorge se niega a contratarla. Celia ayuda a Carla a convencerle de lo contrario.

Úrsula saca a la luz los secretos más oscuros de todos los vecinos, avances del 27 al 31 de enero en ‘Acacias 38’

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Cultura en Serie

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Avance del capítulo 1187 (lunes, 27 de enero): Agustina se enfrenta a Genoveva

En el capítulo de este lunes de ‘Acacias 38’, Felicia se encuentra inquieta por el lazo de color rojo y decide investigar más sobre el. Por su parte, Emilio está preocupado por la posibilidad de que Cinta se marche de viaje… Ildefonso continúa su acercamiento a Camino, pero esta marca distancias con el hombre. Sin embargo Maite percibe que la relación entre ambos no hace más que crecer y acelerarse.

Además Santiago y Marcía retoman lo que tenían previsto, marcharse a Cuba y alejarse de su vida en Acacias. Genoveva se entera de la carta que Agustina recibió de parte de Úrsula y así descubre que su señora es quién está detrás del amago de suicidio, por lo que arremete contra ella delante de todos los presentes.

La ausencia de Arantxa hace mella en la casa. A Cinta le llega una oferta para realizar una gira por distintos lugares. Además Jose y Ramón están hablando, y el primero intenta contarle a Ramón lo que le perturba. Además se entera de que todos los criados son conscientes de la verdad de la situación.

U.S. presidential hopefuls Sanders, Biden in tight race in early primary states

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Politics

FORT DODGE, Iowa (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden appear locked in a tight race for the Democratic presidential nomination, as both campaigned in Iowa on Sunday with only days left until the first contest.

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) former Vice President Joe Biden greeets Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as they take the stage for the seventh Democratic 2020 presidential debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., January 14, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

New polling released on Sunday showed Sanders leading in New Hampshire and tied with Biden in Iowa, the first two states to weigh in the Democratic primary. Gaining momentum at the right time has historically been key to helping a candidate secure the nomination.

A poll of Iowa voters by CBS found Sanders and Biden statistically tied, with 26% and 25% respectively. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was within striking distance at 22%.

Biden led with 25% in separate poll of Iowa voters by Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network Poll released on Sunday evening. Sanders registered second at 19%, followed by Buttigieg at 18%.

Sanders led a poll released on Sunday of New Hampshire voters with 25% support. His closest competitor was Biden, with 16%, according to a poll by cable network CNN and the University of New Hampshire.

A national Washington Post-ABC poll released on Sunday found Biden in the lead with 32% support, followed by Sanders at 23%. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren received 12%, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was at 8%.

Sanders’ recent rise in polling appears to be the product of consolidating the liberal wing of the party. Biden has remained at the top of the pack, but appears to be struggling to consolidate the more-centerist wing of his party.

Biden is making the pitch that he is more likely to beat Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

Kelly Walsh, 53, a nurse in Marshalltown, Iowa, attended a Sanders rally on Saturday, with her two teenage sons. She likes both Biden and Sanders.

“I want somebody that can definitely beat Trump so I kind of like Joe Biden,” she said, drawing a disapproving look from her 15-year-old, Hayden.

She agrees with most of Sanders’ platform, especially his government-run healthcare plan, but worries it would put off moderates.

“If I knew Bernie could do it and he didn’t scare everybody else, I’d be 100%,” she said.

U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, who represents a district in Iowa and endorsed Biden, said she does not want Iowa to help nominate a candidate who cannot beat Trump.

“We don’t want to make a bad decision,” she told Reuters at an event for Biden.

Candidates struggling to still build traction are facing crunch time. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is still trying to break 10% in polls, picked up the endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper. The largest publication in the state, the historically conservative editorial page has previously had more influence in Republican primaries.

Reporting by Simon Lewis in Fort Dodge, Iowa and Trevor Hunnicutt in Des Moines, Iowa; Writing by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Marguerita Choy

WeWork inks office space deal with SoftBank-backed Gympass: sources

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Technology

NEW YORK (Reuters) – WeWork has signed a deal to provide space to 250 employees of gym membership app company Gympass in New York, the latest example of the U.S. office-sharing start-up’s majority owner, SoftBank Group Corp, using its connections to buoy its business, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

A sign is seen above the entrance to the WeWork corporate headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

SoftBank is also a minority investor in Gympass. While it does not have absolute control over it, it encourages its portfolio companies to collaborate, one of the sources said.

Around 25,000 employees at SoftBank-backed companies, including U.S. ride-hailing start-up Uber Technologies, Brazilian online housing broker QuintoAndar, and online real estate marketplace Compass, are in WeWork offices.

SoftBank is hoping this network of portfolio companies will help its attempted turnaround of WeWork, which it rescued from bankruptcy last year by acquiring majority control. This followed a failed attempt by WeWork to launch an initial public offering in September, which left it starved for cash.

Last year, in the third quarter alone, WeWork parent The We Company saw its net losses more than double to $1.25 billion year-on-year.

