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Kamala Harris Dropping in Polls Following Attacks From Tulsi Gabbard
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Kamala Harris Dropping in Polls Following Attacks From Tulsi Gabbard
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Kamala Harris’ 2020 campaign appears to be taking quite a hit following attacks from Tulsi Gabbard. Perhaps the most notable moment from last week’s Democratic debate came when Gabbard criticized Harris’ record as Attorney General of California. According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, Harris has lost nearly half of her support since last week’s debate.

Harris is down to just seven percent support in the latest Quinnipiac poll. That’s a big change from her 12 percent support in the previous Quinnipiac poll taken just a week before. According to the most recent poll, her support among black Americans has dropped to just one percent.

“Kamala’s entire campaign is based on a lie — that as AG of California, she was a fighter for the oppressed and for criminal justice reform,” Gabbard claimed in a recent tweet. “But her criminal justice record shows that her policies exemplified the worst aspects of our criminal justice system.”

During last week’s debate, Gabbard accused Harris of knowingly attempting to withhold information that would exonerate an innocent man on death row. In what was likely the most explosive moment of the event, Harris did not appear to dispute the allegation.

Unfortunately for Gabbard, her polling numbers to not appear to be benefiting from Harris’ decline in support. The most recent Quinnipiac poll has her at about one percent support. Although, she is polling near the middle of the Democratic field.

As of today, Biden is still well ahead of his Democratic contenders. Of the other candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are commanding a significant lead. The third tier is comprised of Pete Buttigieg and Harris. Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke were among the third tier of candidates until they began falling behind in the polls.

A$AP Rocky Back in USA After Incident in Sweden
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A$AP Rocky Back in USA After Incident in Sweden
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American musician A$AP Rocky is back in the United States after being released from Sweden. The rapper was behind bars since July, resulting from a violent confrontation on the streets of Stockholm. Rocky says he was acting in self defense, a claim which is supported by numerous videos of the incident.

On June 30, two men confronted Rocky and his entourage as they toured Stockholm. Although the musician and his friends repeatedly pleaded with the men to stop antagonizing them, the two men continued to provoke a violent confrontation. The arrest appears to be in response to injuries sustained by Mustafa Jafari, an Afghani immigrant to Sweden and one of the two instigators of the incident.

Although Rocky’s bodyguard filed a counter-complaint against Jafari for allegedly throwing the first punch, Swedish authorities insist Jafari was acting in self defense. They claim Jafari was somehow justified in attacking the bodyguard simply because he was pushed away from the group and repeatedly asked to leave. The response by Swedish authorities has been condemned by many around the world, with some pointing to an alleged pattern of tolerance toward migrants accused of violent crimes in Sweden.

Among those critical of the Swedish response was US President Donald Trump. In a series of tweets last month, President Trump demanded Sweden release Rocky. The president went on to say that he watched videos of the incident for himself, which he described as vindicating Rocky.

“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act,” President Trump tweeted. “Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!”

Swedish authorities responded to President Trump’s statements by stressing Sweden’s separation of powers between the courts and the federal government. “Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have been very clear in the dialogue with both the White House and directly with the American president, that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot interfere in legal proceedings,” a spokesperson for the Swedish government told Reuters.

Undeterred by statements from the Swedish government, the Trump administration continued applying pressure to Sweden throughout the criminal case. Earlier this week, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O’Brien issued a letter to Swedish prosecutors urging them to resolve the matter amicably “as soon as possible to avoid potentially negative consequences.” O’Brien was also present during the trial to observe the proceedings.

Yesterday, Rocky was finally released from Sweden by judges in the case. However, a decision on the case is not expected until August 14. Considering Rocky is not required to return to the country for the verdict, analysts are predicting an acquittal.

Rocky returned to the US earlier today, just after midnight, when his private jet landed in Los Angeles. The musician seemed quite happy to be back home, cheerfully posing for photographs and embracing his friends and family.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Trailer Released
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Trailer Released
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Yesterday, publisher Activision and developer Infinity Ward unveiled a preview of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare‘s multiplayer gameplay. The new game will be a return to the roots of the franchise, reimagining 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The Modern Warfare line of Call of Duty games have been among the most popular in the series.

The upcoming game will feature several new multiplayer modes. Modern Warfare will support matches as small as 2 vs. 2 to matches allowing more than 100 players. The largest multiplayer battles in the game can be accesses through the Ground War mode.

The franchise is clearly trying to mend bridges with their fan base, as even longtime fans of the series have expressed disappointment over the past several games. In an effort to make amends, the developers have decided to eliminate the “season pass” DLC option. It was also announced that the game will receive several free maps in future updates.

“Our goal with Modern Warfare is to bring all gamers together from day one to play together,” said creative director Patrick Kelly in a press release for the game. “We’re doing away with the season pass; we’re delivering a mix of free maps, a ton of content following launch, and we’re developing the game for crossplay. We’re live-testing now, and fans will get to try for themselves next month in the Beta. This is a new day for Call of Duty multiplayer, and today is just the start — we have many more exciting reveals coming for fans that we can’t wait to share.”

Here’s how Activision described their new game in a press release on Thursday:

Today, Activision and Infinity Ward revealed the all-new Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® multiplayer universe to all gamers with a thrilling multiplayer premiere trailer. Scheduled for worldwide release on October 25, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will bring first-person action fans, Call of Duty fans, and gamers from all walks of life together in the ultimate multiplayer playground. First details of Modern Warfare multiplayer will be unveiled by some of the world’s most prolific streamers in an exclusive global livestream today, where viewers will get their first look at the new online multiplayer, and will also have the opportunity to join the fun and get their own hands-on experience next month when the Modern Warfare Beta goes live for everyone.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows on October 25, 2019. The game’s developers say they hope to support “crossplay” multiplayer between the different platforms. Open betas will be available in September.