WeWork has around 650,000 subscribers worldwide, and hopes to hit 1 million by early 2021, one of the sources said.

The company has agreed a three year-deal with Gympass, which was founded in Brazil but is now headquartered in New York, for office space in Manhattan’s SoHo area, potentially tripling Gympass’ presence in the city, according to the sources.

The sources did not disclose the value of the contract and requested anonymity because the agreement is private.

Gympass, which was not previously a WeWork client, is a marketplace for corporate clients to offer gym access to employees through a network of over 50,000 gyms and studios around the world.

It was last valued in 2019 at $1 billion in a $300 million fundraising led by SoftBank, according to data provider PitchBook.

After taking control of WeWork, SoftBank installed its chief operating officer Marcelo Claure as executive chairman. WeWork’s co-founder and ex-CEO Adam Neumann agreed to leave the company in October after securing an exit package from SoftBank worth up to $1.7 billion.

Neumann sought to branch out WeWork’s concept to areas such as education and made a flurry of acquisitions, many of which the company is now looking to divest.

(Corrects name of Gympass in first paragraph.)

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Site That Ran Anti-Semitic Remarks Got Passes for Trump Trip

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

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To coordinate coverage of President Trump’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the White House provided press credentials to the usual mix of American news organizations, including Fox News, Reuters and The New York Times.

One media outlet stood out: TruNews, a website aimed at conservative Christians whose founder, a pastor named Rick Wiles, recently described Mr. Trump’s impeachment as “a Jew coup” planned by “a Jewish cabal.”

Five employees of TruNews, which is based in Florida, received formal credentials from the White House to cover the president’s trip, Mr. Wiles said in an interview last week from his hotel room in Switzerland — a room in a ski lodge reserved by the Trump administration for traveling members of the American press. (Like other media organizations, TruNews paid for its flights and lodging.)

White House officials, in this and previous administrations, tend to be flexible in choosing which news organizations receive press credentials: Reporting is a form of free speech and there are no legal restrictions on who can declare themselves a journalist.

But Mr. Wiles’s ability to secure credentials after his anti-Semitic remarks — which prompted a formal rebuke from two members of Congress — has left civil rights groups deeply troubled.

“It’s a validation of their work,” said Kyle Mantyla, a senior fellow at the progressive group People for the American Way, which has tracked Mr. Wiles’s work. TruNews, he said, “sees it as the White House being on their side.”

TruNews was not granted special access to the president in Davos, nor did its members travel on Air Force One. But one of Mr. Wiles’s colleagues, Edward Szall, asked a question of the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump during a news conference.

“We want to thank President Trump and the White House for extending the invitation to be here,” Mr. Wiles said in a video from Davos. “We are honored to be here, representing the kingdom of heaven and our king Jesus Christ.”

It was not the first time TruNews has gotten close to Mr. Trump and his family.

The president took a question from Mr. Szall at a 2018 news conference in Midtown Manhattan. In March 2019, a TruNews correspondent filmed an interview with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, after a rally in Michigan. (A spokeswoman for Donald Trump Jr. told The Washington Post that the interview was impromptu and that Mr. Trump was unfamiliar with the site.)

TruNews, which Mr. Wiles founded as an online radio program in 1999 called America’s Hope, has a history of spreading conspiracy theories and proclaiming an imminent apocalypse. It drew more scrutiny in November after Mr. Wiles, in an online video, accused Jews of orchestrating Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

“That’s the way Jews work,” Mr. Wiles said. “They are deceivers. They plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda. This ‘Impeach Trump’ movement is a Jew coup, and the American people better wake up to it really fast.”

Mr. Wiles also warned his listeners that “when Jews take over a country, they kill millions of Christians.”

Afterward, Representatives Ted Deutch of Florida and Elaine Luria of Virginia, wrote to the White House asking why TruNews had been allowed to attend presidential events. They did not receive a response.

The White House declined to comment for this article. In the past, the administration has faced lawsuits after revoking press credentials from reporters from CNN and Playboy.

On the phone from Switzerland, Mr. Wiles explained how his Davos trip had come about.

“We’re on a list of media organizations at the White House and from time to time they send out notices that there are events taking place,” Mr. Wiles said, adding that his team had also covered Mr. Trump’s visits to NATO summits and Group of 20 gatherings. He said that he received an email from the White House about the Davos trip and that his request to attend was approved.

The team from TruNews — three correspondents and a two-person production crew — stayed at a hotel where the White House had reserved a block of rooms for the use of American journalists. (As with a wedding block, those who used the rooms paid the hotel directly.) Reporters spotted Mr. Wiles at the breakfast buffet at the hotel, the Privà Alpine Lodge.

Asked in the interview if he understood why his “Jew coup” comments prompted charges of anti-Semitism, Mr. Wiles replied: “I coined a phrase. It came out of my mouth: ‘It looks like a Jew coup.’ All I pointed out was many of the people involved were Jewish.”