Even Using a 4K HDR TV, Set Your Xbox One to Output 8-bit Color Depth
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Even Using a 4K HDR TV, Set Your Xbox One to Output 8-bit Color Depth
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Achieving the optimal video output settings on the Xbox One has been a topic of debate for quite some time. Controversy has raged across various internet forums regarding which settings should be enabled to ensure the highest image quality. Thanks to the use of signal capturing devices, the debate has finally been settled.

The Xbox One console should be set to output at an 8-bit color depth. This probably seems counterintuitive to those with 4K HDR TVs, whose panels support a 10-bit or higher color depth. However, it has been demonstrated that the Xbox One will still automatically output all HDR content in 10-bit or 12-bit color depth, even when the console’s video output settings are set to 8-bit. The advantage of setting the Xbox One’s color depth to 8-bit is quite simple. The console renders all non-HDR (SDR) content in 8-bit, and setting your console to output in 10-bit or 12-bit will negatively affect the image quality of SDR content due to the introduction of inherently flawed video reprocessing.

HDMI 2.0 is only capable of transmitting data at 18Gbps. This constraint does not allow the Xbox One to output full 10-bit or 12-bit 4K 60hz video in YCC 4:4:4. As such, the console is only capable of outputting 10-bit and 12-bit 4K 60hz video in YCC 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. All SDR games will render on your Xbox One in 8-bit, a signal that can be transmitted in full to an HDMI 2.0 TV at 60hz in 4K. This is one of the reasons why setting the Xbox One’s color depth to 10-bit or 12-bit will cause SDR games to lose color accuracy, a result of forcing the video to output in YCC 4:2:0 or 4:2:2.

Another video output option you’ll want to enable while playing games in HDR on your Xbox One is “allow YCC 4:2:2.” This will force your Xbox One to output 10-bit and 12-bit HDR content at YCC 4:2:2 instead of 4:2:0. Disregard Microsoft’s suggestion that you should only enable this feature if your console is having problems. However, only enable this feature while you’re playing games in HDR.

Again, the “allow YCC 4:2:2” option should only be enabled while you’re specifically playing HDR video games. Do not leave the option enabled while watching any other HDR or SDR content. Do not leave this option enabled if you’re playing a video game in SDR.

Ultra HD Blu-rays are encoded in YCC 4:2:0, and it would be best to transmit them to your television in that format. But remember, even those only using their Xbox One to watch movies should still set their color depth to 8-bit, ensuring the best video quality possible for their collection of SDR DVDs and Blu-rays.

YCC 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 refer to chroma subsampling. Basically, all you need to know about chroma subsampling is that YCC 4:2:2 is superior to 4:2:0. While YCC 4:4:4 would be ideal, the signal cannot be transmitted via HDMI 2.0 due to the limitations of the technology. The Xbox One Console renders SDR games in 8-bit RGB, not YCC, and the RGB signal does not employ chroma subsampling. HDMI 2.0 is capable of transmitting the 8-bit RGB signal in 4k at 60hz, which is exactly why you should set your Xbox One to output in an 8-bit color depth. Setting your Xbox One’s color depth to 10-bit or 12-bit won’t render SDR games in a higher color depth, it will simply force the console to output at a higher color depth by introducing additional video processing that will negatively affect the image.

Realistically, most people would never notice the difference. Then again, if you’ve already purchased a 4K HDR television and an Xbox One, why not get the most out of them? It’s also worth noting that not all games look best with HDR enabled. Some games that “support” HDR do not actually render in HDR. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, does not properly render in HDR.

While playing games like Red Dead Redemption 2, which do not accurately render in HDR, you will need to disable HDR support in the Xbox One’s settings. Even when playing games that allow the option of disabling HDR through the in-game settings, it’s probably best to disable it via the console to prevent any conflicts between the game and the system. It’s fairly common for games to improperly render in HDR, and it’s worth researching information about each of your games to ensure they will render correctly in HDR.

Let’s explore the concept of HDR a little further. The 10 in HDR10 refers to 10-bit color. While it is possible to render SDR content above an 8-bit color depth, the Xbox One does not. The Xbox One will only render above the 8-bit color depth when outputting in HDR10 or Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision outputs in a 12-bit color depth, although few 4K TVs support this feature. Remember, your Xbox One will still automatically output HDR content properly in HDR10 or Dolby Vision when those options are enabled, even though the console’s color depth is set to 8-bit.

The Xbox One X will support HDMI 2.1, and Belkin recently released an HDMI cable capable of transmitting at 48Gbps. Unfortunately, these new cables won’t allow HDMI 2.0 televisions to receive 60hz 4K 10-bit or 12-bit YCC 4:4:4 video signals, due to the limitations of HDMI 2.0 technology. New TVs featuring HDMI 2.1 are coming soon, but it’ll likely be at least a year before the Xbox One X receives an update allowing it to transmit 10-bit and 12-bit YCC 4:4:4 4K video at 60hz and above to these new devices. Although, the Belkin 48Gbps HDMI cords are allowing Apple TV users to transmit 4K 10-bit YCC 4:2:2 video at 60hz, as the Apple TV has a strange defect that renders 18Gbps HDMI cables insufficient at transmitting the high bandwidth signal.

The above video is one of the best on YouTube at explaining these concepts. While this article currently provides the best advice for achieving optimal video quality from your Xbox One, we will update this content to reflect any future changes to the console’s settings by Microsoft. If you have any questions or comments about the information presented here, be sure to let us know in the comment section below.

Throwback Thursday: Mortal Kombat Released on Gaming Consoles 25 Years Ago
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Throwback Thursday: Mortal Kombat Released on Gaming Consoles 25 Years Ago
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Mortal Kombat completely changed the gaming world when the arcade game was released in 1992. Mortal Kombat allowed players to challenge one another to a literal death match. The fighting game featured five buttons and an eight-way directional joystick. Two buttons controlled the players kicks, two controlled punches, and one allowed the player to block.

When a player won the fight against his opponent, the winner was allowed a short amount of time to perform a secret combination of buttons that would allow the victor to kill his dazed opponent. This finishing move was referred to in the game as a fatality. Each character had their own finishing moves, and the game even featured a stage fatality that allowed the winner to use the environment to kill his opponent. Needless to say, the game was quite controversial when it was released. It was also incredibly popular in the United States.

Thanks to the popularity of the arcade game, Mortal Kombat was quickly ported to home gaming consoles. The launch of Mortal Kombat on consoles was one of the largest and most highly publicized releases in gaming history. Referred to as Mortal Monday, Mortal Kombat hit store shelves for the Sega Gensisis, Super Nintendo, Game Gear, and Game Boy on September 13th, 1993. The game’s launch was preceded by a huge wave of advertising in the form of print ads and television commercials.

Although the game launched on four separate gaming consoles on the same day, there were enormous differences between the games. The Game Boy and Game Gear versions were significantly less technologically advanced than the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis versions. The Super Nintendo version came the closest to reproducing the visual and audio achievements of the arcade game, due to the console’s technological superiority compared to Sega’s Genesis. However, the Sega Genesis version remained much more faithful to the mood of its arcade predecessor. This was due to Sega’s inclusion of game’s more controversial elements.

Nintendo was not comfortable with releasing Mortal Kombat uncensored for their console. Nintendo chose to leave the blood out of the Super Nintendo version of Mortal Kombat. The blood was replaced with sweat. Fatalities were also altered for their version of the game.

Sega, on the other hand, decided to go with a different approach. The Sega Genesis version of the game allowed users to enter a code at the beginning of the game, similar to how players  performed fatalities, that unlocked the sight of blood and uncensored the fatalities. This more faithful adaption of the game on Sega’s console was much more well received than Nintendo’s. Mortal Kombat was the deciding factor for many gamers when choosing between purchasing a Genesis or SNES, and Sega likely benefited greatly from their decision.

Gamers may also remember another feature from Sega’s version of Mortal Kombat. The code to unlock blood in the Sega version of the game is “ABACABB.” Abacab is an album from the band Genesis, who shares a name with the Sega console. This Easter egg is one of many found throughout the game.

Mortal Kombat is known in the gaming community for its early adoption of the practice of hiding secret elements in the game. The arcade version allowed users to access a hidden fight against a secret character with its own secret stage. Future Mortal Kombat titles even adopted hidden Easter eggs based on rumors about previous games.

Mortal Kombat 10, the latest title in the series, was released in 2015. Warner Brothers purchased the Mortal Kombat franchise in 2009 when they acquired Midway Games. Ed Boon, co-creator of the original Mortal Kombat, is still currently serving as creative director for the Mortal Kombat games. Although there is no official word yet on Mortal Kombat 11, we look forward to brutally finishing off our opponents in the next Mortal Kombat game.

Prison Profiteering: Companies Making Millions Charging Prisoners to Email
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Prison Profiteering: Companies Making Millions Charging Prisoners to Email
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Wired recently reported on a system of prison profiteering that many people may not be aware of. Several companies are making healthy profits charging prisoners, and their acquaintances, to send emails. While the practice is legal, there are several ethical concerns surrounding it.

JPay, a leader in the industry, provides prisoner communication services to prisons in 20 different states. As some prisons have instituted a ban on greeting cards, JPay is commonly presented as an alternative to those wanting to communicate their well-wishes to friends or family in prison. JPay will charge the prisoner’s friends and family to send their electronic message. They may also charge the prisoner to read the message.

States like Michigan have instituted strict guidelines regarding mailed prisoner communication. These rules restrict the color of paper the letter may be written on, and even restrict the color of ink that can be used to write it. Due to concerns that a letter may go undelivered, many are turning to services like JPay.

Electronic communications aren’t the only services being offered for-profit in our prisons. Often times, these same companies will offer a variety of other options to prisoners. Securus, JPay’s parent company, provides the phone service for Louisiana’s prisons. In Michigan, they sell tablets to prisoners. According to Wired, about 2/3 of Michigan’s prisoners are currently enrolled in that program.

While some may be disgusted by the idea of profiting off prisoners, others defend the behavior of companies like JPay. They say these businesses are simply providing a service to those who want it. While these large companies are clearly benefiting, they argue that the prisoners also benefit from using their service.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

This article contains the personal opinions of the author. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Mess of Media. This disclaimer appears on all articles that feature the personal opinions of the author, as Mess of Media is an unbiased and nonpartisan source of information.

 

Crypto Markets are Down, Time to Panic? Miners Don’t Think So.
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Crypto Markets are Down, Time to Panic? Miners Don’t Think So.
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While the price of Bitcoin may have decreased by around 75% in the last 8 months, the hash rate has increased by around 500%. The hash rate is the processing power contributed to the network. Right now the hash rate is sitting around 50,000,000 tera hashes. That’s the equivalent of 50 million computers each performing 1 trillion calculations per second.

Some would contribute the growth to the increased productivity of ASIC miners. While that is definitely a factor, these increases in hash rate can be found in cryptocurrencies that use GPU mining as well.

Others say the discrepancy between price and hash rate may simply be caused by a lack of understanding. Generally speaking, miners have a strong technical understanding of cryptocurrency. They understand its value and use it regularly. On the other hand, many investors have have absolutely no understanding of the technology at all. This may make them susceptible to emotional decision making, such as panic selling at a loss.