Pressed if such rhetoric could be reasonably interpreted as anti-Semitic, Mr. Wiles said: “It’s hard to say. I don’t know. I can tell you from my heart there is no ill will toward the Jewish people, with all sincerity.”

His critics disagree. Mr. Deutch, the representative from Florida, learned of TruNews’s presence in Davos while on a congressional trip to Jerusalem to commemorate the Holocaust.

“I can’t believe the day before I attend an event at Yad Vashem marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, anti-Semites were given WH credentials to broadcast from European soil,” Mr. Deutch wrote on Twitter. (Yad Vashem is the Israeli Holocaust memorial.)

The president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, Jonathan Karl of ABC News, has asked the Trump administration why TruNews was credentialed for the trip.

“It’s puzzling that a known hate group would get press credentials from the same White House that revoked the credentials of a correspondent for a major television network,” Mr. Karl said on Sunday, referring to Jim Acosta of CNN, whose credentials were revoked — and then restored after a lawsuit — in 2018.

“We have asked why this happened and if the White House intends to issue credentials to this group in the future,” Mr. Karl said. “We have not received an on-the-record response.”

Mr. Wiles, in the interview, said that he had been unfairly attacked by “the self-appointed gods and goddesses of the news media, who do not think we should be permitted to attend any event.” He went on to blame George Soros, the Jewish financier often cited in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, for coordinating a campaign against him.

“I don’t think anybody can find fault with our news coverage at these events,” Mr. Wiles said. “They may not agree with our analysis and conclusions. But our behavior at these events — we’re professional, we’re respectful.”

He added: “And we’re able to get interviews with prominent people.”

Annie Karni contributed reporting.

After Losing His Legs to a Bomb, Afghan Veteran Is on a New Journey

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

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BAMIAN, Afghanistan — When Mirza Hussain Haidari swung his white Toyota taxi into a police checkpoint, a startled officer immediately fixed on Mr. Haidari’s gear shift, wrapped in blue tape and attached to a metal contraption sprouting wires and cables.

“What is this?” the officer demanded, clearly suspecting a jury-rigged bomb.

“I was wounded in war,” Mr. Haidari explained. “This is the way I manage to drive.”

Mr. Haidari, 25, lost both legs to a land mine five years ago, when he was in the Afghan Army. Now he earns his living in a taxi, which he has fitted with a homemade mechanism that allows him to drive with his hands — or what’s left of them.

The mine also blew off four of the fingers on Mr. Haidari’s left hand, leaving only his thumb. His right hand is intact but damaged.

Thousands of wounded combat veterans like Mr. Haidari have become fixtures in Afghan society. Some are objects of admiration, others of pity.

On the streets, they limp on prosthetic legs or crutches. In hospitals or rehabilitation centers, they learn to walk or dress themselves again. Some are cared for by families. Others survive on military pensions. A few beg in the streets, or sell trinkets or phone cards.

Mr. Haidari, 25, a calm man with a solemn demeanor, has chosen to resume his life in a very public way. He is a fixture in Bamian Province in central Afghanistan, hauling fares in his retrofitted Toyota, driving between his taxi rounds and his squat brick home in the hills.

Sometimes people mock Mr. Haidari or recoil at the way he looks, he said. Some fares have abruptly climbed out of his taxi after realizing they were about to ride with a driver who had no legs.

“Sometimes when people make fun of me, I wish I had been killed by the bomb, because it’s a lifetime torture,” he said, perched on a cushion in his home as he prepared for a day of driving.

Mr. Haidari said he had been deeply hurt when no one from the army called to check on him after he was wounded. Since then, he said, he has received a small government stipend, which helped cover the costs of building his wheelchair-accessible home a year ago, but he still feels abandoned.

“I served the Afghan Army and my country, but now I’m no one to them because I can’t do anything for them,” he said. “They don’t care that I lost my legs because of the war.”

Even so, he is determined to persevere. When he saw a legless army veteran in Kabul using his hands to drive a retrofitted car, it inspired him to design a similar device.

He said he took his hand-drawn plans to a mechanic in his hometown, Bamian, but the man refused to help, saying the task was impossible. But Mr. Haidari hectored him, and he relented.

The two men rigged a contraption that lets Mr. Haidari guide the steering wheel with his intact right hand and the accelerator with his left thumb, which controls a lever. He also uses the thumb to apply the brakes, by pushing a blue-taped knob. The retrofit cost him 5,500 afghanis, or about $70.

Mr. Haidari spent three years fighting the government before it supplied him with the motorized wheelchair. He also receives a portion of his soldier’s salary. He now ekes out a living, he said, but regrets that his 11-year-old brother has to work in a bakery rather than attend school because the family needs the income. Mr. Haidari lives with his brother, sister and mother.

“When I was disabled, my family paid the price,” he said. “A single bomb ruined my life — and my family’s life.”

But with the support of his family and friends, he said, he has found a measure of fulfillment in his post-military life.

He finds solace behind the wheel of his taxi. He plays in a wheelchair basketball league and works out at a bodybuilding club to keep himself in shape.

“Physically, I’m disabled, but mentally I’m O.K.,” he said. “I’ve lost my legs, but not my mind.”

So Mr. Haidari plies the bumpy roads of Bamian in the snow, trolling for fares, watching the expressions on the faces of people who flag him down. Will they accept a ride or turn away?

At the end of each day, he steers the taxi back up a paved road, then a dirt track, to his home atop a barren hillside.

There, he opens the car door and pivots. In one fluid motion, he is out of the car and seated in his waiting wheelchair. Then he guides the chair up a concrete ramp to his front door, back to home and family.

But even after five years, Mr. Haidari remained haunted by the memories of the morning when he led his squad on a patrol in Helmand Province, in southern Afghanistan, where the land mine awaited.

“I’ve lost everything,” he said. “But still, I don’t regret joining the army. I served Afghanistan and fought for my motherland.”

He paused, letting the memories wash over him.

“I would never regret it,” he said finally. “But I sometimes wish the bomb had killed me.”

Officials confirm five U.S. cases of coronavirus after China travel

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters US News

Passengers arrive at LAX from Shanghai, China, after a positive case of the coronavirus was announced in the Orange County suburb of Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 26, 2020. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu

(Reuters) – Five people in the United States, all of whom recently traveled from Wuhan, China, have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, officials of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday.

The count includes new patients identified over the weekend in the Los Angeles and Phoenix areas, as well as cases reported earlier in Chicago and Seattle.

Another 25 people have tested negative for the illness, but at least 100 more possible cases are being investigated, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a conference call with reporters.

She said to expect more cases to be reported in the United States in coming days.

Messonnier described the risk to health in the United States as “low at this time” because all of the patients traveled from Wuhan. She said there is no evidence in the United States of the disease spreading to other people.

Health authorities around the world are racing to prevent a pandemic after more than 2,000 people were infected in China and 56 have died after contracting the virus.

The newly identified coronavirus has created alarm because there are a still many important unknowns surrounding it. It can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases. It is still too early to know just how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people.

Reporting by David Henry in New York and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet and Marguerita Choy

U.S. House Judiciary head Nadler to miss some impeachment proceedings after wife's cancer diagnosis

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Politics

FILE PHOTO: House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) walks along the Ohio Clock Corridor following the first day of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Senate Impeachment Trial in Washington, U.S., January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Jerrold Nadler, one of the U.S. House lawmakers leading efforts to remove President Donald Trump from office said on Sunday he would miss some of the Senate impeachment trial after his wife was diagnosed with cancer.

Nadler, who chairs the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that his wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December. The Democrat from New York will not be in Washington during the day on Monday, when the president’s lawyers are expected to continue their defense.

“On Monday, I will be in New York with her to meet with doctors, determine a path forward, and begin her treatment,” he said, adding his wife had already undergone surgery. “I am sorry to miss some of the Senate Impeachment Trial, which is of critical importance to our democracy.”

Nadler helped present portions of the House’s case for why Trump should be removed. His Judiciary panel drafted the articles of impeachment, charging the Republican president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from his dealings with Ukraine.

Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Peter Cooney

U.S. state AGs, Justice Department officials to meet and coordinate on Google probe: sources

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Reuters Technology

The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Januar 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) – U.S. state attorneys general will meet Justice Department attorneys next week to share information on their investigations into Alphabet Inc’s Google, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday. The probes revolve around monopolistic behavior that may harm consumers through Google’s control of online advertising markets and search traffic.

The Wall Street Journal had first reported about the meeting and said it could eventually lead the Justice Department and state attorneys general to join forces.

Talks will likely include Google’s dominance in online search, possible anticompetitive behavior in its Android mobile operating system, and the best division of labor as the probes move forward, the paper said, citing some of the people.

U.S. federal and state authorities have not shared data about their concurrent investigations to date, the journal added, citing some of the people.

Attorneys general from 48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico formally launched an investigation into Google last year, in a sign of growing scrutiny of technology giants.

At least seven attorneys general who are part of the investigation being led by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have been invited to the meeting, the Journal reported.

Google and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya; additional reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru, Nandita Bose and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Rojo ofrece una alianza a Miguel y Amparo secuestra a Sara, avances del 27 al 31 de enero en ‘Servir y proteger’

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: Cultura en Serie

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Avance del capítulo 686 (lunes, 27 de enero): Mateo sugiere a Malena que interrumpa su embarazo

‘Servir y proteger’ emite hoy un nuevo capítulo en el que tras recibir la visita de su madre, Lara tiene su primera discusión con Julia, recién instalada en el piso que comparte con Espe. Madre e hija mantienen una gran discusión en la que salen a relucir heridas abiertas del pasado.