While Peter Schiff and many other prominent figures say this is the beginning of the end for Bitcoin, there are obviously many in the mining industry that disagree. Is Bitcoin a passing fad? Or are the critics simply misinformed? Only time will tell.

Mess of Media’s cryptocurrency reporting is for informational purposes only. Our reporting should not be considered financial advice. Participation in the crypto market is at your own risk.

NASA Launches Probe to Touch the Sun
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NASA Launches Probe to Touch the Sun
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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is on its way to the most important form of energy on Earth, the Sun. The Parker Solar Probe is on a seven-year mission that will involve passing by the Sun a total of 24 times. The robotic spacecraft will probe the outer corona of the sun.

The Parker Solar Probe will reach within 3.85 million miles from the surface of the sun. The spacecraft is also expected to reach speeds up to 430,000 miles per hour. It’s also the first NASA spacecraft to be named after a living person, physicist and University of Chicago professor Eugene Parker. The NASA project is expected to cost 1.5 billion dollars.

NASA scientists hope to learn more about several unanswered questions of the universe. For example, what keeps the corona generating so much energy? Another popular topic of curiosity involves the constant stream of supersonic solar wind blowing throughout the galaxy. The space exploration community is eagerly awaiting the results obtained from the mission.

The Sun’s surface is about 2 million degrees Fahrenheit. Below the surface, temperatures reach a scorching 10 million degrees Fahrenheit. Why wont the Parker Solar Probe melt? According to NASA, in short, the heat is less dense. NASA contrasted the differences in heat density by comparing a person putting their hand in a hot oven versus putting their hand in pot of boiling water. Along with the atmosphere being less dense, NASA has equipped the Parker Solar Probe with a Thermal Protection System (TPS) that can withstand temperatures up to 3 thousand degrees Fahrenheit.

The NASA probe was launched into space August 12th, 2018. It is expected to return to Earth sometime in 2025. What mysteries of the universe will the spacecraft unlock once its mission is complete? Only time will tell.

Keep track of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe by following their official Twitter page!

The Spaghetti Showdown: Ravioli Retriever vs Sicilian Shepherd
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The Spaghetti Showdown: Ravioli Retriever vs Sicilian Shepherd
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This is a main event you won’t want to miss. Two goliaths showdown in this clash of the ages. In one corner we have a Golden Retriever who is hungry for a challenge. In the other corner we have the battle hardened German Shepherd. While only one can win the spaghetti eating contest, both of these good boys won my heart.

Be sure to watch the second Spaghetti Showdown and the third Spaghetti Showdown in case you missed them!

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content like this.  Thank you for watching!

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VA Officials Oppose Agent Orange Claims
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VA Officials Oppose Agent Orange Claims
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Veterans Affairs Officials are opposing the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017 Congressional bill. This legislative bill extends payouts to about 90,000 Vietnam Veterans who claim effects from Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, and is estimated to cost about one billion dollars.

The VA’s Undersecretary of Benefits, Paul Lawrence has stated, “The Science is not there, and what we do depends on the science.” VA officials also believe they cannot get proper “scientific” evidence on whether a veteran has cancer or an illness from being exposed to Agent Orange or simply from old age.

Rick Weidman, Executive Director at the Vietnam Veterans of America, responded stating, “These people were exposed. How much they were exposed doesn’t make a difference. And you can’t put that all together 40 years later.”

Agent Orange was a strong herbicide used by the United States military during the Vietnam War to eliminate the harsh terrain, making it easier to navigate the harsh environment. The United States dropped millions of gallons of the herbicide from 1961-1971. The VA’s own website details the deadly side effects of exposure to Agent Orange.

The Blue Water Bill has passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting a vote at the Senate. If you or someone you know would like to make a claim with the VA, you can contact them at 1-800-827-1000.

LATEST HEADLINES

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Embroiled in Blackface Controversy
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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Embroiled in Blackface Controversy
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Earlier this week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to blame his privileged upbringing for his past use of blackface. Trudeau made the statements while speaking to reporters aboard his plane. So far, photos and video appear to show Trudeau wearing blackface on three separate occasions.

“I’ve always acknowledged that I come from a place of privilege but now I need to acknowledge that that comes with a massive blindspot,” Trudeau told reporters. “I should have understood that then, and I never should have done it.”

The Canadian Prime Minister admitted that he was unsure if he had worn blackface more than three times. “I am wary of being definitive about this because the recent pictures that came out, I had not remembered,” Trudeau said. “And, the question is, how can you not remember that? The fact is, I didn’t understand how hurtful this is to people who live with discrimination every single day.”

The photos and video surfaced within 24 hours of each other, less than a month after Trudeau announced his reelection campaign. Time Magazine published the first photo, which shows Trudeau wearing a turban and dark makeup at a party in 2001. The image was taken from the school yearbook of a private school where Trudeau taught.

The second photo was tweeted by Robert Fife of the Globe and Mail. The image shows Trudeau wearing an afro wig while singing “Day-O” at his high school in the early 1990s. He again appears to be wearing blackface in the photo.

The latest images were obtained by Global News. Trudeau can be seen wearing blackface over his entire body in a video obtained by the network. The outlet says they spent days confirming the authenticity of the video before releasing it.

“I’m pissed off at myself, I’m disappointed in myself,” Trudeau said about the controversy. “I should have known better then but I didn’t, and I am deeply sorry for it. I’m going to ask Canadians to forgive me for what I did. I shouldn’t have done that. I take responsibility for it.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Drops Out of Presidential Race
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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Drops Out of Presidential Race
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During a Friday morning appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his departure from the 2020 Democratic primary. The mayor failed to qualify for the previous Democratic debate. Based on his polling numbers, it seemed likely that de Blasio would fail reach the required threshold to appear in the next debate.