Aunque en los últimos días apenas sale de la clínica, no puede evitar que mientras pasea por la plaza con su mujer, Malena se acerque a ellos. Tras el incómodo encuentro entre ambas, Mateo plantea a la chica la posibilidad de interrumpir su embarazo.

Tras la declaración de Tobías, Rojo recopila toda la información sobre el pasado de Miguel. El proxeneta queda deslumbrado por la trayectoria del trabajador social del Centro Cívico.

Amparo consigue meterse en el día a día de Sara, hasta el punto de que su presencia comienza a hacerse imprescindible para ella.

Top Latino Mayoral Hopeful in New York City Drops Out

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/01/27/nyregion/27nymayor1/27nymayor1-moth.jpg

For nearly his entire adult life, Ruben Diaz Jr. had seemed to be on a one-way path to political stardom.

At the age of 22, he was elected to the New York State Assembly. A dozen or so years later, he was elected as Bronx borough president. Political insiders speculated just how high Mr. Diaz might rise.

In 2018, Mr. Diaz seemed to offer an answer, becoming the first candidate to file papers declaring his interest in the 2021 New York City Democratic primary for mayor. His chances seemed formidable: He had the backing of the powerful Bronx Democratic Party; an alliance with the more powerful governor, Andrew M. Cuomo; and presumed support from Latino voters.

But for more than a year, Mr. Diaz said that something did not feel right. He would attend fund-raisers, shake voters’ hands and sit for portraits.

All this, he said he had thought to himself, “for the guy who is not running for mayor.”

Mr. Diaz, 46, has decided to withdraw from the mayor’s race, telling The New York Times in an interview that he does not plan to seek any public office once his term as borough president runs out in 2021.

He said the primary reason for dropping out was that he wanted to spend more time with his family than would be possible, either as mayor or borough president.

“You miss out on a lot,” Mr. Diaz said of his wife and two sons. “I want to hang out with them more.”

The decision — which Mr. Diaz has not shared with most members of his staff or colleagues — comes as the mayor’s race is taking firmer shape.

His departure leaves Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, as the only major candidate of color; Mr. Adams is black. The two other leading candidates are white: the city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, and the City Council speaker, Corey Johnson.

And although the Democratic primary for mayor is more than a year away, Mr. Diaz seemed to be ceding ground to his rivals.

Since July, he has raised about $94,000, and has spent $102,000. Mr. Stringer, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Adams have each raised at least three times that amount, and have spent tens of thousands of dollars less. Mr. Diaz does have about $900,000 in his campaign war chest, but Mr. Adams and Mr. Stringer each have more than $2 million; Mr. Johnson has nearly $700,000.

Mr. Diaz said that he has eased off on fund-raising efforts as he wrestled with whether to proceed with a campaign.

“I cannot continue to pretend to folks, ask them for money, ask them to support me when after, really thinking about this and feeling it and doing soul-searching and speaking with my family, I know I’m not giving it 100 percent,” he said.

Mr. Diaz said he will return all donations that he has raised for this race, and hopes his supporters will rally around another candidate.

“I’m doing it now so my supporters have ample time to recalibrate on whatever they want to do in terms of other candidates,” Mr. Diaz said. “I’m at peace with it.”

Carl Heastie, the New York State Assembly speaker and a close friend of Mr. Diaz’s, said he was “disappointed” not to see the Bronx borough president become the next mayor. But, Mr. Heastie said, “I wasn’t surprised.”

“These things are personal,” he said. Before becoming speaker, Mr. Heastie said he, too, had a “fleeting thought” about leaving public office. At the time, he had served 14 years as a member of the Assembly. He was also the Democratic County leader in the Bronx, and his daughter was just 5 years old. “It is time that you can’t make up,” he said.

Still, Mr. Diaz’s reason was met with some skepticism.

Christina Greer, an associate professor of political science at Fordham University, said, “Anyone who wants to dedicate themselves to spending more time with their family, I respect that. Some constituents may respect that, or find it curious since his children are grown.”

Mr. Diaz’s youngest son, Ryan, is in the Army and stationed in Germany. His older son, also named Ruben, lives in the Bronx. Mr. Diaz described his relationship with his children as harmonious, but remote.

“I haven’t seen my youngest, I’ve seen him three days in over the last 380 days,” he said. “Ruben lives in the West Bronx and I see Ruben every other week? He lives right here.”

Mr. Diaz said that he expected his decision to no longer seek public office to be greeted with suspicion of some hidden, less savory motive.

Paul J. Del Duca, Mr. Diaz’s chief of staff and senior strategic adviser, said that if there were some potential legal problem lurking, “We would never be giving the money back,” referring to the political donations.

Mr. Diaz echoed Mr. Del Duca’s sentiment, quickly adding, “I’m giving the money back. Who does that?”