“I feel like I contributed all I can to this primary election and it’s clearly not my time,” the New York City Mayor said during the interview. “So I’m going to end my presidential campaign, continue my work as mayor of New York City and I’m going to keep speaking up for working people.”

President Trump reacted to the news by mocking de Blasio’s campaign. “Oh no, really big political news, perhaps the biggest story in years!” President Trump tweeted. “Part time Mayor of New York City, [Bill de Blasio], who was polling at a sold ZERO but had tremendous room for growth, has shocking dropped out of the Presidential race. NYC is devastated, he’s coming home!”

This isn’t the first time President Trump has attacked de Blasio via Twitter. Shortly after the New York City Mayor announced his campaign, Trump tweeted, “He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he’s your man. NYC HATES HIM!”

Earlier this week, iconic New York City resident Billy Crystal encouraged de Blasio to drop out of the race. “De Blasio, what are you doing in Iowa? You’re going nowhere, come back and clean up this city,” Crystal said while appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

US Navy Confirms Authenticity of Multiple UFO Videos
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US Navy Confirms Authenticity of Multiple UFO Videos
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In a historic move, the US Navy has essentially confirmed the existence of UFOs. Earlier this week, Navy spokesman Joseph Gradisher confirmed the authenticity of three separate videos showing military pilots attempting to intercept UFOs. Referring to the objects as “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” it’s the first time the US military has publicly authenticated UFO sightings.

Adding another interesting layer to the story, the videos were first obtained by former Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge. The videos caught the attention of the American public earlier this year following a New York Times report detailing the incident, featuring interviews from Navy pilots. In 2017, The New York Times reported on a secret Pentagon program to research UFOs.

DeLonge quit his band in 2015 to form To the Stars Academy, which first published the videos. He is currently an executive producer on the new History Channel show Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation.

The first video, taken November 14, 2004, was taken from a US Navy F-18 Super Hornet’s gun camera. It shows the fighter jet tracking an unidentified object as it appears to rotate in air. Throughout the video, fighter pilots attempt to make sense of what they’re seeing.

The second and third videos were recorded on the same day. The second video features an American fighter jet attempting to track an unidentified object, before the object quickly accelerates away at an unprecedented speed. The second video does not contain any audio.

The third video shows pilots attempting to track an unidentified object as it flies above an open body of water. Again, you can hear pilots attempt to make sense of what they’re seeing. It’s unclear if the same object was featured in both videos. All three videos were recorded aboard US Navy F-18 Super Hornets.

Luis Elizondo, the former head of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, recently wrote an article for Fox News about the incident. Throughout the piece, Elizondo insists the UFO phenomenon is quite real.

“What the pilots encountered that day was able to perform in ways that defied all logic and our current understanding of aerodynamics,” Elizondo wrote. “Furthermore, beyond what the pilots saw with their own trained eye, the technological feat they encountered was further verified by the impressive Aegis SPY-1 radar, America’s premier radar system at the time, and even gun camera footage and sonar systems from submarines accompanying the carrier.”

Ben Shapiro Bashes The New York Times Over Kavanaugh Reporting
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Ben Shapiro Bashes The New York Times Over Kavanaugh Reporting
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While appearing on Fox News earlier this week, political commentator Ben Shapiro condemned The New York Times for their debunked claims about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The Times recently accused Kavanaugh of an additional sexual assault allegation, though the outlet failed to mention that the alleged victim has no recollection of the supposed event. The timing of the story closely corresponds with multiple recent reports questioning the credibility of past Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

Shapiro wasn’t buying The New York Times’ claims of accidentally removing the key detail of their story. While speaking with Fox & Friends Wednesday morning, Shapiro accused the outlet of intentionally trying to mislead their readers.

“I would say that it’s unbelievable except it’s insanely believable,” Shapiro said during the interview. “Every time The New York Times makes a mistake, it is always in the direction of somebody on the right getting clocked, and that’s particularly true in the Kavanaugh story. There is a much bigger story in that book that was not reported in The New York Times, namely that Leland Keyser, who is the best friend of Christine Blasey Ford, said she didn’t believe Ford’s story and was pressured by Ford’s allies to change her story.”

“The New York Times didn’t see fit to report that; they buried this particular story in their news analysis section so they didn’t have to run it through the news section, and then they actually removed the line that said that the alleged victim didn’t remember the incident in question and then replaced it later,” Shapiro continued. “That’s not just bad journalism; that’s not botchery; that’s purposeful at that point.”

“There is no story here,” Shapiro told the Fox hosts. “This prompted editorials from The New York times and The Washington Post talking about how the FBI was engaged in a sham investigation, based on them not investigating an allegation that has no alleged victim? It’s insanity.”

You can watch the full interview for yourself by clicking on the video above.

Trump Attacks Democrats and Media During Rally in New Mexico
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Trump Attacks Democrats and Media During Rally in New Mexico
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President Trump went after the media and his Democratic opponents while speaking at his rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, earlier this week. The president bashed The New York Times for their recent report on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling for resignations at the outlet. He went on to repeatedly compare his political opposition to “snakes.”

Much of the president’s attention at was spent addressing The New York Times and their revised reporting concerning accusations against Justice Kavanaugh. The Times accused Kavanaugh of an additional sexual assault allegation, though the outlet failed to mention that the alleged victim has no recollection of the incident. The timing of the story corresponds with multiple reports questioning the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford’s past accusations against Kavanaugh.

“The left tries to threaten, bully, [and] intimidate Americans into submission,” President Trump told the crowd. “They try to blacklist, coerce, cancel, or destroy anyone who gets in their way. Look at what they’re doing today to Justice Kavanaugh. Do you see — the Democrats are calling for his resignation.”

“They’re calling for his impeachment, and the woman involved said she doesn’t know anything,” the president continued. “So the New York Times had to put out a major apology, and they had to change their story — and they still want him to be impeached!”

“I call for the resignation of everybody at The New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh smear story, and while you’re at it, the Russian witch hunt hoax, which is just as phony a story. They’ve taken the old Grey Lady, so prestigious, and broken her down, destroyed her virtue, and ruined her reputation. She can never recover, and will never return to greatness under current management. The Times is dead,” the president said.

The president went on to compare his political rivals to snakes. “I don’t like snakes too much — we have plenty of them in New York and Washington — a different variety,” Trump told the crowd.

“We’ve got a lot of snakes in Washington, DC, we’ve got a lot of snakes in New York,” the president continued. “I don’t like either kind of snake. I think I like the kind on the ground better than the ones we have in Washington.”

President Trump also reached out to Hispanic voters during the event. Nearly 40 percent of New Mexico voters are Hispanic. “Yesterday marked the beginning of the Hispanic Heritage month,” President Trump said during the rally. “Who is Hispanic here? Latinos for Trump, right? Incredible people.”

“The unemployment for Hispanic Americans is right now at the lowest level in the history of our country,” Trump continued. “Hispanic American poverty reached a brand-new all-time low in history. And after years of stagnation that you know very well, wages for Hispanic Americans are rising really fast, up nearly 8 percent since my election. Those are unheard-of numbers. And median income for Hispanic Americans surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever. That’s not bad.”

New Mexico hasn’t elected a Republican presidential candidate since George W Bush in 2004. However, President Trump is hoping to end that streak in 2020. He lost in 2016 with 40 percent of the vote compared to Hillary Clinton’s 48 percent.

Following Disruption of Peace Negotiations, Trump Says Taliban Has Never Been Hit Harder
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Following Disruption of Peace Negotiations, Trump Says Taliban Has Never Been Hit Harder
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In the aftermath of President Trump’s cancellation of a planned meeting with Taliban leaders, the US President claims the group has “never been hit harder.” Over the weekend, US and Afghan forces announced that nearly 40 Taliban fighters were killed, including two senior commanders, during a recent joint military operation. Taliban leaders were to meet with Trump and the President of Afghanistan at Camp David until President Trump abruptly cancelled the meeting.

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday,” President Trump announced on Twitter. “They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations.”

“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position,” President Trump continued. “They didn’t, they only made it worse! If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight?”

Many criticized the president’s decision to hold the event at Camp David, especially considering how closely the proposed meeting would have corresponded with the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Even some Republicans panned the move. Congresswoman Liz Cheney wrote on Twitter, “Camp David is where America’s leaders met to plan our response after al Qaeda, supported by the Taliban, killed 3000 Americans on 9/11. No member of the Taliban should set foot there.”

The escalating conflict between the Taliban and US forces was the subject of a recent tweet from the president. “The Taliban has never been hit harder than it is being hit right now,” he wrote. “Killing 12 people, including one great American soldier, was not a good idea. There are much better ways to set up a negotiation. The Taliban knows they made a big mistake, and they have no idea how to recover!”

Corporations Openly Pushing Gun Control
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Corporations Openly Pushing Gun Control
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The CEOs of 145 companies recently sent a joint letter to Senate leadership urging them to pursue further gun control legislation. The letter was also supported by notable companies such as Dicks Sporting Goods and AirBnB. Representatives from Twitter and Reddit also signed the letter.

The letter encouraged Congress to enact red flag laws, which would use law enforcement to disarm individuals deemed dangerous by the government. The companies also promoted mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, which would potentially criminalize the transfer of firearms to family members or friends.

Raising the alarm for many, several of the companies involved are actually multinational corporations. Second Amendment advocates have long warned of a global effort to promote gun control in the United States, and it appears their fears have been realized.

While many politicians and political pundits regularly cite polls that claim more than 90 percent of Americans support mandatory background checks for all firearms purchases, many have characterized these figures are extremely misleading. According to skeptics, the results of these polls are greatly influenced by the questions respondents are asked.

You can read the full letter for yourself below:

September 12, 2019
Dear Members of the Senate:
Our hearts are with the victims, their families and loved ones and all those affected by the tragic shootings in El Paso and West Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. These families became members of a club that no one wants to join: the millions of Americans whose lives have been forever altered by gun violence.

Every day, 100 Americans are shot and killed and hundreds more are wounded. These are more than mass shootings; in recent weeks, gun violence has devastated Chicago, Canoga Park, Newport News, Gilroy and Brooklyn, among others. This is a public health crisis that demands urgent action.

As leaders of some of America’s most respected companies and those with significant business interests in the United States, we are writing to you because we have a responsibility and obligation to stand up for the safety of our employees, customers and all Americans in the communities we serve across the country. Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety.

Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable. There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence. We need our lawmakers to support commonsense gun laws that could prevent tragedies like these. That’s why we urge the Senate to stand with the American public and take action on gun safety by passing a bill to require background checks on all gun sales and a strong Red Flag law that would allow courts to issue life-saving extreme risk protection orders.

Background checks and Extreme Risk laws (also referred to as “Red Flag laws”) are proven to save lives. Since Congress established the background check system 25 years ago, background checks have blocked more than 3.5 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers, including to convicted felons, domestic abusers, and people who have been involuntarily committed.

However, in the decades since, the law requiring background checks on gun sales has not been updated to reflect how people buy guns today. The Senate must follow the House’s lead by passing bipartisan legislation that would update the background checks law, helping to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, in an effort to save lives. Background checks on all gun sales are a common-sense solution with overwhelming public support and are a critical step toward stemming the gun violence epidemic in this country.