His defection from the mayor’s race will still leave one member of his family in politics: His father, Ruben Diaz Sr., a Pentecostal minister who opposes same-sex marriage and has had a history of anti-gay remarks, is a city councilman running for Congress.

Mr. Diaz said he has not told his father of his plans to leave public office and not run for mayor, admitting he did not trust that his decision would be held in confidence.

Mr. Diaz demurred when asked if he thought his father took his son’s political interests to heart. “He would say he does,” he said. “Some would question that.”

When Historic Preservation Hurts Cities

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

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I live in a historic neighborhood in the heart of Washington, D.C. It’s not historic in the sense that anything especially important happened here — certainly not in the modest rowhouses that make up the bulk of the neighborhood. What “historic” means, here and in cities across the country, is that this is a neighborhood where buildings are not supposed to change.

The law says window frames on Capitol Hill must be wooden, or something that looks very much like wood. If a front door has two parts and opens down the middle, it cannot be replaced by a single door that swings open from the side. If the house was built two stories tall, it must remain two stories tall — unless the addition can’t be seen from the street.

Humans don’t like change, so it’s not surprising that historic preservation laws have become quite popular. There are now more than 2,300 local historic districts across the United States, and I know many people who would like to have their own neighborhood frozen in time.

But historic preservation comes at a cost: It obstructs change for the better. And while that price is generally invisible, it is now on public display because of the city’s efforts to prevent Washington homeowners in historic neighborhoods from installing visible rooftop solar panels.

As you may have heard, Earth is getting hotter because we’re burning too much carbon, and one small way people can reduce their use of carbon is to tap the sun for electricity.

I haven’t taken a poll, but I’m prepared to wager most residents of Washington’s historic districts agree that climate change is caused by humans and that we really ought to do something about it. But the mandarins of historic preservation — and a good many of my neighbors — regard allowing people to install rooftop solar panels with the kind of horror they usually reserve for, say, anachronistic window frames. (The Capitol Hill Restoration Society helpfully advises homeowners: “In the Historic District you should not even consider using vinyl windows.” That’s right — please stop thinking about vinyl, immediately.)

“I applaud your greenness, and your desire to save the planet. And I realize that we are in crisis, politically as well as sustainably,” Chris Landis, an architect who sat on one of the boards that pass judgment on proposed changes to Washington homes, told a homeowner in October who had the temerity to request permission to install 12 front-facing solar panels on his own roof. “But I just have this vision of a row of houses with solar panels on the front of them and it just — it upsets me, as somebody who’s supposed to protect the architectural fabric of a neighborhood.” (The quote is from a Washington Post article, with plenty more like it.)

Mr. Landis and I apparently don’t share a sense of the sacrifices that may be required in a crisis. As the petitioner, Steven Preister, put the matter to Mr. Landis and his colleagues: “If we do not change and loosen these standards, will the district be habitable in 100 years?”

Good question!

The board, however, decided it was more important to keep Mr. Preister’s roof looking as it did 100 years ago.

Petition: Denied.

I am well aware that installing solar panels on every house in Washington — or even in the United States — would not suffice to make a significant dent in the pace of global warming.

And it should be noted that after Mr. Preister’s failure caused an uproar, the city announced changes that make it a little easier to win permission to put solar panels on historic homes. Mr. Preister finally won permission after promising to spend some $1,300 on camouflage.

But the fact that Washington continues to impose any aesthetic restrictions on rooftop solar panels is still a problem — and it is emblematic of the broader problems with preservation.

There are buildings that should be preserved because of their historic, cultural or aesthetic significance. But there aren’t many. The list certainly doesn’t include all 8,000 buildings in the Capitol Hill Historic District.

Historic preservation, in practice, is not about preserving history. It is about preserving the lifestyle of an affluent urban elite.

We are placing large chunks of our cities under glass, preventing what should be some of our most vibrant neighborhoods from growing and changing as the country grows and changes.

The Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has shrewdly observed that “preservation is not the enemy of modernity but actually one of its inventions…. The whole idea of modernization raises, whether latently or overtly, the issue of what to keep.”

If people were interested in preserving history, he said, they should preserve everything: The pretty and ugly houses; grande olde theatres and strip malls. He suggested, tongue in cheek, that cities should be sliced into strips, with everything in one strip preserved and everything in the next open for development.

That’s not how we do it, of course.

Homes in Washington’s historic districts are modern on the inside. Cable lines run between houses, cars are parked on the streets, and the government has set aside the deed restrictions that in some neighborhoods once barred ownership by blacks, Jews and other minorities. What is being preserved are the facades of the houses — and the scale of development.

Those limits on renovation and construction are directly connected to the fact that people live in tents under the highway at the edge of my neighborhood. Our cities, as Mr. Koolhaas put it, have become “suffocatingly stable” in the center and “alarmingly unstable at the periphery.”

The necessary corrective is not to demolish existing buildings, but to allow most existing buildings to be changed over time, and to allow new buildings to grow up alongside.