Perpetrators of mass shootings, school shootings, and hate crimes often display warning signs before committing violent acts. Additionally, people who end their life with a gun also often show signs that they are in crisis before they act. Interventions in states with Extreme Risk laws have already prevented potential tragedies. Expanding Extreme Risk laws to enable families and law enforcement nationwide to intervene when someone is at serious risk of hurting themselves or others is critical to preventing future tragedies.

These proposals are common-sense, bipartisan and widely supported by the American public. It is time for the Senate to take action.

Sincerely,

Organizations with more than 500 employees:

Brian Chesky, Co-Founder, Head of Community and CEO, Airbnb
Keith Mestrich, President and CEO, Amalgamated Bank
John Connaughton and Jonathan Lavine, Co-Managing Partners, and Josh Bekenstein and
Steve Pagliuca, Co-Chairmen, Bain Capital
Ethan Brown, Co-Founder and CEO, Beyond Meat
Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg LP
Ric Clark, Chairman, Brookfield Property Group
Fritz Lanman, CEO, ClassPass
Roger Lynch, CEO, Condé Nast
Ken Lin, Founder and CEO, Credit Karma
Edward Stack, CEO, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Tony Xu, Co-Founder and CEO, DoorDash
Doug Baker, Chairman and CEO, Ecolab
Richard Edelman, President and CEO, Edelman
Julia Hartz, Co-Founder and CEO, Eventbrite
Art Peck, CEO, Gap Inc.
Eddy Lu, CEO, Goat Group
Ben Lerer, Co-Founder and CEO, Group Nine Media
Yannick Bolloré, CEO, Havas Group
Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, Horizon Media
Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD, Founder and CEO, Impossible Foods
Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO, Interpublic
Rob Frohwein, Co-Founder and CEO, and Kathryn Petralia, Co-Founder and President,
Kabbage Inc. and Drum Technologies
Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
Logan Green, Co-Founder and CEO, and John Zimmer, Co-Founder and President, Lyft
Dev Ittycheria, President and CEO, MongoDB, Inc.
Howard Marks, Co-Chairman, Oaktree Capital Management
Todd McKinnon, Co-Founder and CEO, Okta
John Wren, Chairman and CEO, Omnicom Group
Ben Silbermann, Co-Founder and CEO, Pinterest
Bastian Lehmann, Co-Founder & CEO, Postmates
Hamid R. Moghadam, Chairman and CEO, Prologis
Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe
Steve Huffman, CEO, Reddit
Richard Fain, CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Scott Rechler, Chairman and CEO, RXR Realty
Jon Oringer, Founder and CEO, Shutterstock, Inc.
Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Twitter
Anthony Casalena, Founder and CEO, Squarespace
Zander Lurie, CEO, SurveyMonkey
Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global
Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, and Jim Alling, CEO, TOMS
Jeff Lawson, Co-Founder and CEO, Twilio
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber
Mark Read, CEO, WPP
Jeremy Stoppelman, Co-Founder and CEO, Yelp

Organizations with fewer than 500 employees:

Kevin P. Ryan, Founder and CEO, AlleyCorp
Travis Truett, Co-Founder and CEO, Ambition
John W. Rogers, Jr., Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO, and Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO &
President, Ariel Investments, LLC
Mike Steib, CEO, Artsy
Sean Knapp, Co-Founder and CEO, Ascend.io
Andrei Cherny, Co-Founder and CEO, Aspiration
Abdur Chowdhury, CEO, Aura
Fahim M. Aziz, Founder and CEO, Backpack
JJ Abrams, Chairman and Co-CEO, and Katie McGrath, Co-CEO, Bad Robot
Ari Paparo, CEO, BeeswaxIO Corporation
Ryan Block, Co-Founder, Begin
John Borthwick, Founder and CEO, Betaworks
Raphael Crawford-Marks, Co-Founder and CEO, Bonusly
Darren Lachtman, Co-Founder, Brat
Trevor McFedries, CEO, Brud
Sameer Shariff, Co-Founder, Cambly
Analisa Goodin, Founder and CEO, Catch&Release, Inc.
Andrew Feldman, Founder and CEO, Cerebras Systems
George Favvas, CEO, Circle Medical
Alex MacCaw, CEO, Clearbit
Tyler Bosmeny, CEO, Clever
Matt Martin, Co-Founder and CEO, Clockwise
Othman Laraki, Co-Founder and CEO, Color Genomics
Jager McConnell, CEO, Crunchbase, Inc.
Apu Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, Curalate, Inc.
David Oates, Co-Founder and CEO, Curtsy
Brian Ree, Founder and CEO, DAILYLOOK

Saurabh Ladha, CEO, Doxel, Inc.
Andy Coravos, Co-Founder and CEO, Elektra Labs
Laurene Powell Jobs, President, Emerson Collective
Pradeep Elankumaran, Co-Founder & CEO, Farmstead
Desiree Gruber, CEO, Full Picture
Jared Hecht, Founder and CEO, Fundera
Jude Gomila, Founder and CEO, Golden
Rick Nucci, Co-Founder and CEO, Guru
Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO, Hint, Inc.
Jeff Sellinger, Co-Founder and CEO, HipDot
Prerna Gupta, CEO, Hooked
Cyrus Massoumi, Managing Partner, humbition
Kristin Savilia, CEO, JOOR
Pierre Valade, CEO, Jumbo Privacy
William Martino, Founder and CEO, Kadena
Jake Perlman-Garr, CEO, Kanga
Warren Shaeffer, Co-Founder and CEO, Knowable
Jack Altman, CEO, Lattice
Aaron N. Block, Co-Founder and Managing Director, MetaProp.vc
Afton Vechery, Co-Founder and CEO, Modern Fertility
Dan Parham, Founder and CEO, and Tee Parham, Founder and CTO, Neighborland
Shafqat Islam, CEO, NewsCred
Sarah Friar, CEO, Nextdoor
Athan Stephanopoulos, President, NowThis
Varsha Rao, CEO, Nurx
William E. Oberndorf, Chairman, Oberndorf Enterprises
Steven Rosenblatt, Co-Founder and General Partner, Oceans
Nick Huzar, Co-Founder and CEO, OfferUp
James Segil, Co-Founder and President, Openpath
Jordan Husney, CEO, Parabol
Doug Aley, CEO, Paravision
John Milinovich, CEO, Plato Design
Rajat Suri, CEO, Presto
Christopher Gavigan, Founder and CEO, Prima
Adam Regelmann, Founder and COO, Quartzy
Nate Maslak, Co-Founder and CEO, and Nate Fox, Co-Founder and CTO, Ribbon Health
Zachariah Reitano, Co-Founder and CEO, Ro
Gary Beasley, Co-Founder and CEO, Roofstock
Stephen Ehikian, Co-Founder and CEO, Ruist
Brian Schechter, CEO, SelfMade
Olga Vidisheva, Founder and CEO, Shoptiques Inc.
Dan Doctoroff, CEO, Sidewalk Labs