American cities should borrow a page from Britain, where protected buildings are placed in categories, from most to least important. In my neighborhood, the Capitol is an obvious example of a building that deserves full protection. Perhaps the local Carnegie library belongs in an intermediate category. But houses, with rare exceptions, are not historically significant. Residential historic districts mostly serve to protect property values, and the government should stop privileging that goal over other values like access to affordable housing. Or the value of trying something new. Or, say, the value of doing something to slow global warming and preserve a habitable planet.

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Trump’s Mideast Plan Is Seen Mainly as an Election Lift for Netanyahu

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: The New York Times Top Stories

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LONDON — Less than a month after being sworn in, President Trump welcomed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to the White House with a bold promise: He would broker a peace accord between the Israelis and the Palestinians — the diplomatic unicorn that had eluded half a dozen of his predecessors.

“I think we’re going to make a deal,” he said in 2017. “It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand.”

“As with any successful negotiation,” Mr. Trump continued, “both sides will have to make compromises. You know that, right?” he added, turning to his guest.

Mr. Netanyahu grinned. “Both sides,” he replied.

The Israeli leader will return to the White House for meetings Monday and Tuesday, and Mr. Trump is expected at last to lay out the details of that long-awaited plan. Mr. Netanyahu said Sunday he hoped to “make history” on the visit.

But far from a bold effort to bring old enemies together — one that demands painful concessions from both sides — Middle East experts now expect the plan to be mainly a booster shot for Mr. Netanyahu’s desperate campaign to stay in power.

Benny Gantz, again Mr. Netanyahu’s rival in Israel’s third election in less than a year, will have his own separate meeting with Mr. Trump on Monday. He had at first resisted the invitation, fearing a political trap in which Mr. Netanyahu would get to play the statesman while Mr. Gantz would look puny by comparison. But analysts said he could not afford to snub the president, given Mr. Trump’s enduring popularity in Israel.

The Palestinians, who stopped talking to Mr. Trump after he ordered the United States Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in December 2017, will not be at the White House to be briefed on the plan. They have vowed to reject it.

“For him to do this in the middle of an Israeli election, without any Palestinian participation and with no intention to follow up with any of the participants, shows this is not a peace plan at all,” said Martin S. Indyk, who served as special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations under President Barack Obama.

“It is a farce from start to finish,” he said.

Mr. Indyk’s verdict is harsh but not uncommon among diplomats who have worked on past peace efforts. Like other veterans of those fruitless negotiations, in both Democratic and Republican administrations, Mr. Indyk watched the early days of Mr. Trump’s diplomacy with fascination and even muted hope — that this most undiplomatic of presidents might achieve a breakthrough where they had failed.

That triumph of hope over experience was shared by some in the region. Palestinians and Israelis took to calling it Mr. Trump’s “deal of the century,” outdoing his own description of it as the “ultimate deal.”

The president brought a deal maker’s swagger and a property developer’s instincts to a problem that, after all, involves disputed territory. His close ties to Mr. Netanyahu — something Mr. Obama lacked — raised hopes that he might be able to extract real concessions from Israel. In a sign of the importance Mr. Trump attached to the effort, he put his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in charge of it.

Mr. Kushner led a team that included Jason D. Greenblatt, the Trump Organization’s former chief lawyer, and David M. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer with ties to the Jewish settler movement who became Mr. Trump’s ambassador to Israel. He would emerge as the most influential adviser to Mr. Trump on Israel.

For months, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt traveled around the Middle East, meeting with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other nations. Their strategy, known as “outside-in,” was designed to build a coalition of Arab support for a peace plan. The Arab leaders, the White House hoped, would pressure the Palestinian Authority to accept whatever Mr. Trump offered.

Mr. Kushner devoted particular attention to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, with whom he had cultivated a friendship of like-minded scions. Prince Mohammed expressed a willingness to establish relations with Israel and said the Israelis “have the right to have their own land.”

At home, Mr. Trump’s pro-Israel supporters were growing restive. They worried that he might put too much pressure on Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Trump told him that a rapid expansion of settlements was not conducive to an agreement. After meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, in May 2017, Mr. Trump said that it was an “honor” — a post that later vanished from his Twitter feed.

Any such worries, however, were laid to rest seven months later when Mr. Trump announced he would move the embassy, formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The move delighted evangelicals, as well as pro-Israel donors like Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate.

But it drove away the Palestinians, who cut off contact with the White House, and doomed the White House’s efforts to build Arab support for its plan. King Salman of Saudi Arabia was among those who condemned the decision, declaring, “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories.”

Mr. Trump reacted harshly to the Palestinian rejection. He punished them by cutting off hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority, as well as funding for the United Nations agency that helps Palestinian refugees.

The State Department shut down the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington. It downgraded the American consulate in Jerusalem, which had been a key channel to the Palestinians, by merging it with the embassy under Mr. Friedman, who later said Israel had the right to annex parts of the West Bank.

Even as the rift with the Palestinians widened, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt labored on their plan. Working under a veil of secrecy, they compiled a multipage document, with annexes, that officials said would propose solutions to all the key disputes: borders, security, refugees and the status of Jerusalem.

While the plan never leaked — a rarity in the sievelike world of Middle East diplomacy — its general contours became known. It is not expected to call for a two-state solution or give East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Nor will it offer Palestinian refugees a right of return or other compensation.

Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt, who has since left the administration, predicted in March 2018 that the Israelis and the Palestinians would each find things in the plan to embrace and oppose. But it was already clear that it would be tilted heavily in Israel’s favor — or more precisely, in the favor of their embattled ally, Mr. Netanyahu.

Facing indictment on multiple corruption charges in early 2019, the prime minister was fighting for his political life. With Mr. Netanyahu facing a closely fought election that April, Mr. Trump gave him an election-eve gift, announcing in March that the United States would reverse decades of policy and recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which was seized by Israeli troops in 1967.

With the release of his plan stymied by the instability in Israel, Mr. Kushner turned his attention to economics. In June, he announced the United States would raise more than $50 billion to improve the lives of the Palestinians and their Arab neighbors. His 38-page plan, titled “Peace to Prosperity,” had slick graphics and the promotional tone of a real estate prospectus.

Mr. Kushner followed up with a two-day workshop in Bahrain, which was boycotted by the Palestinians and shrugged off by other Arab leaders, for whom the peace project had faded into irrelevance.

Even after Mr. Trump’s shift on the Golan Heights, Mr. Netanyahu was unable to cobble together a majority to form a government. After a second election, in September, he found himself again short of a majority.

If Mr. Trump releases his plan this week, analysts said, it will be less about delivering the “deal of the century” than giving Mr. Netanyahu one last electoral lift.

Hay que poner fin a la discriminación contra las mujeres y los niños afectados por la lepra

Esta Noticia fue originalmente compartida en Mi Aula Virtual Educación Noticias

Fuente: ONU Últimas Noticias

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Los Gobiernos deben poner fin a la segregación informal y la negligencia institucionalizada de cientos de miles de mujeres y niños afectados por la lepra, aseguró una experta independiente de la ONU en el Día Mundial para luchar contra esa enfermedad.

“Demasiadas mujeres y niños afectados por la lepra, también conocida como enfermedad de Hansen, son víctimas de estereotipos, abuso físico y verbal, retrasos en el diagnóstico y falta de atención adecuada”, declaró Alice Cruz, relatora especial de la ONU sobre la eliminación de la discriminación contra las personas afectados por la lepra y sus familiares.

La experta expresó su preocupación por la “falta total de planes específicos por parte de los Estados para abordar las necesidades particulares de las mujeres y los niños afectados por la lepra y poner fin a la discriminación y la violencia contra ellos”.

Citando razones institucionales, el último informe de Cruz  al Consejo de Derechos Humanos afirma que muchos casos de mujeres y niños afectados no se denuncian.

Aunque sus sistemas inmunesparecen ser más propensos a la lepra, del 10 al 20 por ciento de los niños dejan de tomar medicamentos porque los tratamientos disponibles simplemente no son apropiados para su edad. Además, casi la mitad de las mujeres afectadas experimentan depresión y / o pensamientos suicidas.

“Las personas afectadas no solo son las que se quedan más atrás, sino que permanecen activamente fuera de la agenda, fuera de la historia”, aseguta la relatora.

Las prácticas discriminatorias perduran

Los pacientes con lepra y sus familias han sido “sistemáticamente sometidos a deshumanización en diferentes contextos culturales”, recalca Cruz.

“La estigmatización sigue institucionalizada en la arquitectura y el funcionamiento de los Estados”, dijo, y señaló que más de 50 países tienen cientos de leyes discriminatorias contra las personas afectadas por esa enfermedad.

La experta de la ONU acogió con satisfacción las mejoras en la respuesta de algunos gobiernos, incluidas las actividades de sensibilización, las campañas para mejorar la detección y el diagnóstico precoz, y el acceso al tratamiento.

Sin embargo, lamentó que demasiadas naciones con altas tasas de incidencia y leyes discriminatorias no respondieran a sus solicitudes de visitas o hubieran acordado una visita meses después de haber aceptado su solicitud.

“Los Estados deben abolir todas las leyes discriminatorias e implementar los Principios y directrices para la eliminación de la discriminación contra las personas afectadas por la lepra y sus familiares”, dijo Cruz, y también pidió una mayor inclusión de las mujeres y los niños afectados por la lepra en esas decisiones.

Los relatores especiales son parte de lo que se conoce como los Procedimientos Especiales del Consejo de Derechos Humanos. Son designados por el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU con sede en Ginebra para examinar e informar sobre un tema específico de derechos humanos o la situación de un país. Los puestos son honorarios y los expertos no son personal de la ONU, ni se les paga por su trabajo.

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