Jason Tan, CEO, Sift
Matt Cooper, CEO, Skillshare
Grant Jordan, CEO, SkySafe
Josh Guttman, Co-Founder and CEO and Florent Peyre, Co-Founder and President, Small Door
Michael Carvin, Co-Founder and CEO, SmartAsset
Aaron King, Founder and CEO, Snapdocs, Inc.
Neil Capel, CEO, Solve.io
Ben Hindman, Co-Founder and CEO, Splash
Evan Beard, Founder and CEO, Standard Bots
Stanlee R. Gatti, Founder, Stanlee R. Gatti Designs
Bradford Oberwager, CEO, Sundia Corporation
Ross Feinstein, CEO, Sunlight Health
Paul Budnitz, CEO, Superplastic
Ron Conway, Founder, SV Angel
Heidi Zak, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, and David Spector, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, ThirdLove
Yashar Nejati, CEO, thisopenspace inc.
Joshua Kushner, Founder and Managing Partner, Thrive Capital
Chris Wang, CEO, ThunderCore Inc.
Corbett Kull, CEO, Tillable
Meghan Jewitt, CEO, Uniform Teeth
Nicholas Goldner, Co-Founder and CEO, and Christopher Bulow, Co-Founder and COO,
Viosera Therapeutics
Ken Chong, CEO, Virtual Kitchen Co
Irv Remedios, CEO, Voxer
Oliver Cameron, Co-Founder and CEO, Voyage
Chase Adam, Co-Founder and CEO, and Grace Garey, Co-Founder and COO, Watsi
Liz Wessel, Co-Founder and CEO, WayUp
Neil Waller, CEO, Whalar
Bismarck Lepe, CEO, Wizeline
Dennis R. Mortensen, Founder and CEO, x.ai, inc.
Geoff Ralston, President, Y Combinator
Shan-Lyn Ma, Co-Founder and CEO, Zola

Supreme Court Sides With Trump Over Immigration Restrictions
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Supreme Court Sides With Trump Over Immigration Restrictions
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On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ended all injunctions against the Trump administration’s new rules regarding asylum. The change in policy now blocks immigrants from seeking asylum in the US if they traveled through a third country, such as Mexico, without already attempting to receive asylum there. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were the only members of the court to dissent with the decision.

“Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution,” Sotomayor and Ginsburg wrote in regards to the decision. Their sentiments were shared by numerous Democrats, including multiple 2020 contenders.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren, Democratic members of Congress, also panned the decision. “Lives will be lost,” they said. “This rule will result in those fleeing fear and persecution to be turned away at our doorstep and will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the [Central American] region. The United States can and must do better.”

President Trump, on the other hand, was quite pleased by the development. Following the announcement, Trump tweeted, “BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!”

There is currently a backlog of around 800,000 asylum cases pending in US immigration court. However, only about 20 percent of applicants are ultimately approved.

 

Highlights From the Third Democratic Debate
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Highlights From the Third Democratic Debate
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Thursday’s Democratic debate was the first to be held on a single night, with the previous two debates organized as two-night events. This time around, just 10 candidates were featured. It was also the first time frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren shared the stage.

According to a recent joint poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post, only three candidates are polling at 10 percent or above among Democratic voters. The poll showed Biden in the lead with 27 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 19 percent. Trailing Sanders was Elizabeth Warren with 17 percent.

Polling requirements set by the DNC and ABC News whittled away several of the major candidates, leaving just half the number of candidates from the previous two debates. Not everyone was pleased with the decision. Candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson didn’t quite make the cut, despite the fact that they were the most Googled candidates of the previous debate.

The 10 candidates featured in Thursday’s debate were Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Obama administration official Julian Castro, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

The biggest moment of the night came as Castro went after Biden, seemingly attacking his age. Castro accused Biden of forgetting what he said just minutes before. Although, a review of the footage shows that Castro was incorrect.

While Sanders and Biden disagreed over healthcare, their dispute remained cordial. Warren and Biden hardly went after each other at all throughout the three-hour-long debate. Perhaps the audience’s sour reaction to Castro’s attack on Biden steered the other candidates away from going too negative.

Another defining moment of the debate came as O’Rourke promoted gun confiscations, telling viewers that he would be coming for their firearms. While on the topic of guns, Klobuchar announced that all the candidates on stage supported a ban on “assault weapons.” None of the other candidates disputed her claim.

Even some Democrats were unhappy with the way guns were treated at the debate, with pundits expressing concern that O’Rourke’s comments would be damning for many other candidates on the left. Democratic Senator Chris Coons condemned O’Rourke’s comments about gun confiscations while appearing on CNN earlier today. The senator claimed “that clip will be used for years” against Democrats in future elections.

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